'The Mongoose and the Eagle’s Claw' is an account of a solo journey made in 1980 by motorcycle from India to England, including a side-trip visit to the battlefields of Gallipoli.

The story by Michael R. Whittle reveals the strange incidents, doubts and fears that grew as the journey deteriorated sometimes into farce and sometimes danger.

It tells how Michael was unwittingly caught up in the fallout from ‘Operation Eagle Claw’, the failed attempt to rescue the American embassy hostages held in Tehran, and how this gung-ho raid caused sleepless nights and frantic days as he raced across Iran on an Indian Enfield motorcycle (Royal Enfield 350cc Model Bullet – made in the Madras factory in India in 1980), trying unsuccessfully to avoid police and demonstrating mobs.

Michael said: “I wrote this book because I felt it was a unique story incorporating adventure and a political event the world was watching at the time and could never be repeated. It charts my solo motorcycle journey across Asia at the time of the ‘Iranian cultural revolution’ and it very nearly went badly wrong for me.”

Michael R Whittle was born in Preston, Lancashire and was brought up nearby in Leyland. He started travelling at a young age and worked in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Bangladesh.

He is a keen motorcyclist and, as well as the adventures in The Mongoose and the Eagle’s Claw he has also cycled through fourteen counties from Scotland to Singapore and made a trek around Annapurna in Nepal.

He later worked for the Red Cross movement in Asia and worked for five years with the Australian Antarctic Division on their three Antarctic bases. He is now based back in Lancashire and enjoys hikes in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales.