I picked up this book because the cover seduced me: the back of a loaded, dusted bike, the road ahead, an intriguing title and lead. However, rather sooner than later I realized that this book would not fulfill any of its promises. The idea is simple, yet somehow bizarre: a man will travel along the western coast of Africa drinking tea and getting to know Africa, while riding a motorbike. Problem is, the author only forgot two things: he knows nothing about Africa and knows nothing about motorbikes.
This means that large chunks of the book are spent describing tedious and monotonous roads and landscapes, and that the poor bike constantly suffers the recklessness of a massivley underqualified rider for such an entreprise. At first, the anecdotes regarding the bike breaking down and having mechanichal issues were funny, part and parcel of every long bike quest. But when half the book is virtually shut down because the bike won't work due to some irresponsible driving, it's just plain stupid. Add to these the numerous injuries the author suffers for not being able to control the bike and you've got 3/4 of the book spent either on hospital or repairing the bike.
In comparison to the classic by Ted Simon, Jupiter's Travels, I can tell wou AB H-H doesn't offer any insight on each country, any comments on african history or personality whatsoever, that the encounters with locals are mainly trivial and that the author has an annoying knack for trying to give out lessons every time he discovers something. All in all, I pulled myself together and finished the book to find biased and terribly prejudiced comments on Namibia, and an almost comical anti-climax upon arrival on Cape Town.
This book could've been a jewel but instead it should really be used as a coaster. If you like adventure riding then do yourself a favour and buy the excellent aforementioned Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon.