"Congratulations," grinned Dr Chawla as he handed me my blood test result. "You are having the malaria."
So begins Russell McGilton's ten-month cycling journey through bustling cities and remote villages of India, Pakistan and China, where he encounters and is embraced by fascinating locals and fellow travellers.
Fighting the ever-changeable elements, with his life crammed into four panniers and a backpack, Russell cycles until he aches and writes until he can no longer feel his fingers. Along the way he also crashes into poles and people, eats delicacies he cannot pronounce, battles recurring malarial fevers, gets caught a little too close to Afghanistan for comfort on September 11, and shares unforgettable experiences with travellers from around the world. He travels alone, with strangers, and with his soon-to-be-ex love - and in the process discovers what he is really made of.