Travel in the 80s—Rotary Pay Phones & Paper Maps.


I recently took a side slip in time for the latest addition to my travel memoir series.

Books one and two tell the tales of recent events, travel to Spain during the pandemic in “Mistakes were Made” and back to the USA and back again in “It’s not as bad as it looks.”

For my latest release, “A Fast Bike to Byzantium” we travel all the way back to the year 1986. An era of high inflation, industrial action, a winter of discontent and mutually assured nuclear annihilation. Yeah—agreed, not so very different from 2023 now I come to think about it.

There were some differences though. No smartphones, no phones actually, not unless you counted the ones bolted to walls, with curly cords, rotary dials and actual bells. No internet either, no GPS, so no Google maps. We read maps like actual pirates and a destination was largely unknown until you actually got there and walked around it.

It was in that era that I decided to ride my motorcycle across Europe, through a large part of the USSR controlled Iron Curtain, to reach Asia and Istanbul.

Click on the image below to check it out!

And yes, that is me, twenty years old and lost somewhere in Greece on the ride back from Istanbul.

The story crosses guarded borders, through Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria and countries that have since been broken up by war and discord and reformed anew. Travel back then was exciting and unpredictable. A fresh language and currency at each border, new horizons, indecipherable road signs and a feeling of being continually lost and out of one’s own depth.

Give the story a read, there are dead horses, angry fighting Slavs, terrifying border guards and plenty of laughs.

It’s an amusing and accidentally informative view into times forever lost (thanks be to the Gods) and is free to read on Kindle Unlimited.

Whilst you are here take a look at my other books. You can buy them on your local Amazon store or read them all for free on Kindle Unlimited.


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