Adrian (my fellow Librarian, and husband) and I have recently been planning a long dreamed of trip to Australia. I floated the idea of travelling around Australia in a camper van. After further consideration we came to the realisation that as neither of us are at all good with creepy crawlies, in a country where every creature is trying to kill you, we might have a bit of unexpected drama. We quickly re imagined our itinerary to involve some nice hotels. I suggested that sometime in the future we try a camper van or RV somewhere less dangerous. How hard could it be? I wondered, to be self-sufficient and out in nature in say, Europe or Canada? Which brings us on to this months First book review, its Adventure Caravanning With Dogs : To Hel In A Hound Cart by Jacqueline Lambert and published by Amazon in December 2022
After reading this book, I think I would find enough trials and tribulations, plus excitement, wonder and reward on my continental doorstep. In this edition of Jackie Lambert’s series on adventure caravanning with dogs she charts their journey through France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, and the latter parts of the COVID 19 pandemic. Jackie, her husband Mark, plus their four, yes four Cavapoos (Cavalier Poodle cross) travel in Big Blue the RV towing Kismet the caravan.
I came to this book with interest as I enjoy travel stories. Those I have previously read include Josie Swales Pope’s epic story of her run around the world, Rob Pope’s ( no relation) recreation of Forrest Gump’s multiple crossing of the USA on foot and a story of a bicycle journey along the Silk Road by Kate Harris. Often their authors approach such a book in different ways. Some recite facts, mileage, calorie intake etc., whilst some reflect on the history and politics of the places they visit, others philosophise . Mostly there is a start and an expected end, even with a few diversions on the way.
I suppose the idea of a target was what I missed in this book. However, the whole idea for Jackie and Mark is to stop, savour, and enjoy as much as possible. Unfortunately, Covid 19 thwarted their initial plans and made this account rather like trying to find your way out of a maze and so I didn’t feel the lure of the anticipated endpoint pulling me through. Not a lot they could do about that in a pandemic! And their frustrations in this regard illustrated what many of us felt like in relation to travel without even having to worry about crossing borders and maintaining supplies whilst constantly relocating.
This is English author Jacqueline Lambert ( http://www.worldwidewalkies.blog) sixth book in the Adventure Caravanning With Dogs series. The others are Year 1 – Fur Babies In France (2020), Dog On The Rhine (2019), Dogs ‘N’ Dracula (2019), It Never Rains But It Paws (2022), Pups On The Piste: A Ski Season In Italy (2020). She is a dedicated doggie travel blogger and author. Whose previously rafted, rock-climbed and backpacked around six of the seven continents. A passionate windsurfer and skier, she can fly a plane, has been bitten by a lion, and appeared as a fire eater on Japanese T.V. Now, they’re at large in a self-converted six-wheel army lorry, with Mongolia in their sights. All Jacqueline’s books have received multiple five-star reviews and Dogs ‘n’ Dracula was a finalist in the Romania Insider Awards for Best Promotion of Romania Abroad. Dog on the Rhine has been a
bestseller in Amazon’s German Travel and Rhine Travel categories, and on release, Fur Babies in
France outsold Bill Bryson, albeit for a very short time!
Despite that plotless nature, I enjoyed the book for several reasons. I loved Jackie’s humour. Her jokes, her puns, her satire on government all tickled my funny bone. I also loved the descriptions of the places they visited. Pont du Gard prompted a google search for images and I now have a hope to visit Krakow. I didn’t know there were so many castles around Europe. I love a good castle! Often fretting about the difficulties of travelling with one dog, I now hope to do a campervan tour of Poland and France in the future with whatever pets I own at the time. Jackie made me feel like it would be both possible and fun as the book also provided practical advice.
Now I’ve acclimatised to the jokes and occasional complaints in her books, I look forward to acquainting myself with her other books and touring more of Europe from my armchair. So, whether you’re a dog lover or a travel fan, with a sense of humour, I suggest, you let your fingers do the walking and order a copy online, then grab your fur baby’s leash and take it for a couple of long walks, while you wait for the book to arrive.
Reviewed by Georgina Murphy
This book review is part of a Random Things Blog Tour. To see what the other reviewers thought, visit their blogs listed below. Then if you get a copy, comeback and tell us what you thought. We’d really appreciate the feedback.