After working for four years at a leading London book publisher, Polly Evans moved to Hong Kong where she spent many happy hours as a senior editor on the city's biggest entertainment weekly. But fighting deadlines from a twizzly office chair and free use of the coffee machine seemed just too easy. So Polly exchanged the shiny red cabs of Hong Kong for a more demanding form of transport - a bicycle - and set off on a voyage of discovery around Spain.
From the thigh-burning ascents of the Pyrenees to the relentless olive groves of Andalusia, Polly found more adventures that she had bargained for. She survived a nail-biting encounter with a sprightly pig, escaped over-zealous suitors, had her morality questioned by the locals, encountered some dubious aficionados on the road and indulged her love of regional cooking. While she pedalled, Polly pondered some of the more lurid details of Spanish history - the king who collected pickled heads, the queen who toured the country with her husband's mouldering corpse, and the unfortunate duchess who lost her feet. And wherever she cycled, she ate and ate - and yet still she shrank out of her trousers.