Distant Suns: Adventure in the vastness of Africa and South America
Date: April 2016
Duration: 12 hours 36 minutes
Sam Manicom’s dynamic third book transports you to Southern Africa, South and Central America. Sam has a gift for describing the vibrancy of people and places, and you are led effortlessly through three very different parts of the world by his enthusiasm and his acute observations. Human behaviour, drama, passion, disaster, humour, and the pure adrenaline buzz of overlanding such far-flung, wild and exotic places are all here.
This thought provoking mix is brought alive by both his descriptive, which can make the mouth water or the hairs on the back of the neck crawl, and the historical titbits and cultural notes about the people and places he visits. Distant Suns highlights the joys of traveling with others and how, when you are with others, you often do and see things you otherwise may not have done; but also touches on the added stress that comes with traveling in groups – even small groups.
Unlike his two previous books, Sam travels with a companion, Birgit, who you’ll have met during the course of his previous book ‘Under Asian Skies’. In part, Distant Suns is the story of how boy meets girl, both endowed with a mile-wide streak of wanderlust, and both fiercely independent, but learning to live together on the road, and saving each other's lives on occasion. Birgit catches your attention right away with her incredible initiative and capability with her bike. Yet she’d only been riding a bike for 600 miles when they arrived in Kenya at the beginning of this journey.
Sam and Birgit’s adventures are never without peril, but the attitude they have is what makes them terrific world travellers. Over the course of three years a lot of things can and do go wrong, but Sam and Birgit don’t let any of them stop them from completing their journey. When Paul Theroux wrote, “Take the leap. Go as far as you can. Try staying out of touch. Become a stranger in a strange land,” he could have been describing Distant Suns.