The Travels of the Lincot Man

Lonely Planet 2010 Short Story Winner
Tales of the Unexpected
200 Word Limit    $500 Prize

'Baksheesh? 'Baksheesh?' begged the cripple outside the barred jail window. No problem - he had been supplying us sustenance these last two days.
How did I find myself in a North African police lockup? I had been hitchhiking north of the Sahara - Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia - when two bedraggled and desperate looking hippies in a
Holy-Mary-blue VW van pulled over and gave me a ride. That night I slept outside rather than brave the volatile fug of hashish and farts inside the van.
Near Bizerte, a daft soldier, lookin' to meet the Babyjesus or Allah, came pedalling furiously at us and left a dent the shape of his head on the side of our van. As we swerved to avoid him, the door slid open and our two dozen wine bottles full of Sahara survival water smashed all over the road.
A policeman arrived, and though we tried to assure him we were not drunk, he locked us up. Lucky he never found the hippies' hash stashed all over the van!
That bent little man with the crutch kept us fed, and we were very happy to pay him (and later the policeman)
baksheesh as he passed food and drink through the bars of that concrete oven of a cell.
acific islands of Rapa Nui and New Caledonia.

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When I first stepped out of the warmth and safety of my mother's kitchen on the stormy south coast of Ireland, there was no such tag as 'Backpacker'. I left home with just a few pounds in my pocket, my passport, and the naiveté of innocent curiosity. Like a blank slate, I was ready to be written on as I hitchhiked away across the world.

There are many and varied stories here: tales from the Highlands, the long and lonely roads through Europe, hitchhiking southeast to the Greek Islands, and dangerous times in the Middle East and North Africa. There are accounts of two overland journeys from Ireland to Australia - the first via the east thru Afghanistan, India and Southeast Asia, the second via the Americas and the Pacific Islands. The book begins with the travels of the
Lincot Man in outback Australia, sprinkled with accounts of early life in Ireland. There are more recent tales of rough travel through the islands of Indonesia and the Philippines - travelling with the locals on slow trains, terrible buses, and cockroach infested boats - to places 'where no human hand ever set foot!'

There are several different aspects and colours to this book, humour mixed with a bit of
gravitas, and I hope you will travel with me to the end--370 pages and thousands of miles of roads. If you've never read a book, ask your beloved to read it to you--I promise you more laughs than tears.
Both the eBook and Paperback contain maps and photos.