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Touching The World - Free Sample: A Blind Woman, Two Wheels, 25000 Miles
     

Touching The World - Free Sample: A Blind Woman, Two Wheels, 25000 Miles

by Cathy Birchall
 

This free sample comprises a single chapter from Touching the World. The description for the book as a whole follows.TOUCHING THE WORLD is the extraordinary story of Cathy Birchall, a blind woman, who set off with her companion Bernard Smith, to become the first blind person ever to circle the world on a motorbike, an 18 year old BMW R100. What transpired has

Overview

This free sample comprises a single chapter from Touching the World. The description for the book as a whole follows.TOUCHING THE WORLD is the extraordinary story of Cathy Birchall, a blind woman, who set off with her companion Bernard Smith, to become the first blind person ever to circle the world on a motorbike, an 18 year old BMW R100. What transpired has become an inspirational worldwide story that challenges people to question their own self-imposed boundaries.

From desolate and dangerous mountain roads, difficult border crossings and numerous mechanical breakdowns, to climbing Wayna Picchu (first ever blind woman to do so) and riding an elephant mounted from the front (via its trunk!) - not to mention a poignant visit to the Centre for Blind Women in Delhi where they talked to women abandoned by their husbands, and an (inadvertent) overnight stay in a Kosovan brothel - this book has it all, travel, adventure, triumph over adversity, and through it comes a real sense of just what it means to be blind. Their heart-warming writing reflects a vivid account of the world, often hilarious and always positive.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781909213159
Publisher:
Panther Publishing Limited
Publication date:
09/17/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
344
Sales rank:
423,547
File size:
881 KB

Read an Excerpt

Cathy Birchall is the first blind person ever to circumnavigate the globe on a motorcycle, covering 26,385 miles, 31 countries and 5 continents with her companion Bernard on their 18 year old BMW. Adventure and courage all the way - from feeling the traffic passing so close it touches you as you ride through Indian cities, to mounting an elephant from the front (yes really!) and climbing Wayna Picchu with its innumerable steps and vertiginous drops, Touching The World takes you on a journey of extraordinary beauty and interest, full of surprises. It is unique in the perspective it takes because it is written from Cathy's point of view, that of a blind woman. "Men do not want you if you are blind, why would you want to be with a blind woman?" asks Neena at the Centre for Blind Women in Delhi as Cathy and Bernard experience some heart wrenching cultural differences where a blind woman was considered doubly afflicted and worthless. Their old BMW motorcycle keeps breaking down and you feel for Bernard as the lights dim in Malaysia and the bike grinds to a halt with a dead battery. But somehow they keep the bike going and in this they were often helped by the unwavering kindness of strangers. From border guards guiding Cathy's hand to the bike to anchor her in a strange place, to Glen helping perform open heart surgery on the bike in the Nullarbor desert, the natural generosity of people is vividly portrayed. Touching The World challenges our perceptions of our own boundaries as well as those of others and portrays vividly just what it means to be blind in a way that has never before been attempted. Cathy and Bernard not only achieve their dream but also set a landmark for us all. --- "An incredible and inspirational story. Ride, Cathy, ride!" Ted Simon author of Jupiter's Travels. --- "Cathy's courage has been truly inspirational for many blind and partially sighted people across the world" Stephen Remington, Action for Blind People.

Meet the Author

Cathy Birchall has been blind since she was in her mid 20s. Following the death of her husband of 19 years and finding herself blind and alone she put herself through college and became a Further Education Lecturer. Within this role she met Bernard Smith, and then took a year off from her job with Action for Blind People to go on this journey. Bernard, a motorcyclist for over 30 years, and a former teacher then working for the RNIB, had an ambition to circle the world. On their return from their trip Cathy went through treatment for cancer from which she is recovering. Bernard is now retired, but does a little consultancy.

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