Blame it on the Czar !
If Harry de Windt, that dashing 19th
century Long Rider, had been allowed to follow his original plan, he would
have galloped to India via the Central Asian satraps of His Imperial Russian
Highness. When suspicious St. Petersburg put a halt to Harry’s Russian
route, the intrepid equestrian explorer determined to reach his goal via the
Shah’s empire instead.
What followed was a ride to remember as
Harry de Windt, lecturer, author, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
and equestrian explorer par excellence, saddled up in 1890 and set off to
examine the forgotten corners of Persia and Baluchistan.
The resultant journey was literally one for
the record books as the redoubtable Harry proved time and again that he
wasn’t going to be put off by a few minor inconveniences such as the
weather, which ranged from an arctic storm in Persia that froze his cigar to
his lips, to a howling desert wind in Baluchistan with temperatures nearing
120 degrees Fahrenheit!
Neither was handsome Harry bothered by the
less than ideal accommodations he discovered.
“The floor was crawling with vermin but in
Persia one must not be particular,” he casually observed.
Nor was our author overly concerned about
his physical safety, dismissing the fact that the last foreign traveler who
attempted this route had been “waylaid, robbed, tied to a tree, and left to
Though it reads like a mounted Jules Verne
novel, “A Ride to India” is replete with the author’s scientific
observations and appendices, including details from his exact route, “road
overgrown, much camel thorn,” to Harry’s “Table of Languages in Baluchistan.”
Part science, all
adventure, “A Ride to India” takes the reader for a canter across the
Persian Empire of a romantic and bygone age.
Barnes & Noble