is the website of Open Road Publishers, a company owned by Russell and Penny Jennings, authors of the Travel Planner's Weather Guide, Around the World in Sandals and Timbuktu, where are you?

Sample Story - Timbuktu, where are you?


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We hope the following excerpts from Timbuktu, where are you? will whet your appetite for more.




You can only get there by horse


A gallop from Giza to Saqqara, February 1969
See map, page 12, B3

Clouds of dust billowed from the stony Egyptian desert as the four white Arab stallions surged forward and broke into a gallop. For a moment I was in the lead; then, from my left and right the other horses hurtled past. The ground below me was a blur as I bounced in the saddle. I felt exhilarated and at the same time terrified. I leaned forward, the reins in my hands, and grasped the saddle to stop myself from crashing to the ground. The horses continued their breakneck speed. Hot wind blasted my face. Froth from my horse’s mouth spattered back along its head and dark patches of sweat showed on its neck. The earth rumbled beneath the pounding hooves.
Just half-an-hour earlier I had been standing with two companions, Colin and Chuck, on the plateau of Giza, near Cairo, awestruck by the massive size of the famous pyramids. My thoughts were interrupted by a local man hurrying towards us from a horse corral. He wore khaki-coloured trousers and a once-white shirt that whiffed of a horse barn.
“My name is Ahmed,” he said, displaying a salesman’s grin from ear to ear. “I rent horses.”
Quick to reply was Colin, a lanky man with long dark locks that framed his oval face. He was used to riding horses, having been raised on a sheep station in Australia.