The Last Overland: 21,000 km, 23 Countries and One Very Old Land Rover (Paperback)Alex Bescoby (author)
SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDWARD STANFORD TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2023
* NOW A MAJOR DOCUMENTARY SERIES ON ALL 4 *
‘This is a fabulous adventure – reckless, insanely ambitious and filled with sweat, tears and laughter ... irresistible reading.’ Joanna Lumley
‘Alex Bescoby weaves travel, adventure, history and the contemporary together like no one else. His great gift is to take us on a journey through past and present.' Dan Snow
‘A journey that I don’t think could be made again today’. It was this comment by Sir David Attenborough on the fiftieth anniversary of the iconic First Overland expedition that became an irresistible challenge for filmmaker and adventurer Alex Bescoby.
In 1955, Attenborough, then a young TV producer, was approached by six recent university graduates determined to drive the entire length of ‘Eurasia’, from London to Singapore. It was the unclimbed Everest of motoring – many had tried, none had succeeded. Sensing this time might be different, Attenborough gave the expedition enough film reel to cover their attempt. The 19,000-mile journey completed by Tim Slessor and the team captivated a nation emerging from postwar austerity. Tim’s book, The First Overland, soon became the bible of the overlanding religion.
Inspired by the First Overland, Alex made contact with now eighty-six-year-old Tim and together they planned an epic recreation of the original trip, this time from Singapore to London. Their goal was to complete the legendary journey started more than sixty years ago in the original Land Rover. In awe of the unstoppable Tim, and haunted by his own grandfather’s declining health, Alex and his team soon find themselves battling rough roads, breakdowns and Oxford’s constantly leaky roof to discover a world changed for the better – and worse – since the first expedition.
Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books Ltd
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 300 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 22 mm
Bescoby is a terrific travelling companion, full of insight, sharp observation and enviable sangfroid. - Michael Wood
Elegant, wry, indomitable, self-deprecating – a splendid, sparkling addition to expeditions and to travel writing. - Rory Stewart
The Last Overland is an epic overland journey, epitomising the spirit of the great modern adventure. - Levison Wood
Alex Bescoby weaves travel, adventure, history and the contemporary together like no one else. His great gift is to take us on a journey through past and present. By its end we have learned more about the world and ourselves - Dan Snow
The First Overland was an amazing journey, underlining the fact that adventure is always out there for anybody who seeks it. This epic recreation of that trip shows us that whether you’re the first or the thousandth, the view from the mountaintop is just as incredible. I know that Alex’s Last Overland expedition will inspire other intrepid explorers to ensure that this is definitely not the last – there is always more to see and explore - Tony Wheeler, co-founder of Lonely Planet
This is a fabulous adventure – reckless, insanely ambitious and filled with sweat, tears and laughter ... irresistible reading. An immense challenge and a thrilling true story - Joanna Lumley
A proper adventure story – a journey halfway around the world with all the scrapes, hiccups, wonderment and exhilaration to be expected from an epic journey in an old Land Rover with a leaky roof. Told with an infectious enthusiasm, passion and compelling verve, this is the story of an overland journey that says much about our ongoing relationship with the planet on which we live, but also the passage of time and an undimmed thirst for adventure. - James Holland
Not content to just pay homage to a legendary journey, Alex Bescoby must drive the very Land Rover, complete with GIN and TONIC Jerry cans, that made the trip in 1955. Spoiler alert: nothing goes to plan. The Last Overland is steered by an indomitable spirit through time, friendships, obsession, doubt and perpetual motion. A book not only for adventurous hearts who want to seize life, but for those who want to interrogate what it is to be human. - Keggie Carew
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