For fifty-six days, four women left their ‘regular lives’, homes, families and comfort, to ride their motorbikes through scenic landscapes, inhospitable terrain and diverse regions. In this process, they covered 17,000 kilometres through six countries. What inspired them to follow this dangerous, and at times maddening, adventure trail?
In Road to Mekong, Piya Bahadur recounts her once-in-a-lifetime journey through Southeast Asia. With little prior experience in expeditions of this nature, the group successfully planned and executed an exhilarating trip from Hyderabad, through the east Indian coast and the northeast of India, weaving through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, along the river Mekong, and finally to Cambodia. By the time they returned, the lives of these audacious women had changed forever.
Piya takes the reader along on her travels through places rarely visited by the itinerant Indian and shares the new world that unfolds as she journeys from being a working mother constrained by her own inhibitions to a confident traveller accepting of whatever adventures life has to offer.
I bought the book because its cover and blurb seemed quite interesting. I wanted to know more about these four women who went on a bike ride through six countries covering 17,000 kilometres.
The journey was sometimes arduous because of the red tape involved and also because of the vagaries of the route. They were able to overcome everything because they were strong, courageous, and determined. The joy of experiencing new places and diverse cultures was enough compensation for them. They also had the support of a team that followed them in a bus.
The book is a good choice for those who love travel, women empowerment, chasing dreams, and breaking norms. The descriptions are vivid, the narrative interesting, and the language, simple and apt. Bahadur has explained the process of planning and executing the long ride quite well.
However, you would be disappointed if you wish to know more about the camaraderie between the four women, the personal challenges they overcame, or the friendship they forged. Bahadur does not dwell too much on the personal or the human aspect, except if it was directly related to their trip.
You will understand more about why this is so and what they wanted to accomplish with this journey when you read the last two chapters.
Overall, a good book!