Cathy Birchall, Bernard Smith
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Cathy Birchall is the first blind person ever to circumnavigate the globe on a motorcycle, covering 26,385 miles, 31 countries and five continents with her companion Bernard on their 18-year-old BMW. Their trip bursts with adventure and courage all the way: from climbing Wayna Picchu in Peru to feeling the traffic pass so close it touches them while riding through Indian cities. Touching the World takes the reader on a journey of extraordinary beauty and interest, full of surprises and written from Birchall's point of view. In a strange place, border guards guide her hand to the familiar touch of her bike; in India, a blind woman exposes heart-wrenching cultural differences, telling the couple, "Men do not want you if you are blind, why would you want to be with a blind woman?" Throughout, their BMW keeps breaking down. In Malaysia, the lights dim and the bike grinds to a halt with a dead battery. In Australia's Nullarbor desert, the motorcycle receives open-heart surgery. Yet somehow, they keep the bike going, often helped by the unwavering kindness of strangers. Touching the World challenges our perceptions of our own boundaries as well as those of others and portrays vividly just what it means to be blind in a way that has never before been attempted. The couple not only achieve their dream but also set a landmark for us all.
"An incredible and inspirational story. Ride, Cathy, ride!" - Ted Simon, author of Jupiter's Travels. "Cathy's courage has been truly inspirational for many blind and partially sighted people across the world." - Stephen Remington, Action for Blind People.
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