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Summary

On October 6, 1973, Ted Simon knew there was no going back. He loaded up his 500cc Triumph Tiger in the pouring rain and said good-bye to London.

Over four years he rode 64,000 miles round the world. Breakdowns, revolutions, war, a spell in prison, and a Californian commune were all part of his experience, which was colored variously by utter despair and unimaginable joy. He was treated as a spy, a god, a welcome stranger, and a curiosity. The extraordinary trip became a journey into his own soul, and for many others - including the bikers Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor - it is a pure inspiration. Rupert Degas, "the most versatile of narrators" (The Times), captures all the thrills and spills of Simon's experience and the timeless charm.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©1979 Ted Simon (P)2015 Naxos AudioBooks

Critic reviews

"[Narrator Rupert] Degas's accents for the various people Simon encounters add an extra dimension to the work, creating a vivid listening experience." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Jupiter's Travels

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Makes me want to travel further.

As a biker I've been meaning to read this for a while. I was expecting a great tale about how Ted's bike took on the world and how he managed to keep it going. I was expecting some great riding inspiration and motivation to just get out there and ride as far as you can.
Well, I got all of this and a hell of a lot more. The book was a splendid cultural analysis of Africa, South America, Australia and Asia in the mid 1970's. I loved how Ted just kept on going and how he managed to continually repair and rebuild his bike. I wasn't expecting Ted to have spent some time in jail as a suspected spy and I was surprised that he continued riding after that.
So, what am I left with? I'm left feeling that I've only just started exploring the world and I really need to get out there more. Would I be brave enough to go to all the placed Ted visited? No I wouldn't. I hope I can get to visit some of them though. I also hope that one day I can spot his Ted's bike in a museum somewhere.

10 people found this helpful

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A must read for any traveller

Such rich writing that made me feel like I was in the 500cc Triumph. Having done some traveling myself, the stories and particularly the thoughts resonated with me in a wonderful way.

4 people found this helpful

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An brilliant book held me enthralled for hours.

One of the most enthralling books of travel I have ever heard. I felt as if I was with the author throughout his journey. Exquisitely read, which fully enhanced the wonderfully detailed story.

4 people found this helpful

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A wonderful ride.

A thrilling and fascinating journey, full of great observations, and thoughtful introspection. Brilliantly narrated too.

4 people found this helpful

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great book with superb narration

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. as a motorcyclist it is very inspiring and makes me want to emulate Ted's travels.
Rupert Degas is absolutely brilliant in his narration and draws you into the story. you really forget it is not actually Ted speaking 😉

3 people found this helpful

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Great Story Telling

Ted made a great journey, not a unique journey, but few can bring the journey to life the way he has in this book. Very enjoyable listen.

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Simply wonderful

Not overwritten, inspiring and incite full story, you don’t need to be overly interested in motorbikes, it’s transcends hobby interests, it’s a very human and surprisingly undated story of human endeavour . Wonderful

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent

I'm a biker. With dreams of riding around the world (it'll probably never happen!) but I live to hear about others adventures. This is not a story of a motorbike journey around the world. It is about a mans journey around the world, He just happens to have chosen a motorbike as his form of transport.
Very well written, and very well read.
I'll be listening to it again I'm sure.

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent listen

Found it an interesting recollection of the journey trip was made in the 70s which made it an even more remarkable achievement with todays gps and communication advances it would not have many of the interesting situations faced

6 people found this helpful

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An incredible story.

Any motorcycle travellers life is incomplete without reading this book.
I've met Ted.
He is a true gentleman.

3 people found this helpful

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  • john
  • 08-10-15

It's a lot more than a story, a lot more!

I have read many travel books, but Ted Simon is the best. I simply loved it. I was in a state of shock and awe just listening to the best English writing I have ever come across. Ted you are fantastic!!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Adam
  • 30-08-16

The least adventurous adventure book

I typically love adventure travel books, but this one disappointed me. There were many times were the book grew dull and difficult to get through. Ted Simon spends more time writing about his deep thoughts than he does describing the journey and the places he visits. I loved long way down and long way round, which were inspired by Jupiters travels, because they were descriptive and made you feel like you were along for the ride. Ted Simon spends too much time with his own self contemplation and often comes off as whiny and wastes time describing things I don't care about. By the twentieth time he described a women's breasts, I started really losing interest. The performance though is spot on and very well done. I recommend Sam Mannicom's "Into Africa" as a better, more captivating alternative to this book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 01-10-18

Meh, it was not what I anticipated

Not at all what I was expecting. The book is more of a lifestyle diary than a Long Way Round tale about the difficulties of traveling on a motorcycle. Too much about the ancillary parties and after-hours action than the riding, the bike and the difficulties. It's probably right up the alley for some, but it just was not my cup of tea.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bill
  • 30-08-16

When it was actually cool.

I first ran across this book in 2001, when I work at a bookstore that catered to Travelers.
This edition had Ted on his battered Triumph.
"Four Years Around the World on a Triumph"

I never picked it up to read but I often found myself staring at the cover wishing it was me. I knew at some point in my life I would read this book with the hopes of relating it to my own adventures...more importantly my own life.

15 years later, in the form of an MP3, that time came. Mr. Simon is a master of vivid and heartfelt description. His monumental journey has finally become a part of my imagination.

Thank you Jupiter.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 13-10-15

Eloquently Written ~ Exquisitely Told

"In spite of wars and tourism and pictures by satellite, the world is just the same size it ever was. It is awesome to think how much of it I will never see. It is no trick to go round the world these days; you can pay a lot of money and fly round it nonstop in less than forty eight hours, but to know it, to smell it and feel it between your toes you have to crawl. There is no other way. Not flying, not floating. You have to stay on the ground and swallow the bugs as you go."
YES!!! If you've ever taken a road trip on a motorcycle, or have ever dreamt of doing so, you will absolutely love this book. Ted Simon has provided a written account in prose, using eloquent yet playful vocabulary. Rupert Degas does a wonderful job narrating Ted's work.
Ted's journey is so descriptive that a detailed picture forms in the mind, providing a transcendent experience.
I loved this book, and would highly recommend it for anyone interested in exotic journeys.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica
  • 14-10-16

Enjoyable

Two quotes from the book that I loved, "Was it an escape I was trying to turn into legend?" and, "Stifled by the boredom of it but with nothing useful to say to anyone."
There were times during this book that I was lost in the sensationalism and the colorful writing style. Traveling around the world alone for 4 years is an interesting topic and this book is worth a listen. I will admit it felt put on at times, not like a journal of the journey but like a novel but that did not detract from my enjoyment.

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  • John Carnes
  • 03-03-16

A timeless and unexpected treasure.

Having recently acquired a Triumph 800XCC, I've been seeking a book that would give me an introduction to what a potential journey-big or small might look like.
I must admit, I purposely avoided this book initially as I felt that surely, it would be dated. Without question, it is not. This book will stoke the inner fire of adventure for any motorcyclist.
It reenforces the dying concept of human interaction and the willingness to help and give to others without seeking anything in return.
I would highly recommend the audio version as the English accent of the narrator only adds validity to the story and it is quite easy and appealing to imagine it is the voice of Ted Simon.

1 person found this helpful

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  • James
  • 02-10-21

excellent narration.

The quality of the writing speaks for itself and has been described elsewhere. This is a seminal work if moto-travelogue.

The narrator expresses unique skill in use of accents and affectation to lend a theatrical quality that enhances the story and is never overdone. I highly recommend this audio book even if you have read the print version.

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  • George R. Cahlik
  • 22-09-21

The best audio book performance, best book

I first read this in print 15 or so years ago. the performance is so good that I actually think that it makes the prose much more vivid. it's incredible.

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  • J. Lee Ehrlich
  • 16-08-21

Bona fide motorcycle adventure story

This is the best motorcycle adventure story I've come across. It follows Simon's ride by telling his daily observations and reflections. The story is not like the many modern books, blogs, and videos about adventure motorcycling because it omits focus on gear, sites, and cliches modern adventure tourists think are interesting. Jupiter's Travels reminds me of the few good long rides I've done and may do the same for you. If you haven't had any good long rides yet, this book may inspire you to seek one.