Skip to content

Europe @ 2.4 km/h

October 19, 2011

Next week, I’ll be launching Ken Haley’s memoir-cum-travelogue, Europe @ 2.4km/h. Why 2.4km/h? Haley – a Walkley Award winning journalist – became a paraplegic in 1991 and continued seeing the world form the vantage point of his wheelchair.

This is Ken’s second memoir, after Emails from the Edge, and covers his Europe-wide journey from Russia to Portugal via the Arctic. His first stop was St Petersburg – and having just returned from a trip there (see the Travel Section), I’m looking forward to comparing our experiences.

It’s a delightful book – especially funny is his visit to Villers-Bretonneux, where Australian soldiers beat back the German army in April 1918. Ken chatted with the mayor, M. Hubert Lelieur at the local primary school about his 1984 visit to Australia. Wanting a picture of his visit, Ken asked the mayor and one of the youngsters to pose for a photo. As it happens – unknown to Ken – the boy’s father was the communist candidate standing against the conservative mayor in the next municipal election.

The launch will be on Thursday 27 October, starting at 6pm for 6:30-7pm. The venue is Gleebooks in Glebe and they ask for people to RSVP by 20 October at http://www.gleebooks.com.au.

One Comment
  1. skyring permalink
    October 20, 2011 11:41 am

    Ken is a delightful person, and I love his keen eye for quirks and footnotes to history as he trundles around the world. Not to mention the interesting people he runs into. Nor his unique style of travel; he is the only person I know to have climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa – on his bum!

    It was a lucky day for me when he levered himself into my taxi on the Manuka rank in Canberra, because we found that we shared a sense of humour, a love of reading, a delight in travel, and a classical education in Monty Python and the Goons. We have since spent many hours on the road together, sometimes averaging five interstate trips a week. Perhaps the most sustained delight was when I drove him to Melbourne, and he read all of Don Watson’s “American Journeys” to me. My best trip along the Hume ever!

    I look forward to seeing future books on his travels, and I know he’s visiting America soon. I’ve extracted a promise from him to be his chauffeur along Route 66.

    In the meantime, I travel vicariously through his books. I’ve been around the world seven times in the past five years, but Ken Haley’s courage in getting off the beaten track in a wheelchair lifts my eyebrows, my spirits and my cap to him!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: