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Listen to Excess Baggage for

29 September 2007

John McCarthy
meet human rights campaigner and author Zerbanoo Gifford to talk about her latest book Confessions to a Serial Womaniser – a collection of interviews with remarkable women from all over the world who have transformed their lives or the lives of others through their work, courage and compassion.

John is also joined by two travellers who have made journeys across the world’s largest continent.  Sam Manicom rode his motorbike from Indonesia to Germany, having first taken in Africa and Australia in a trip that lasted eight years and Tim Cope took three years to ride from Mongolia to Hungary on horseback following the route taken by Genghis Khan and his successors in the early 13th century.

Presented by John McCarthy

Rakhiv to Meszgori: traversing polonino life in the high Carpathians (19/6/07)

Photo: Tim and Tigon (Rakhiv to Meszgori: life in the high Carpathians - 19/6/07)

This week’s guests:

Zerbanoo Gifford is a human rights campaigner and author. Zerbanoo’s Zoroastrians Iranian family emigrated to India. She came to live in England at the age of three and half. She is now the Founder Director of the ASHA Foundation which supports philanthropy and interfaith and intercultural understanding worldwide.

In 2004 Zerbanoo was awarded a NESTA (National Endowment of Science Technology and Arts) Fellowship . Zerbanoo has authored numerous books on India and on slavery. While researching her latest one, Confessions to a Serial Womaniser, she travelled to sixty different countries to meet and document the lives of inspirational women as diverse as politicians, charity workers, scientists, actresses, business women, journalists, doctors, religious leaders, lawyers, teachers, academics, writers, publishers. They discussed motherhood, their fathers and husbands, hardships in life, success and failure, God and spiritual matters.

Confessions to a Serial Womaniser: Secrets of the World's Inspirational Women
Publisher: Pardoe Blacker Publishing
 ISBN-10: 1897739311
ISBN-13: 978-1897739310

Tim Cope is from Victoria Australia. As a trained Arctic guide he travelled to Finland and northern Russia which is where he was first attracted to the central region of Asia. Since then he has ridden a bicycle for 10,000km across Russia and Mongolia (1999-2000), and rowed a boat up the River Lena from Lake Baikal to the Arctic (2001).

Tim was curious about the route that Genghis Khan and the Mongol hordes followed. He decided to retrace it on horseback with only his dog as companion. His journey took him through Mongolia, from Kazakhstan to Russia, to the Crimea in Ukraine; in the third spring of the journey in 2007, Tim crossed the Carpathians and ended his journey in Hungary.

In 2006 Tim was named Geographic Adventurer of the Year and flew back to Australia to collect his award. 

Sam Manicom was born in the Belgian Congo where his parents were teachers. They left when it became Zaire and returned to the UK. At the age of 22 Sam spent three years backpacking and hitching round Europe, India and Australia. In the early nineties in good health, with no family commitments and no longer interested in his job, he resolved to motor cycle from Cape Town to Cairo down the eastern side of Africa. After recovering from a serious accident he decided to continue his shipped his bike to Australia.

He came back to Europe via Indonesia and Malaysia to India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Germany. The journey took over eight years and was more than 200,000 miles.

For Sam the advantages of the bike are the direct experience of the weather and landscape. It’s also a good icebreaker for talking to people and there’s no need to carry a rucksack. The low points of Sam’s journey were a couple of road accidents in Namibia and Australia and being arrested in Khartoum for taking pictures and thrown in jail in Uganda.

Under Asian Skies
Publisher: Sam Manicom
ISBN-10: 095565730X
ISBN-13: 978-0955657306

Guildford Travel Club presents Sam Manicom ‘Into Africa’
(16 October 2007)

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John McCarthy John McCarthy is a widely travelled journalist and presenter with a particular interest in the Middle East.
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