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On a Hoof and a Prayer

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eBook published by Delta (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
The stampeding true story of one woman’s journey from timorous equestrian novice to wildly whooping cowgirl—a madcap ride through Argentina that will fascinate horse lovers, travelers, and armchair adventurers alike.

As a girl, Polly Evans dreamed about learning to ride—and in her mid-thirties the obsession returned. Determined to finally bite the bullet and saddle up, she set off for Argentina, home of the nomadic gaucho whose spirit still gallops across the plains. In this sprawling country, six-year-olds travel to school on horseback. How difficult could it be?

As she learns to sit astride a horse without falling off and befriends the marvelous creatures around her, Polly leaps into the sights and sounds of Argentina past and present: a hair-raising mystery involving Evita Perón becomes a parable about women, politics, and religion; a tango performance in Buenos Aires an occasion for both sorrow and rejoicing. From wine tasting in the Andes to exploring the legendary Perito Moreno Glacier, from investigating the myth of the gaucho to discovering her Welsh roots in Patagonia, Polly takes us along for an exhilarating, unforgettable ride as she finally lives out her dream—at a trot, a canter, and a gallop.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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The stampeding true story of one woman’s journey from timorous equestrian novice to wildly whooping cowgirl—a madcap ride through Argentina that will fascinate horse lovers, travelers, and armchair adventurers alike.

As a girl, Polly Evans dreamed about learning to ride—and in her mid-thirties the obsession returned. Determined to finally bite the bullet and saddle up, she set off for Argentina, home of the nomadic gaucho whose spirit still gallops across the plains. In this sprawling country, six-year-olds travel to school on horseback. How difficult could it be?

As she learns to sit astride a horse without falling off and befriends the marvelous creatures around her, Polly leaps into the sights and sounds of Argentina past and present: a hair-raising mystery involving Evita Perón becomes a parable about women, politics, and religion; a tango performance in Buenos Aires an occasion for both sorrow and rejoicing. From wine tasting in the Andes to exploring the legendary Perito Moreno Glacier, from investigating the myth of the gaucho to discovering her Welsh roots in Patagonia, Polly takes us along for an exhilarating, unforgettable ride as she finally lives out her dream—at a trot, a canter, and a gallop.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Product Details
eBook (336 pages)
Published: April 29, 2008
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Delta
ISBN: 9780440337768
Other books byPolly Evans
  • It's Not About the Tapas

    It's Not About the Tapas
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    Single, stressed, and living amid the hustle and hurry of modern Hong Kong, Polly Evans had a vision: of mountains and orange groves, matadors and promenades–and of a glorious, hassle-free journey across Spain by bicycle. But like any decent dream, Polly’s came with its own reality: of thighs screaming with pain and goats trying to derail her, of strange local delicacies and overzealous suitors. In fact, like any great traveler, Polly had bitten off more than she could chew–and would delight in every last taste of it. Exploring the country that gave the world flamenco, chocolate, sherry, Franco, and Picasso, Polly takes us from the towering Pyrenees to the vineyards of Jerez de la Frontera, spinning tales of conquistadors and kings, vibrant history and mouthwatering cuisine. In the end, this hilarious, irreverent, always engaging memoir of a journey on two wheels unveils a lot about one modern woman, even more about an utterly fascinating nation, and countless reasons why it’s better when you do it on a bike. From the Trade Paperback edition.

    Fried Eggs with Chopsticks

    Fried Eggs with Chopsticks
    One Woman's Hilarious Adventure into a Country...
    Polly Evans’s itinerary for China was simple: travel by luxurious high-speed train and long-distance bus, glide along the Grand Canal and hike up scenic mountains. Instead, the linguistically impaired adventurer found herself on a primitive sleeper-minibus where sleep was out of the question; perched atop a tiny mule on a remote mountain pass; and attempting a dubious ferry ride down the Yangtze River. Polly was getting to know China in a way she’d never expected–and would never, ever forget. From battling six-year-olds in kung-fu class to discovering Starbucks in Hangzhou, Polly relives her Asian adventure with humor, enthusiasm, frustration, and determination. Whether she’s viewing the embalmed cadaver of Chairman Mao or drinking yak-butter tea, this is Polly’s eye-opening account of a culture torn between stunning modern architecture and often bizarre ancient mysteries…and of her attempt to solve the ultimate gastronomic conundrum: how exactly does one eat a soft-fried egg with chopsticks

    Mad Dogs and an Englishwoman

    Mad Dogs and an Englishwoman
    Travels with Sled Dogs in Canada's Frozen North
    Polly Evans had a mission: to learn everything possible about the howling, tail-wagging world of sled dogs. Fool’s errand? Or the adventure of a lifetime? The intrepid world traveler was about to find out. In the dead of winter, Polly Evans ventured to Canada’s far northwest, where temperatures plunge to minus forty and the sun rises for just a few hours each day. But though she was prepared for the cold, she never anticipated how profoundly she’d be affected by that blissful and austere place. In a pristine landscape patrolled by wolves and caribou, the wannabe musher was soon learning the ropes of arctic dogsledding, careening across the silent tundra with her own team of yapping, leaping canines. Shivering but undaunted, Polly follows the tracks of the legendary Yukon Quest, a dogsledding race more arduous than the Iditarod, witnessing a life-and-death spectacle she’ll never forget. Along the way she makes a stop at the Santa Clause house in North Pole, Alaska (where the post office delivers unstamped mail), and witnesses the astonishing northern lights weaving green and red across the sky. And before the snows melt in spring, Polly will have discovered a deep affection for the loving, mischievous huskies whose courage and enthusiasm escort her through the delights and dangers of living life at the extreme—in one of the most forbidding places on earth.

    Kiwis Might Fly

    Kiwis Might Fly
    Polly Evans was a woman with a mission. Before the traditional New Zealand male hung up his sheep shears for good, Polly wanted to see this vanishing species with her own eyes. Venturing into the land of giant kauri trees and smaller kiwi birds, she explores the country once inhabited by fierce Maori who carved their enemies’ bones into cutlery, bushwhacking pioneers, and gold miners who lit their pipes with banknotes—and comes face-to-face with their surprisingly tame descendants. So what had become of the mighty Kiwi warrior? As Polly tears through the countryside at seventy-five miles an hour, she attempts to solve this mystery while pub-crawling in Hokitika, scaling the Southern Alps, and enduring a hair-raising stay in a mining town where the earth has been known to swallow houses whole. And as she chronicles the thrills and travails of her extraordinary odyssey, Polly’s search for the elusive Kiwi comes full circle—teaching her some hilarious and surprising lessons about motorcycles, modern civilization, and men.

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