Sunday, March 8, 2009

On a Hoof and a Prayer by Polly Evans

Rating 5 out of 5 stars

At age thirty four Polly Evans decides she wants to learn how to ride. So naturally you fly half way round the world to Argentina. This is the story of Polly’s adventures as she spends two months traversing the wilds of Argentina seeing the sights from Patagonia and Iguazu falls. While learning its fascinating history, and of course leaning to ride a horse or two along the way.

Evans has a relaxed way of writing that was easy to follow. She has a great sense of humor and a wonderful understanding of the history of the country which she blends together to tell her story. I have learned more about Argentina reading this book then I have ever learned in school. There were some really good laugh out loud moments and some amazing characters that Evans met during her travels.
‘Ah don’t worry.’ Yvonne smiled ‘They’re good horses here. But you’ve got to ride them properly. We’ve had guests before who’ve ridden their horses into trees - but it was their own stupid fault. They were just sitting there, doing nothing. You’ve got to really ride the horse.’
Another thing I really enjoyed was at no point did you feel her judging the people of the nation she visited. Also she did activities that are attainable by the average person. Those are my two pet peeves with some travel writers; they can be so condescending about the people and do activities that cost bucket loads of money.

I had a lot of fun reading this book and I will definitely be picking up her other travel books (she has written about cycling around Spain, motor biking round New Zealand and traversing China by any means possible). If you like travel books or are planning a trip to Argentina then I recommend you reading this book.


  1. I hadn't really thought of it before, but you are right. Often times travel memoirs tend to include activities that are not easily accessible to the average person. This sounds like a fun book. Thanks for the great review!

  2. Books and shows are guilty. I watched a travel show here in Oz "Top 100 of things to do before you die" and it was always the most super expensive thing that was number 1. I think their all time number 1 was a 4000 dollar 20 minute plane ride that reproduced weightlessness. Yea Im sure it was amazing but if I had that much money to throw away it would not be on that!

  3. I have the Chinese one in my hot little hand!!!!! The library has lost the Spanish one apparently.

  4. Hi!!! I just discovered your nomination for my blog for the Fabulous Blog award! Thank you! I'm embarrassed I hadn't seen that when you posted it. Thanks again!! :)