“To Egypt... on a Bantam! Are you joking?” This was the response to author Gordon May’s idea to ride one of BSA’s diminutive 2-stroke motorcycles, a modified 1952 D1 called Peggy, to the land of the Pharaohs. Not to be discouraged, he nevertheless set off on his quest.
The first attempt at the ride, which took them across the Swiss Alps, ended prematurely in north eastern Italy due to an engine failure. However, Gordon recovered his spirits, set about rebuilding the engine and six months later, having learned from his mistakes, set off once more.
This time, crossing through Tunisia and Libya, the ride was a success and after many challenges, Gordon and Peggy jubilantly made it to The Pyramids in Cairo. The return trip, via Jordan and Syria, was also not without its tests, but he was able to safely return the Bantam to the UK.
As well as illustrating the depth of human kindness and hospitality often shown to visitors in the countries en route, including Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Jordan, Overland To Egypt also gives a rare insight into this region just months before the tumultuous changes which occurred as a result of the Arab Spring and the 2011 war in Libya.