True Travel Tales

A Fine Line Press Collection

I am simply out of this world, even over the moon and on another planet, being able to put this book together, totally thanks to over 25 great contributors telling about their travel experiences in about 40 strange and wonderful tales beautifully told. Travel with them to Japan, Greece, Scotland, India, California, Samoa, Tibet, Bali, England, San Francisco, Quebec, Borneo, New Zealand, Southern Tanzania, Laos, Australia, Hawaii, Paris and Peru.

Graham Bathgate, Kerikeri, New Zealand, May, 2023

Examples of the fine writing in “True Travel Tales”:

Some say that when we travel we never manage to escape our consciousness, that we still remain within our minds. But our minds are too various and complicated to be so simply reduced. David Gilbey – “I want it all!”

The next day I headed for home in northern Indiana, where I found a stack of letters from Edinburgh University. Going through them by date of arrival at my home was a gripping experience. It was like reading a suspense story on which my future depended. Wendy Jones Nakanishi – By Thumb, Plane, Hope and Prayer.

When she returned, she kneeled on the tatami mat floor and pulled a large knife from her sleeve. She held the knife with both arms outstretched so that the blade was almost touching her stomach. If the foreigner did not leave her home immediately, she said she would commit suicide!
Allan Murphy – Himeji Romance.

He tells me he grew up in Virginia, and I tell him I have come up on the train from Williamsburg. He doesn’t ask me why I’m waiting in Times Square with a bicycle at two in the morning. Perhaps there is no such thing as strange in the nadir of this un-dark city night.
Anna Welch – Times Square 2.00 a.m.

Travel by bike is a visceral experience in any environment, but in a city, such as Paris, where every turning reveals a new vista of a famous monument, a bustling street market or an irresistible café for an espresso or something stronger, it’s an experience not to be missed.
Denis Pyatt – Paree En Vélo.

“Je suis inquiète. J’ai perdu mon mari,” I burst out, unable to conceal my anxiety. “I am worried, I have lost my husband.” It was the truth. A mischievous little smile played around his lips, as he said, “Quelle bonne chance!”
Samarpan Beth Lindsay – “Toulouse” a Husband!

“Manager Man” wheeled Aggie out into this maelstrom and tried to announce her arrival, but he couldn’t be heard over the noise of so many guests. Around 170 international travellers, talking loudly amongst themselves and shouting abuse at the receptionists and anybody else who would listen, were not aware that some once-famous, but now old and corpse-like figure, slumped and incoherent in a wheelchair, had been rolled into their presence.
Tom Bell – Aggie Grey’s.


True Travel Tales Photo Gallery


(“Paree En Vélo” P144)


a) Allan Murphy on the rooftop of the Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet (1986)

(“Dalai Lama Badge” P19)

b) Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet. 



a) Catharine and Four Children, Port Dixon, Malaysia, 1971.

(“I Remember Where You Bought that Hair-Slide” P24)

b) With family in Botanical Gardens, Singapore, Autumn, 1971 before trip to Indonesia.



a) The Bucket Shower     (“Joseph and the Bucket Shower” P81)

b) Roasted Rat at Luang Prabang market.   (“Roasted Rat Anyone?” P8)

Anna Welch and fully loaded bicycle en route to NYC, 2019.

(“Times Square, 2.00 a.m.” P72)

a) Suzanne Kamata and her daughter after the open-door helicopter ride. (“By Helicopter in Hawaii” P56)

b) Oahu farmlands as seen from the helicopter.

Yukiko Miller with son, James Jr and husband, Jim about 1955 – ’56.

(“Survivor” P21)


a) Margaret Wilkes in Kakadu, Australia, 1977. (“South Alligator River” P50)

b) Margaret and Paul in Nepal, 2001. (“The Value of Slow Trekking” P106)


a)  Aggie Grey in front of her hotel. (“Aggie Grey’s” P10)

b) Fruit & Vegetable Market near Aggie Grey’s.

Overnight parking at a roadside layby. (“Meekathara – Expectations Far from Reality” P94


(“Paree En Hiver” P3)

Billy gazing towards far horizon.
(“Beginner’s Luck” P46,
“A Cliffhanger” P60,
“Scrumpy&Western” P125)

Margaret and Tiger (“Always Stroke the Tiger” P64)

Margaret’s baggage being handled.
(“Five Pairs of Brown Eyes” P102)

(“Paree En Vélo” P144)