Distant Suns

Distant Suns : Adventure in the Vastness of Africa and South America

4.5 (76 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Designed by  , Photographs by  , Edited by  , Edited by 

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Adventure in the vastness of Africa and South America.The 3rd book in the adventure series.'This is a great story of Africa and South America, which reads with the ease of a novel. Distant Suns has it all: love, good guys, bad guys, danger, history, and last but not least, bikes. Distant Suns is a fast, easy, thoroughly enjoyable read.' Web Bike WorldSam Manicom's dynamic third book transports you to Southern Africa and South America in an action-packed three year voyage of discovery. His richly descriptive writing opens up a world where travellers create their own breathtaking but fragile paths.Sam has a gift for describing the vibrancy of people and places, why there were there, and how they fit in. He depicts a thought provoking mix of scrapes and encounters with people, which illuminate some moments of true darkness. You are led effortlessly through other worlds by his enthusiasm and his acute observations on everything from human behaviour to remote
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Product details

  • Paperback | 380 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 31mm | 560g
  • Exeter, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 79 line drawings, 40 colour photos
  • 0955657326
  • 9780955657320
  • 198,949

Review quote

'Drama, action, passion, disaster, and the pure adrenaline buzz of overlanding are all here in Sam Manicom's vibrant third book. He has a gift to describe people and places.' - Overland Magazine; 'Author Manicom and his companion are the real thing.' - RiDE Magazine; 'An epic ride that almost becomes secondary to the events that happen and the very human element of travelling. Always evoking the emotions of others because Sam never forgets to use his five senses in his tales. Leaving you immersed in the sights, sounds, touch, smell and taste of a journey of true human discovery'. - Motorcycle Explorer Magazine; 'Comparisons with Ted Simon's seminal 'Jupiter's Travels' are somewhat inevitable, but Manicom's work does not suffer in the least by comparison to his illustrious forebear. He writes engagingly, and in the classic style of the travel writer, with a marked ability to draw out the salient features of a scene and place them center-stage. The deep red of the African earth glows under Manicom's pen.' - Visor Down; 'A refreshing change.' - Motorcycle Sport and Leisure; 'Distant Suns' is based on what Sam acknowledges are Birgit's wonderfully descriptive diaries. The result is a strangely powerful combination of Sam's already masterful writing with the added perspectives of a travelling companion who is both in-tune and adding a different melody line to the rhythm of their journey together.' - The Road Magazine; 'Sam's descriptive can make the mouth water. Few travel writers can conjure up sights and smells so provocatively as Sam. And with Birgit's day-to-day diaries as the staple diet, he has hit upon a rich recipe for his readers'. - Daily Record - Scotland; 'Sam's descriptions are in Technicolor.' - The Riders Digest; 'It's been a pleasure to read as it makes me feel as if I'm there seeing the people and landscape that Sam describes. He has a gift for painting pictures with words, which is rare amongst long-distance riders... In summary, a damn good read, not to be missed.' - BMW Club Journal; 'Manicom writes in a clear, unpretentious style that offers detailed and colourful descriptions of the sights, smells and flavours of the lands he rides through... the reading flows very well and should inspire those thinking about such a venture'. - City Bike Magazine USA; 'He manages to convey the atmosphere, the soul of the country and the people he meets along the way that really make you feel you are part of the journey.' - Interbike.co.uk; 'A truly involving and enthralling read. Distant Suns doesn't just document the journey, Sam also describes cultural differences, traditions and lifestyles of the various countries they cross, whilst painting a vivid picture of the terrain they cross... A really great read that'll doubtless give you itchy feet...' - Trail Bike Magazine; 'There are plenty of hilarious moments provided by odd situations and even stranger locals. But he has now firmly established himself as a writer and has enjoyed critical acclaim for the kind of artistic prose which literally paints you a vivid scene you can almost smell let alone see.; ... there are plenty of pictures, my favourite being Birgit covered head to toe in mud and it wasn't even bike related. In addition Sam has included his wonderful little hand drawn sketches of everything from scenes to people, objects to animals... His questioning philosophy about the different forms of life he encounters, and that's just the varied humanity they meet along the way, is as strong as ever and there are plenty of historical and interesting facts on many places visited... I have thoroughly enjoyed travelling along with him and more recently Birgit and already have my virtual saddle bags packed .'- Bikers Web; 'I was thoroughly impressed by the duration and length of this journey. This book vividly describes bureaucratically encumbered border crossings, remote-site camping and hostel living, roadside a periodic maintenance, sharing the road with drivers of every skill level and some with no skills at all, and riding on every type of road in every terrain imaginable in extremes of heat and cold. A few of Sam's axioms of motorcycle travel are applicable to us all, even if our front wheel never reaches a foreign shore. 'We fear what we don't know or understand.' 'Every traveller can act as a peacemaker by keeping an open mind and by questioning their own prejudices.' Those who are contemplating extended, unguided travel in Africa or South America could not find a better source to begin their preparation. If like me, you will never make such a journey, read this book if only to enjoy Sam's and Birgit's wonderful motorcycle adventure vicariously.' - BMW Owners News MOA USA; 'Prescribed reading for any motorbike traveller, or indeed, anyone with the desire to explore.' - Motorbike Europe; 'To categorize this book as 'an adventure motorcycle travel book' limits the book's potential appeal to a broader audience. Distant Suns will appeal to the non-rider as well. It proves to be a universally enjoyable way to sample a buffet loaded up with history, geography, human drama, danger and human relationships with the added bonus of cycles for aficionados. This is a great story which reads with the ease of a novel. Distant Suns has it all: love, good guys, bad guys, beauty, danger, history, geography and last but not least-bikes! Distant Suns is a fast, easy and thoroughly enjoyable read.' - WebBikeWorld; 'His writing style is what makes these books so good. If you don't already feel like touring on a motorcycle this book should convince you otherwise.' - Motorbike Search Engine; 'This could easily be Manicom's best book yet! I was riveted right from the very beginning and enjoyed every minute of the 3 year adventure the book details; containing a little bit of everything, from Africa to South America... One of my favorite features of Distant Suns is Sam's historical tidbits which are scattered throughout the travels. Sam frequently dolls out historical information on the country and cultural notes about the people and places he visits. Distant Suns highlights the joys of traveling with others and how, when you are with others, you often do and see things you otherwise may not have done; but also touches on the added stress that comes with traveling in groups - even small groups. I've noticed that people don't think of these things when planning their adventures, but Sam did a good job of balancing the advantages and stresses of group travel. Sam's adventures are never without peril but the attitude he has is what makes him a terrific world traveler. He comes to the conclusion that no matter the problem, there is always someone worse off. Over the course of three years a lot of things can and do go wrong from bike problems to back problems, but Sam doesn't let any of them stop him from completing his journey. Overall this book kept me wanting for more and dreaming of taking off for my own such adventures and as such, makes a wonderful compliment to his previous two adventures. Sam's writing (and riding) has improved over the course of the three novels but when all three are combined (as we believe they should be) they become a glorious documentary of motorcycle world travel; making these a must for anyone who dreams of leaving everything behind to go wherever, as in Steinbeck's immortal words, 'a trip takes us'.' - Canyon Chasers; 'Once again, a superbly entertaining piece of travel writing... Sam just has a way of writing that I love - somehow he manages to convey the humor, the fear, the joy and the sadness in a few words and that is a real skill. I truly feel that I'm travelling with him, sharing the trials and tribulations, meeting people and suffering the anxieties and frustrations. Sam manages to share the trip with the reader in a way that few authors manage... If you have any sense of adventure and enjoy travel on your motorcycle, then this really is a must read, but expect to come away planning your next trip...' - BM Riders Club; 'There is no shortage of drama, action, passion and disaster. Joined on this adventure by his partner, Birgit, the two share their endless fascination with the world and continue the dramatic adventures. This book will dare you to dream of overlanding these two amazing continents.' - Aerostich; 'I couldn't put Sam's book down, as I read, it wasn't so much a case of 'being there' as you wanted to fill your bike tank and 'go there' as soon as possible. ... I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in other cultures, travel and the highs and lows of motorcycling.' - Christian Motorcyclists Association UK; 'So is it any good? Had Sam peaked with his last two books? Not a chance. In fact it's better. Sam's writing style has matured again with this book and his way of describing his surroundings and making you feel part of what he is experiencing really is fantastic. I find that I really connect with Sam when reading the book. I didn't have to but I pretty much read it straight through from start to finish.' - Honda Trail Riders
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About Sam Manicom

Sam Manicom, overlander, traveller and author of 4 motorcycle books, was born in the Congo in Central West Africa where his parents worked. His family returned to the UK when he was 10 and he has been travelling for much of his life.
His first solo trip was age 16 by bicycle into Europe. Many backpacking, hiking, cycling and hitch hiking journeys later, and back in the UK but wanting to do something completely different, Sam learned to ride a motorcycle. Within 3 months of starting to ride, he set off to travel the length of Africa. This 1-year trip turned into an 8-year, 200,000 mile, around the world motorcycle adventure across 55 countries.
Sam's 4 books take the reader travelling through the different sections of the eight-year journey. Africa - 'Into Africa', Asia and the Middle East - 'Under Asian Skies', Southern Africa and South America - 'Distant Suns', and North America - 'Tortillas to Totems'.
He now works full time in the world of adventure travel. He's a keen advocate of motorcycle travel in particular and when not writing his books, magazine articles and conducting multimedia travel presentations within Europe and the USA, he's very much involved with travel related organisations. Sam is a co-host for Adventure Rider Radio RAW.
In 2017 he was awarded the Overland Magazine 'Spirit of Adventure' Award for his contribution to Overlanding.
When he isn't writing or presenting, Sam and his partner Birgit are usually off riding somewhere.
Sam's latest book 'The Moment Collectors' - released in February 2022.
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Rating details

76 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 57% (43)
4 37% (28)
3 7% (5)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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