The inspiring story of an ordinary guy who achieved two great goals that others had told him were impossible - first by setting a record for the longest automobile journey ever made around the world -- in the course of which he blasted his way out of minefields, survived a breakdown atop the Peak of Death, and came within seconds of being lynched in Pakistan. After that - although it took him 47 more years - he set another record by going to every country on Earth. He achieved this by surviving riots, revolutions, voodoo priests, pickpockets, and Cape buffalo. He survived every kind of earthquake, cyclone, tsunami, volcanic eruption, snowstorm, and sandstorm that Nature threw at him - and overcame attacks by crocodiles, hippos, anacondas, giant leeches, and flying crabs.
Exploring the most extraordinary, off-grid, offbeat places on the planet, Alastair Bonnett's tour of the planet's most unlikely micro-nations, moving villages, secret cities, and no man's lands shows us the modern world from surprising new vantage points.
Central Asia has long stood at the crossroads of history. It was the staging ground for the armies of the Mongol Empire, for the nineteenth-century struggle between the Russian and British empires, and for the NATO campaign in Afghanistan. Today, multinationals and nations compete for the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea and for control of the pipelines. Yet 'Stanland' is still, to many, a terra incognita, a geographical blank.The author takes readers along with him on his encounters with the people, landscapes, and customs of the diverse countries--Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan--he has come to love. He talks with teachers, students, politicians, environmental activists, bloggers, cab drivers, merchants, Peace Corps volunteers, and more.