In their first book, The Road That Has No End, Tim and Cindie Travis left their normal lives in Prescott, Arizona and took off to travel around the world on their bicycles. Their second book, Down The Road In South America: A Bicycle Tour through Poverty, Paradise, and the Places in Between, is the story of their travels through the South American countries of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile.
Unlike their first book, however, which is largely about their struggle to adapt to their new nomadic lifestyle, Down The Road In South America, is a story more about what it was like for this traveling couple to truly LIVE on the road for an extended period of time.
What I found most interesting about the couple’s first book is how they saved up, worked hard, and planned out their epic dive into nomadic living, as this is a lifestyle choice few people will likely ever make.
Because they had already been on the road for months by the time they even started writing about the happenings inside Down The Road In South America, the book lacks any of that “hit the road and ditch our normal lives” appeal. Instead, it’s an ordinary travel book about two cyclists roaming about in numerous South American countries.
For me, the book as a whole was good, but there was nothing spectacular about it. Tim falls and injures his knee. The couple gets robbed. And both cyclists suffer with diarrhea and fatigue.
The thing about traveling is that, often times, all of the exciting and memorable moments happen at the beginning. After a while, even the most seemingly epic tales, places and people tend to become ordinary and routine.
And that, I fear, is what happened with Tim and Cindie’s second book. The best part of their story (breaking away from their lives in Arizona) was recorded in The Road That Has No End and this part of their advnture makes for a thrilling read. But once they’re on the road, the Travis’ story is no different than anyone else traveling through South America (despite the fact that they are on bicycles instead of getting about by plane, bus or automobile).
Overall, Down The Road In South America is a great record of the Travis’ adventures and it might make for a educational read for someone wishing to following a similar route through South America. But if you’re looking for a book that leaves you with a memorable lasting impression of South America, it’s people, and the places that make the continent so spectacular, then this probably isn’t it.
My Overall Rating: 6 Out of 10
More information on Tim and Cindie Travis and their bicycle touring adventures can be found at www.downtheroad.org