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Desert Snow - One Girl's Take On Africa By Bike [Kindle Edition]

Helen Lloyd
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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  • Length: 340 pages
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Book Description

Desert Snow is the story of one girl, one bike and 1,000 beers in Africa.

By daring to follow a dream and not letting fear prevail, Helen cycled across the Sahara, Sahel and tropics of West Africa, paddled down the Niger River in a pirogue, hitch-hiked to Timbuktu and spent three months traversing the Congo, which she thought she may never leave...

A lot can change in 2 years, cycling 25,000km from England to Cape Town. So can nothing. Helen takes you with her on the journey through every high and low of her memories and misadventures. She describes a continent brimming with diversity that is both a world away from what she knows and yet not so different at all.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1002 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Take On Creative (22 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,454 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

In 2009, Helen Lloyd quit her job as an engineer to spend the next two years cycling 25,000 kilometres through Africa, from home in England to Cape Town. On the way, she also paddled a pirogue 350 kilometres down the Niger River.

Since returning from Africa, Helen has also cycled 11,000 kilometres in North and Central America and packrafted down the Rio Bocay and Rio Coco in Nicaragua. She has travelled to 51 countries since her first trip to India when she was 16.

She is currently travelling across Asia, and like her other journeys, she is blogging about it.

Desert Snow is Helen's first book.

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By RicH
This book tells you exactly how to travel. Not so much the vehicle, but in your way of being. Helen's let's try it and see attitude, is a refreshing change from humdrum life in nanny state Blighty. If you need inspiration in what you can do, if you just choose to get on and do it - well this as good as any read out there. It explores both the adventure inherent in a trans-continental, overland journey, as well as the personal adventure within. I thought the tone changed as the journey progressed, as the author became increasingly acclimatised to how things work in the wider world. Whereas it's certainly bold to travel alone, on such a mammoth and relentless trek, the bravery is in just getting out there in the first place. Helen demonstrates that humour, tolerance (up to a point), and determination can get you where you want to be. I couldn't put the book down (as others have said), it certainly is a great description of what it is like to travel in Africa. From my own travels, I can only vouch for scratching the surface in the south and east, but the pictures this book painted were certainly evocative of a full on Africa experience. Good people, welcome beer, insight to a better way of treating each other, it's all here, honestly transcribed. Recommended for anyone who thinks "I wonder if I could/should/would". Thank you Helen for sharing a wonderful achievement - you deserve another beer...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing African adventure 24 Nov. 2013
By Sharon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am an `armchair adventurer'. I have read so many books about hiking long distance paths, climbing challenging mountains and cycling across exotic lands that I feel I have an expert knowledge in all of these things (but in reality my knowledge is woefully lacking!). When I saw Helen's book on Kindle I thought it would probably be ideal to provide me with my `adventure book' fix: and I was right.

Desert Snow is an eminently readable book. I almost felt as if Helen were here, sitting on my sofa, recounting all her tales just for me. Her writing style is not that of a literary master, but it is very personal and consequently I found it very engaging. I also really like the link to the photographs on Flickr; it was great to see the places and the faces; the dusty train journey, the pirogue, Lars, the wild camp sites, the rutted, dirt tracks and so on.

There were a couple of places, however, towards the beginning of the book, where I got a little confused about where the author was and where she was headed (especially around West Africa!). I also would have liked more - more information about the places, the people, the camp sites, the hotels and hostels, the food - just more.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and have spoken about it often in class (a teacher), which is a good indication of the impact it has had on me. I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who is interested in Africa, adventure and humanity. Of simply to anyone at all, no matter your interests!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing adventure and a must read. 2 Sept. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not so good with writing reviews (not good with words) but had to write one for this book, its an inspiration, its amusing, its gripping and it keeps you wondering what will happen next. I got into this book right from the start, as a woman who dreams of traveling one day I always worry about how I will travel alone and whether it is safe, this book put me somewhat at ease and although you have to always be on your guard, maybe the world isn't the scarey place people make out it is, and this book made me realize this. Having always wanted to go to Africa it gives you an insight of what to expect and the people and culture you will be going into.

I couldn't put this book down always wanting to know the next adventure, where the next place would be and what Helen would encounter there, every time i thought i would stop reading and get something done I would have to read a little bit more. Loved the part about the parrot had me laughing for ages.

A brilliant book from start to finish. What an inspirational lady. Looking forward to the next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true African adventure not to be missed... 10 Aug. 2013
Having read Helen's book (I had the pleasure of meeting her at a mutual friend's wedding, where many beers later, many of us randomly purchased a copy of her freshly printed book!), I thought it was worthy of a few words of praise.
I sometimes find that travelogues can be a little dull and heavy going, but this is certainly not the case. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read made up anecdotal stories, interspersed with wonderful descriptions of the people and places she passes through on her journey.
Whether you are the sort of person that loves to canter through a book in a few days or someone who keeps picking up a book and putting down over a period weeks/months, this book will satisfy all (and hopefully bring a smile or too along the way!).
But most importantly, if you have been lucky enough to visit any parts of the African continent, or have a longing to explore or simply learn about some of the countries she passes through, then this book is a must.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful account of a great adventure... 28 Aug. 2013
By Clare
This is an excellent account of a truly remarkable adventure. When Helen first mooted this undertaking, I admit that I was amongst the people in the "you're crazy" camp, but I was looking forward to hearing about Helen's adventures and wildlife encounters along the way. I wasn't disappointed, there's plenty of those stories in this book, but there's plenty more besides. Helen provides great insight into what makes Africa tick and gives the reader an opportunity to get a feel for the wonders of the place. From her accounts of Timbuktu and dodging hippos on the Niger River to experiencing life in the Congo, this book has plenty to keep everyone entertained and, if you want to be, educated.

Inspiring, insightful and enlightening - I highly recommend giving this a read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly enjoyed the
Brave lady, thoroughly enjoyed the book
Published 6 days ago by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Not a "how to" manual...or a straightforward truly remarkable woman's selection from a million memories of her ride through Africa..the people she met... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Stiffkey-rick
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Very perceptive. Avoids the diary approach of many travalogues
Published 8 months ago by MARK LITTLE
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really interesting
Published 8 months ago by Diana S
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring read
Helen is a an inspiration to women everywhere! Proof that you can do anything you set your mind to, no matter what your sex. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Littlenikikane
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I was disappointed to see that the words 'sitting' and 'standing' seem to have disappeared from the English language,(although I recall 'standing' being used once! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Cocodemer
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and inspirational
A truly gripping story of Helen's bike ride down the west coast of Africa. A remarkably brave girl who coped with some dreadful weather, awful roads, poor food, and refused to pay... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Scribbler
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read but slowed at end
A good read and epic journey only spoiled by sometimes losing sight of what country she was in. A truly remarkable journey though sometimes bordering on dangerous and not... Read more
Published 10 months ago by DF2441
5.0 out of 5 stars A non-stop read
I bought the book, because I know the author and had followed her blog.
I read the book non-stop because it's really well written and kept me enthralled throughout even though... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Having followed Helen's blog on her trip, to actually read it in book form was great. Well written and takes you to the scenery and people she encountered.
Published 16 months ago by David Ralph Savage
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