Occasionally a truly inspirational event challenges people to question their own boundaries in a story never before told. This is one such case as Cathy Birchall set out on a yearlong motorcycle adventure to circle the world with her companion Bernard Smith. However, what makes this event truly extraordinary is the fact that Cathy Birchall is completely blind. The subsequent story of their voyage – now available in print, ebook, and audio book formats – is heart warming, humorous, and emotionally honest.
Cathy’s courage has been truly inspirational for many blind and partially sighted people across the world.” Stephen Remington, CEO, Action for Blind People.
….an incredible and inspirational story. Ride, Cathy, Ride!” Ted Simon, author of Jupiter’s Travels
Your story is terrific, inherently interesting. Dan Walsh, author of Endless Horizon
An incredible undertaking, narrated with fantastic honesty, illustrating the emotional heights and depths overlanding can occasion. Overland Magazine
Motorcycle Adventure and courage all the way…
From feeling the traffic passing so close it touches you as you ride through Indian cities, to mounting an elephant from the front in Nepal and climbing the mountain at Macchu Picchu in Peru with its innumerable steps and vertiginous drops, Touching the World takes you on a journey of extraordinary beauty and interest, full of surprises. In fact, it is a totally unique book.
“Men do not want you if you are blind, why would you want to be with a blind woman?” asks Neena at the Centre for Blind Women in Delhi as Cathy and Bernard experience some heart wrenching cultural differences where a blind woman was considered doubly afflicted and worthless. Their old BMW motorcycle keeps breaking down and you feel for Bernard as the lights dim in Malaysia and the bike grinds to a halt! But somehow they keep the bike going and in this they were often helped by the unwavering kindness of strangers. From border guards guiding Cathy’s hand to the bike to anchor her in a strange place, to Glen helping perform open heart surgery on the bike in the Nullarbor desert, the natural generosity of people is vividly portrayed.
What is it like to be blind?
You can find Touching the World through all the major suppliers (Amazon, WH Smith and Waterstones) along with independent suppliers. It is currently available in print, e-book and in Audio Book versions. You can also order signed print copies direct from Panther Publishing.
Published 20th August 2012
Extract from Press Release dated February 2013.
“Six weeks after returning to the UK Cathy Birchall was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite a long period of medical intervention her illness sadly progressed to become terminal. Cathy and Bernard were eventually married on the 20th August 2012, one day after her palliative treatment was completed. It turned out to be, coincidentally, the same day their book (‘Touching the World’) was published. They remained, as always, inseparable until Cathy passed away in Warrington on 31st January 2013.
Bernard is currently riding their motorcycle somewhere in the world.”