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Amber, Furs and Cockleshells: Bike Rides with Pilgrims and Merchants
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Amber, Furs and Cockleshells: Bike Rides with Pilgrims and Merchants

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  44 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Vikings, Romans, Viennese Turks, Native Americans, pilgrims, outlaws, football fans, ballerinas, and saints: these myriad wonderful characters populate the pages of Anne Mustoe's fascinating book as she pedals along three very different, but equally evocative, roads—the Amber Route from the Baltic to the Adriatic, the Santa Fe Trail from the Missouri River to New Mexico, a ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Virgin Books
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Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
This woman's bike journeys along the Amber Route in Europe, the Santa Fe trail in the states, and her ride along El Camino de Santiago were inspirational for me to start planning my future rides. I liked how she prefaced each chapter with interesting quotes from authors who could be related to the particular journey (Marcus Aurelius along the Amber Route, and e.e. cummings in the states etc.). She was great at weaving in history and relevant facts about each journey without getting into unnecess ...more
Tito Quiling, Jr.
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: journal, travel
This is my first time to read Anne Mustoe, and I got my start with an accidental encounter, but prior to actually reading this book, I've seen loads of good reviews of her works, particularly as a travel writer and I say that I should have looked for her works earlier.In Amber, Furs and Cockleshells: Bike Rides with Pilgrims and Merchants (2005), there is a rich recollection of the historical trails that the author passed through, while traveling on a bicycle. This reminded me of Chris Hatherly ...more
Rosario (
Mustoe is a keen cyclist and in Amber, Furs and Cockleshells we get an account of some of her travels. Each of the three items in the title describes one of the trails she describes in this book. First is the Amber Route (quite simply, the route through which amber from the Baltic was traded south towards the Mediterranean). That's about as far as I got. I missed the Santa Fe Trail (across the Western USA), where I assume furs were traded, as well as the route of the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Co ...more
Lexie Conyngham
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure how I would classify this book, which I picked up thinking it was about Vikings. The three bike journeys are slightly artificially tacked together and it is not a travel guide, a poetic excursion, or a how-to book. Yet it definitely has charm - I found the narrator very sympathetic and admired her courage tremendously. Each story drew me in swiftly and I felt I learned a good deal along the way as well as being entertained. It was more like dipping into her diaries than anything els ...more
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Yes, Anne Mustoe! "Leghorn" is the worst English attempt at a place name in the whole of Italy. How hard was it to say "Livorno"?!

This is travel writing at its best. (Or perhaps I should say, the author's observations and opinions would help me form my own travel plans, because her tastes are similar to mine).

She lost me on the United States trip, only because I find that country rather dull. So four stars.

I'm very sorry Mustoe is no longer with us.
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cycling-books
A wonderfully simple easy-reading lovely book. Anne writes separately about three journeys, two across Europe and one across the USA. Each story is charming, funny and informative. An inspirational good read. I suggest you start the book by reading the last page first, the last page talks about her kit or more specifically her bike. This is important information for me.
Oct 17, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
Three trips in one umbrella book: Central Europe, USA and France/Spain. Cycling enthusiasts might be disappointed with the lack of technical details, but it's a good read. I'm looking forward to Mustoe's new adventures in South America due out soon.
Paul Lloyd
Oct 31, 2011 added it
Recommended to Paul by: The Library
So far so good, an enjoyable read and inspiring to read about an older woman taking up the challenge of riding long distances and enjoying life!!

Slow but enjoyable read.
Sally McRogerson
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Not the best of hers, but worth a quick read
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel-writing
I'm not keen on compilations but bought this because I enjoy Anne Mustoe. Quite enjoyable but not satisfying.
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