Bearback has been reviewed by Sir. Ranulph Fiennes:
"A remarkable journey. Searching, honest, uplifting."
A dangerous book, it takes you on a journey, geographically and mentally. Challenges perception of the world and our place in it and inspires in equal measure.
Dangerous because it challenges and enthuses you to follow suit and head out to explore, not just by motorbike but by whatever means suits the individual.
Time to start planning.
Reading this book takes you on a journey of a life time, with the author and his wife, to every corner of the earth! To places you could only imagine until you are there, it shows every area of the animal kingdom and the true nature of people of have so little and yet so much to share. If you dream in adventure then this book was written for you,
get ready to explore!
by Samir Clarke
What an incredible journey, through some of the most amazing places on our planet. A thoroughly enjoyable book which combines in an easy going way a mix of the journey, some history and the authors own thoughts, often those little gems that come to mind but never reach paper. Its also a very honest book in all ways, which is most refreshing. I also liked the pace, never dwelling too long on any part, a whistlestop tour but really just right given the extent of their travels. A most compelling read.
by John Holland
I picked up this book with some trepidation fearing a much-extended version of those descriptions of exotic travels abroad that one receives with some Christmas cards. Was I going to be bored, irritated or downright jealous? In fact I was none of these (well, perhaps a little of the last). It was a combination of travelogue, personal experience and reflection that was exciting, humorous, thought-provoking and inspiring. I couldn’t put it down.
To undertake such a journey requires courage, confidence and determination. Just when I thought the writer was sounding a little (justifiably) self-satisfied at his achievement he redressed the balance with a self deprecating remark or humble observation. His sense of wonder at the natural world and his optimism about humankind raised my spirits. Yes, he has been incredibly lucky to have the opportunity, the means, the fitness and above all the companionship of a soul-mate but he fully acknowledges this. He has lived a dream and reveled in it. May he have many more!
by Margaret Chruszcz
What a fabulous and incredible journey Dr. Garrod takes us on in Bearback. Having read the book over a month ago I'm still in awe that anyone could have vision, tenacity and spirit to complete such an adventure. The book is exceptionally well written. It's skillful blend of mystery (what else can go wrong and how are they going to get out of this situation), local politics, history, humor, travelogue, human spirit and love story. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great read. My hats off to Dr. Garrod.
A wonderfull insight into exploring by motorcycle in some of the wildest and rugged parts of the world. well written and an excellent read. you don't need to be a bike lover just an interest in travel of any kind.
by Bob Denman
The physical and practical hardships of the travelling described in this book are not something that most of us would ever want to take on. But, beautifully written, it puts you in touch with the human side. You are taken places but, most of all, you meet the people, including the author and his wife.
Now, the emotional journey, that is something we can all relate to. Right from the start, you are invited along and made to feel welcome. He shares his views and feelings but it is all simply offered up as food for thought. Whether to travel or just think, you will be inspired!
by L. Clarke
A brilliant book! Well written and so interesting. I loved it. As good as any travel/adventure book. Couldn't put it down. Just couldn't get over how they got through so many tough situations. Ness needs to take as much credit!! Ewan McGregor - eat your heart out!!
by David Lucas
I have knowm Pat and Ness for over twenty years. It never ceases to amaze me the enthusiasm they have for life and adventure. This comes out so well is a book which I know has been many years in the making. The book us a credit to you both and I have no doubt that you have inspired so many to lead a life less ordinary.
by Martin Tiffin
Wow what a ride! I couldnt put it down, as both a biker and a journeys nut this book took me to all the places i would love to visit but know its not to be. Please write more of your travels the market is out there for honest and straight forward travels.
by Peter Mullins
A wonderful and extremely readable story, describing a truly epic adventure. The authors' warm and personal style of writing invites you to join him on his journey around the globe - a heartfelt tale, full of soul searching and inspiring exploration. 'Live The Dream'.
by My Key Buoy
What a fabulous adventure that made me just want to give up work and start travelling today. A beautifully written book that was full of excitement, drama and even romance. I loved all the incidental historical, political and geographical information that really gave me a fuller picture of each country they travelled through. Laos and Costa Rica are now top of my list to visit. I would love to read a sequel with more about their travels in Africa.
I always enjoy a good travel book, and this exceeded all the expectations from the blurb. The passion of motorcycling is on every page, even the parts of the journey where the bike could not take or give any more.
There is plenty of detail in the areas that they travel to, so you have a good feel for the landscape and the people. There are one or two hairy moments, just as you would expect from travelling that far in that many countries, but they are normally welcomed with curiosity and friendship.
Interesting book, well worth a read.
by Paul Cheney
At the tender age of seven Pat Garrod, typically, knew his own mind. When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up his reply was as instant as it was ambitious.
"A doctor, an author, or a long-distance lorry driver."
Born in 1964 to parents brought up in the war he acquired a healthy respect for minimalism and inherent value, as well as a love of camping and the great outdoors. Family meals always took place under the alluring shadow of The Daily Telegraph’s map of the world. This and the haunting words of a guest-speaker at a school prize-giving ceremony (“with the coming of the jet engine the world has shrunk”) left Pat with an insatiable desire to see the world, overland.
An avid cyclist through his teens, at the age of seventeen Pat developed an unhealthy fascination with motorcycles. In his final year at medical school a serious accident put him in hospital for three months and on crutches for a further year.
Since qualifying as a doctor in 1988 he has worked in various parts of the world including Australia, on expedition in Zimbabwe, and even a brief spell in Saudi Arabia before being flung out of the kingdom by a disgruntled Queen.
His time in Zimbabwe engendered within him a deep fascination for, and love of, the African continent. In 1995, eight years after the accident, he threw caution to the wind and climbed back on board a motorcycle. With girlfriend Vanessa as pillion he rode from Cairo to Cape Town. Since then the two of them have circumnavigated the globe and ridden across Africa three more times.
Pat now lives with his wife in Dorset, in a 270 year-old sea captain's cottage. He still cycles, recently for charity from Lands End to John O' Groats. He is an active supporter of WWF, Greenpeace and the Dorset Wildlife Trust, and is an obsessive windsurfer.
When not exploring some far-flung corner of the Earth he continues to practise as a GP.