- Paperback: 456 pages
- Publisher: Jupitalia Productions; Revised ed. edition (March 22, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0965478521
- ISBN-13: 978-0965478526
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 232 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jupiters Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph Paperback – March 22, 2005
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A compelling narrative that moves, sometimes at breakneck speed, over some of the world's most beautiful and mysterious terrain ? packed with fascinating detail, splendid characterizations, and hair-raising adventures. (The Boston Globe)
Vivid description of driving under conditions that were often ferocious. (NY Times)
Extremely readable, full of keen observation, perceptive insight ? conveying action, drama, tension and danger. (Los Angeles Times)
The best motorcycle travel book ever written. (Motorcycle Sport)
By all means TAKE THE PLUNGE. (Rider Magazine)
About the Author
Born 1931 and raised in London he emerged from World War II with a desperate urge to travel. Was a newspaper and magazine editor, and foreign correspondent, personally restored a 13th century French ruin, pioneered organic agriculture in California, and wrote an authoritative book on water politics. Has just repeated the "Jupiter" journey aged 72. He resides in Round Valley, CA.
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What a great writer Mr. Simon is!
This book is much more about the people he meets, the government bureaucracies, scenery he sees, hotels he stays in,roads he survives and problems and challenges he has along the way as well as his rambling thoughts than it is about the motorcycle. But he does describe the challenges of motorcycling in remote places such as packing tools and spare parts along with clothing and camping gear, frequent falls from the bike, having to buy gasoline from other vehicles when he doesn't have enough, and the various repairs and overhauls that are needed.
Inspired by this book and several others in 2008 I bought a new BMW R1200 GSA motorcycle which now has over 30,000 miles on the odometer. My wife bought a BMW G650 GS in 2010. We live on an own a Ranch in the remote Sangre de Cristo mountain range of Colorado.
Here are some more of the books that inspired me:
- Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintainance by Robert Pirsig
- The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara
- Ghostrider by Neil Pearl
- The Long Way Round by Ewan McGregor and Charlie Borman
- The Long Way Down by Ewan McGregor and Charlie Borman
- Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon
- Mount Analogue by Arthur von Boennighausen
The last two road trips were originally done in Ford and Volkwagen Vans but can be duplicated on a BMW motorcycle. As an Engineer the first book inspired me to study under Tensin Gyatso the XIV Dali Lama of Tibet. To paraphrase Tensin: " Images in the rear view mirror of a motorcycle are closer than they appear..... ".
Google my name to Learn more......
Arthur von Boennighausen
I just finished rereading it for the nth time and I was just as moved, amazed, and thrilled by the journey (and the good writing) as the first time I read it. I know how the story ends; but I just want to keep on reading and reading and reading.
I rode a bicycle around the world for over two years. Ted Simon captures the feelings of long-distance, long-time traveling like no one else I've ever read (although there are some other great books out there, see below). The thrill of departure, the shock of the new, the wariness of the unsupported traveler in a strange place, the difficulties of language and even alphabet, the fear, the exhaustion, the new-place fatigue, the need to just lie down sometimes, the misery of illness (though he was very lucky there), the numinous joy of the great places and views of the world (sometimes even the most ordinary places), the pleasure in seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting new things, the joy of finding your fellow humans all around the world to be very much like you and enjoyable to meet and know, the incredible education that travel gives you, the powerfully ambivalent feelings of the end of the journey and the return to home-place, never again able to see the world as you once had. The difficult re-birth into the old routines and requirements of your life. His story, especially his description of the end of the journey gives me goosebumps and re-awakens powerful memories of my own journey. As the cliche goes (it's a cliche because it's true) you can never step into the same river twice. The closest you can come is to take someone else to the river and watch them swim.
This book has lost nothing and it never will. It touches the universals of human experience found in travel. We evolved as wandering apes on the plain. It's basic to our bodily fiber.
Very little navel gazing in this book and what little there is is actually worth reading, unlike nearly all travel books I read that were written since Jupiter's Travels.
A true classic. And not the kind you feel obligated to read; but the kind you can't put down. One of the truest books I've ever read. Enjoy.
Some other excellent books about long-distance travel that I highly recommend:
Seven Years in Tibet
Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle
One Man Caravan ("Incredible Journeys" Books)
News from Tartary
Canoeing with the Cree
Sailing Alone Around the World
Two Years Before the Mast (Signet Classics)
Arabian Sands (Penguin Classics)
The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons (Penguin Classics)