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African Brew Ha-Ha: A Motorcycle Quest from Lancashire to Cape Town [Paperback]

Alan Whelan

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Book Description

April 1 2010
A 14,000 mile motorcycle journey through Africa that created memories to last a lifetime
Alan Whelan was on a unique quest to find the people in the hidden heart of Africa. On the 14,000 mile solo journey through Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, and all the way to Cape Town across deserts and the toughest roads imaginable, he met sporting legends and ministers, peacekeepers and outlaws, and countless others who shared their last morsel of food with him. Armed with little more than blind optimism, he experienced a jaw-dropping ride. Uplifting, insightful, and funny, this is the story of one man's determination through the most physically and emotionally challenging five months of his life.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (April 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849530440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849530446
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #758,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The human dignity and generosity Whelan experiences, even in the most adverse circumstances, challenge Western clichés about the brutality of some of the poorer African nations and, although confronted with disturbing realities, it’s the compassionate side of human nature that prevails."  —Real Travel magazine

"Alan captures Africa to a 'T' – the joy and heartache, the despair and exhilaration, the moments of sheer insanity."  —Peter Moore, travel writer

"His writing ability is way above the norm and seeing Africa through his fresh pair of eyes was a delight, especially when he comes to realise that a journey really is all about the people you encounter along the way . . . I'd recommend African Brew Ha-Ha to anyone with the travel gene."  —Adventure Travel Online

About the Author

Alan Whelan is trained as a journalist and now works in public relations.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor and tedious Oct. 3 2013
By Rolando - Published on
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.


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