‘Hit the Road, Jac!’ – seven years, twenty countries, no plan.
14th September 2017
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Jacqui Furneaux’s debut book about her motorcycle adventures is for anyone still holding back from taking a risk and pursuing their dreams.

Bristol-based motorcycle traveller, Jacqui Furneaux, has launched her first book Hit the Road, Jac!, which chronicles her motorcycle travels across Asia, Australasia and The Americas between 2000 and 2007. After 12 months’ backpacking following the breakdown of her marriage, 50 year-old Jacqui switched to two-wheel transport care of a Royal Enfield 500cc Bullet. She travelled both solo and with company, covering 42,000 miles and 20 countries in seven years.

Hit the Road, Jac!, published in paperback by Shuvvy Press and available now on Amazon for £9.99, has been described as an inspiring personal odyssey and a manual for self-discovery; the story of a big trip which bounces along, full of life. Her writing style is punchy, candid and involving; her style of travel unhurried, optimistic and spontaneous. TV presenter Suzi Perry comments that the book “makes you think about the pleasures of nature and simplicity, about taking the time to just stand and breathe life in.”

Jacqui encountered much on her travels, including: a brush with the Amarnath Yatra massacre in Kashmir, getting knocked off her bike and breaking her leg in the mountainous Hindu Kush area in northern Pakistan and feeling she needed to sleep with a knife under her pillow while alone on a voyage through the Straits of Malacca with an unstable skipper.

Jacqui’s travels were basic and opportunistic and the book tells of nights spent in police stations, brothels, toilets, up trees and much of the time, on the ground by the side of the motorbike. Other stories include teaching English to a Rwandan princess in Islamabad, helping a victim of a shooting, logging timber in New Zealand, working as a hospice nurse, managing an Aboriginal internet café and living with Pakistani comedians.

Hit the Road, Jac! covers the following countries: India, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Australia, New Zealand, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, United States and Canada.

“I hope that Hit the Road, Jac! appeals to everyone. It’s not meant to be a travel guide or something just for motorcycle fanatics. Although there is a love interest, it’s no Shirley Valentine story either. I’ve been very lucky to be able to travel in my own way – slightly aimless but also wanting to get involved and meet local people wherever I went, actively avoiding main roads and tourist traps. People have found my travels inspiring over the years, to the point where I had to have an answer to when I was going to write the book. I would like Hit the Road, Jac! to help dispel some myths and fears about people from other cultures. The Pakistanis I met and lived amongst were more generous and hospitable than I found anywhere else in the world.”

Jacqui (67) is based in central Bristol where she writes articles for motorcycle travel magazines, gives talks and continues to embark on somewhat shorter motorcycle adventures around Europe. She has two daughters and two grandchildren.

Image – Hit the Road, Jac!’ – Seven years, twenty countries, no plan, chronicles Jacqui Furneaux’s travels on her Royal Enfield 500cc Bullet. She travelled both solo and with company, covering 42,000 miles and 20 countries in seven years.

Image – Pictured recently, Jacqui (67) is based in central Bristol where she writes articles for motorcycle travel magazines, gives talks and continues to embark on somewhat shorter motorcycle adventures around Europe. She has two daughters and two grandchildren.

Image – Jacqui Furneaux

Image – Jacqui helping the official mechanics at a workshop in Amritsar.

Image – No tarmac. No helmet. No worries! Karakoram Highway, Pakistan.

Image – Moody and sinister skies in Colombia.