Tea-drinking is a ritual that binds people together. Alan Whelan was on a unique quest: to find the people at the hidden heart of Africa… and sit down for a nice cup of tea with them. 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 people 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.
I trained as a journalist and now work as a ghostwriter and copywriter.
My overriding ambition as a child growing up in London was to travel. My school careers teacher tried to hold me back when she told me that 'travelling' was not a career. But I moved to New York City aged 20 where I worked on the lower east side for five years, and I've been travelling ever since.
I have visited many African countries, mostly travelling solo on a Triumph Tiger.
My first major overland trip became African Brew Ha-Ha.
My second took me to Ghana, the subject of The Black Stars of Ghana.
The third journey took me around Lake Victoria on a boda boda, which will become Empire Road (due 2014).
I blog about Africa, motorcycles and tea at www.abhaha.com ...
and blog about my professional life at www.inkwellpr.co.uk