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4.6 out of 5 stars44
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 3 August 2011
Reading Fiona Roberts's book is a humbling as well as a joyful experience. This is not your common garden travelogue, but a candid and often touching account of her travels in the Himalayas and a few months she and her partner spent teaching in a remote small community in Nepal. Fiona eschews clichés and instead focuses on personal experiences and emotions, and the reader is drawn into her narrative by a mixture of trepidation and amusement. Her joie de vivre is infectious, and enables her to relate not only their chaotic travelling experiences but also the true reality of her Nepalese friends' simple lives in sobering terms. When I reached the last chapter, having had tears in my eyes and a smile on my face in equal measures throughout, I selfishly felt I wanted Fiona and Tod to return to Salle, just so that hopefully she will write another entertaining and gripping account for me to read - and recommend to all my friends!
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on 6 August 2011
Beautifully written both humerous and poignant,I love this account of Fiona and Tod's marvellous adventure in Nepal.They certainly have the hearts of the tigers they so nearly came into contact with to endure so much to help the people of Salle.
From Fi's descriptons I can imagine the arduous daily journeys and tough living conditions however she balances this with her love of the people and their land.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who wishes to discover a true and inspirational insight into another world.
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on 26 September 2011
I found this novel difficult to put down once started. Fiona writes in such an accessible way that I really felt I was there too with all the senses on alert!! The descriptions of all the places visited were superb and it left me wanting lots more. A definite recommendation!
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on 2 November 2012
A Beard in Nepal isn't a travel guide to Nepal, it's not a look at the differences between Eastern and Western ways of life, it's not an adventure story, it's not an insight into Eastern beliefs or life high in remote mountain regions, but it's a combination of all of those, and therefore offers something for everyone.
It's the story of how Fiona came to spend months living in a part of the world that is about as polar opposite to her usual life in suburbia in one of the flattest parts of north west England as you can imagine - teaching English to villagers living high up in the mountains of Nepal! The beauty of this book is the detailed observation that Fiona has of the places they visit and the people they meet, and the gentle humour of the style in which it is written. It is obvious that she loved the people and they loved her and her partner Tod. The contrasts in life-styles, culture, beliefs, food, and general expectations of life make fascinating reading - even the book's title is part of the contrast as everywhere they went, people were fascinated by this man having a beard.
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on 5 February 2012
I have only known Fiona for a very short while (seeing her once a week for a few hours if I'm lucky), and the day she told me about her trip to Nepal, I was amazed by the brief tale she told me. When I read the book however, this amazement soon turned to absolute wonder & sheer admiration for the task Fiona & Tod undertook with such little concern or second thought.

Fiona & Tod set out with the simple ambition of wanting to help a small school in the remote mountain regions of Nepal - this was only the half of it! Fiona details with great, down-to-earth narrative, the reality of their adventure and even though some of the experiences were down right horrendous, both Fiona and Tod show admirable strength, determination & commitment to the true meaning of their trip.

This book has inspired me in so many ways & reminded me that life isn't just about the 'small stuff', there is so much more out there for us to enjoy and relish. Maybe I'll plan my own trip one day and when I do, I'll be speaking with Fiona & Tod for reassurance!
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on 5 February 2012
I have just finished 'A Beard in Nepal' and have to say I could not put it down, Fiona Roberts' style of writing is both funny and sensitive - whilst her humour had me just laughing out loud on every page. And yet most of the time she is just laughing at herself! The content was so fascinating - the problems faced by high altitude, the dangerous adventures with simple activities such as a walk along a path or a bus trip in the mountains sounding like some new extreme-sport, and her relationships with brown shiny cockroaches, flying insects, leeches (eeuuw!) and other unwanted visitors - including the elusive tiger, never seen but ever present. I loved the book and really hope that there will be another book, I would love to hear more about the children Fiona taught at the school, what happened to Wooley - their trusty dog who adopted them, and of course whether Fiona and 'Ali Baba' ever considered returning to Nepal. I live in hope and can't wait for the next book!
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on 25 February 2012
What can I say, but sheer 'experience' on a page!! - I felt like I was there with Fiona and Tod, on their VERY brave adventures! 'The experience' made me smile, laugh and cry, albeit in a heart warming way..... Two very special people with determination, patience, staying power and what came across as, genuine love in their hearts; for the people of this fascinating place! These people, who without doubt, grew to trust and love Fiona and Tod, in realising what a difference they both made to their lives, during their stay.
A challenging, but oh so rewarding time they had and Fiona brings this to life in her animated account of their time spent there. Come on Fiona, your public awaits in anticipation, for your next instalment!!!

A fab read!!
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on 5 June 2012
I downloaded this book on ibooks as I am interested in traveling in Asia in the future. This is definitely a travel book with a difference and the author succeeds in drawing the reader in to experience the sights, sounds and feelings encountered during their trip to Nepal. Although I'm unsure I'm brave enough to face the challenges of public transport, cockroaches, leeches and altitude sickness (to name a few!) it was clear from the very first chapter that Fiona and 'Ali Baba' were in for a rewarding and life-changing experience and I will definitely be reading the second installment!
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on 4 October 2014
I bought this book as my partner and I will be travelling to Nepal next month and wanted further insight other than your standard LP guide-- it was a great account of Fiona's adventure. However, it never really drove deep into the Nepali culture- past the sterotypical Asian environment. It felt at times a bit rambling (possibly following a diary??) - they didn't see very much in Nepal which I think leads to the book not having much material. I am still undecided if I will order the 2nd book. I would recommend it to anyone that would like a light travel read :)
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on 19 July 2012
I could not stop reading this second book about Nepal by Fiona ,her description of Nepal is so brilliant you almost feel like you are there with her, that you are feeling her every emotion as she describes this exciting adventure and the wonderful friends she has made . I hope Fiona and Tod make a third trip, so she can once again bring Nepal and the lovely people she has made so beautiful and alive to us, back into our lives so we can share yet another marvelous episode of Fiona and Tod's amazing journey's to Nepal .
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