‘The University of Gravel Roads’ by Rene Cormier

Global lessons from a four-year motorcycle adventure.

The University of Gravel Roads by Rene CormierWith so many travellers taking to the road by bike, Rene’s story of redundancy leading to a four-year trip around the world may not sound like it’s anything out of the ordinary, but that’s the thing about independent travel – no matter what the circumstances that lead to you starting a big trip, that trip is bound to be unique. Rene does a good job of bringing to life the sights and experiences that comprised the syllabus of his University of Gravel Roads education.

‘The University of Gravel Roads’ stands out from the rest, being a full-colour, substantial soft-cover glossy in larger than A4-sized landscape format. Rene’s writing-style is better than many and whether you’re an avid devourer of anything about being on the road or if you are looking for a stand-out present for someone who enjoys travellers tales, then the University of Gravel Roads might be just the thing.

There’s plenty of social and geographic context, his personal insight and descriptive writing helps bring life to the relationships he forms with people along the way, some become travelling companions, all are essential to the unfolding events. Rene’s route is illustrated throughout with relief maps and the choice of photographs, whilst variable, is often excellent.

You can get a good feel for the story and photos in The University of Gravel Roads from Rene’s website has information about the book and samples of the content. Have a look at www.renedian.com for details of Rene’s speaking engagements and guided group tours of Southern Africa.

At around £25 it might seem that the price tag is the thing that stands out most, but this book comes highly recommended, having two notable awards – the 2010 Independent Publisher Bronze Medal for Travel Essay and 2011 DaVinci Eye Award. Overland Magazine likes it too, so there’s an endorsement for you…

Published by Renedian Adventures Ltd, 2010
ISBN 978-0-9813371-1-1
USD$35 available by mail order from www.universityofgravelroads.com