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The rugged road (Theresa Wallach)

The rugged road
Theresa Wallach

In 1935 Theresa Wallach, the first International Vice-President of the Women’s International Motorcycle Association, and her friend Florence Blenkiron, drove a motorcycle with a sidecar from London, across the length of Africa, including the Sahara desert, to Cape Town. The Rugged Road tells the story of this unprecedented journey, an epic ride that would destroy even the most modern of motorcycles. In addition to enduring heat, rain, and sand drifts, the women at one point had to rebuild the entire engine after it broke down.

London to Cape Town overland by Panther and sidecar, pulling a trailer. No roads, no backup - just straight across the Sahara through equatorial Africa, and South to the Cape - in 1935, without even a compass! This is quite simply the most incredible Panther journey ever! Undeterred by nomads, sand drifts, heat, rain, rivers, breakdowns and politics, Theresa Wallach and Florence Blenkiron completed a journey that might well defeat a modern bike. From oasis to oasis arguing with the French Foreign Legion for permission to continue, and winning; fashioning a tow hitch for the trailer when it broke in the desert; rebuilding the entire engine from scratch in Agadez; meeting gorillas, lions and snakes on the road, staying in African villages and meeting an amazing variety of friendly and helpful people. Not to mention having an accident in Tanganyika (Tanzania) with the only car seen on the road for days!


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