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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
A brilliant book. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but if you have any interest in travel, motorbike riding, Africa, social commentary on people and culture, or tea, (of course) then this is a must have book.

Very well written with a dry and, at times, wicked sense of humour Alan Whelan has captured the adventure of taking on all Africa can throw at anyone...
Published on 14 April 2010 by Michael Donkin

versus
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Annoying and best avoided
Am I the only person who found this guy arrogant and intensely annoying? His trip through Africa is one disaster to another. It seems that the idea was thought up in a pub and then carried through without any basic planning or realisation that maybe not everyone else in the world shares or has even heard about the English idiosyncrasy of drinking tea.

The...
Published on 28 Oct 2010 by Elliot


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4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly good read., 26 Aug 2011
This review is from: African Brew Ha Ha: A Motorcycle Quest from Lancashire to Cape Town (Paperback)
The story hangs well based on the cuppa. More importantly it does not pretend riding through West Africa is anything but easy while giving insights into local cultures. Keeps a good pace, so interest never flags.
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5.0 out of 5 stars African Brew Ha Ha, 3 Feb 2011
This review is from: African Brew Ha Ha: A Motorcycle Quest from Lancashire to Cape Town (Paperback)
Who in their right mind would travel from Lanashire to Cape Town just to search out the ultimate cuppa? More so on a Triumph motorcycle, unaided and via Africa's notorious western route? Alan Whelan did just that and I have to congratulate him for not only an extremely well written account but also for retaining the strength and fortitude to see it through. I was absorbed into the whole thing especially when he was dragging the bulky Triumph through deep muddy gullies...I felt knackered! The frustrations of having to deal with so called officialdom as each border crossing became a game of chance. But most of all to learn of the warmth of the African people who with very little were willing to share what they did have with a total stranger. Whenever the author faced the impossible there was always somebody to offer much needed help and assistance. He took these people to his heart and gained so much from it. Alan's heartfelt feelings for these much derided people come over so well. Ewan Mcgregor and Charlie Boardman did the "Long way down" but they not only took the less troublesome eastern route but also had full back up, this man took the harder route and was travelling on his own. A daunting task for any man, I take my helmet off to him. An excellent read that any would be adventure motorcyclist will enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Triumph by motorcycle and a triumph by spirit..., 13 Nov 2010
This review is from: African Brew Ha Ha: A Motorcycle Quest from Lancashire to Cape Town (Paperback)
A year ago an email landed in my inbox from a fellow Lancashire-man and author, asking if I'd be willing to address a `Business breakfast club' of which he was a prominent member. I hesitated a little until I learnt of his identity and the incredible quest - for that is what it was - that he'd been on: his name was Alan Whelan. I gave my talk and the two of us hit it off straightaway, exchanging literary tips and tales of adventure whenever our paths crossed at book signings and fairs. But it is only now that I've finally read Alan's superb book that I can fully appreciate the immense journey that he has been on, and in my eyes at least, his book registers as one of the great stories of the human spirit.

Mile by gruelling mile, inch by agonising inch, and with scalding beads of stinging sweat and scorching dust, Alan leads us on a journey into the darkest night and brightest sunrise of a turbulent, magical and grimly chaotic country - Africa. And we are with him for every throaty blip of the throttle as he takes us ever deeper into what began as an innocent adventure, but became, at times, a struggle for survival and sanity. On his mega-miles journey Alan is forced to call upon every ounce of streetwise calm, gunpoint diplomacy and daring dash that a man could possibly posses; he has to contend with corrupt border officials intent on extracting bribes and feral `citizen patrols' on deserted Nigerian back-roads intent on securing cash at the point of a machete.

But as the torturous miles clock up and the breaks, bruises and falls begin to take their toll, he finds an inner strength that he never knew he had. Alan's cheerful, fatalistic acceptance of his circumstances, and his spirited fight-back against them, draws out the best in the locals and he attracts memorable mentors, wise guides and generous souls just when he needs them. Indeed, it is these unforgettable and instantly likeable `kindred spirits' that give the book its heartfelt glow and bittersweet, touching aftertaste. To know that such people exist in such harsh and unforgiving struggles, gives one hope for humanity and Africa itself. Even more so than the stunning landscapes that Alan portrays, it is the likes of the young Cameroonian Tabot, who guides Alan to safety through mud-stricken death-trap roads, and the bear-like protector Serge, who tenderly nurses Alan back to health when he falls foul of them, who are the true stars of African Brew Ha Ha.

This is a wonderful book that is written from hard-won and well-lived experience; I cannot recommend it highly enough, I am proud and privileged to call Alan a friend, and it has been a joy to share in his wonderful story. I salute the African Brew Ha Ha.

Steven McLaughlin,
Author of Squaddie: A Soldier's Story,
Mainstream Publishing
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read, 13 Oct 2010
By 
Nigel Grace "HBiker" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: African Brew Ha Ha: A Motorcycle Quest from Lancashire to Cape Town (Paperback)
I have read many many books on Motorcycle travel and this one rates amongst the best.
It's good that he keeps his "feet on the ground" and tells it as it is.
Looking forward to the next book and maybe even meeting the author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and enjoyable., 8 Oct 2010
By 
C. Vincent "Chris" (Sussex UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: African Brew Ha Ha: A Motorcycle Quest from Lancashire to Cape Town (Paperback)
This is a fairly simple bike travelogue, well told, honest and well observed, that shows the dark continent as a varying infusion of cultures, landscape and people, rather than as simple cliche. I liked it. A lot. Check out the blog, too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Luvdit, 15 Sep 2010
This review is from: African Brew Ha Ha: A Motorcycle Quest from Lancashire to Cape Town (Paperback)
My friends know I don't read novels, nor am I a fan of travel books but somewhere along the way a friend prompted me and I bought African Brew Ha Ha. I couldn't put it down but I'm not letting my friends know, so for the first time I'm writing a review to say how good this book is. Having taken part in the Sahara Marathon I'd got a sense of some of the terrain the writer faced. However when I read of his trials and tribulations as the journey progressed I was amazed at the strength of character, the determination that got him through. Also, hearing of the living conditions he came across and the relationships he formed along the way - it really does challenge so much of what we take for granted. Beautifully and engagingly written; I might be tempted to read the follow up if there is one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars African Brew Ha Ha is a ripping adventure, 15 Sep 2010
This review is from: African Brew Ha Ha: A Motorcycle Quest from Lancashire to Cape Town (Paperback)
Once I got into this book (African Brew Ha Ha) I couldn't put it down and I read the last half in one hit. I am a seasoned traveller and motorcyclist but I could taste the mud and feel his pain - and his emotions became mine. Well written, this is an adventure with a novel theme (tea). Alan Whelen faced real dangers and mountainous obstacles with incredible courage (mind you, he managed to get into situations where he didn't have much choice) as well as challenges that, at the time, he probably would have sold his soul to avoid. Unfortunately, there were no takers so he just had to go on and, in the Spirit of True British Motorcycling, he made it through. In my opinion, this book could sit on the same shelf as Jupiter's Travels and hold up its head with pride.
As one of the other reviews says, you feel like you are on the pillion all the way...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intrepid escapade., 30 Aug 2010
This review is from: African Brew Ha Ha: A Motorcycle Quest from Lancashire to Cape Town (Paperback)
My husband arrived home with this book for me. I read the synopsis at the back and thought that this is truly a "mans" book. I read a couple of pages then a couple more and was hooked. The random generosity of local people who had next to nothing was particularly endearing and heartwarming the corruption of some local border patrols to extort money from him loathsome. The reading of this book coincided believe it or not with my cousins husband doing a similar journey but through South America so I thought this to be particularly poignant.
Adventure nourishes our souls and enriches our lives. I would recommend this book to anyone who feels the same!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good entertaining read, 9 Aug 2010
This review is from: African Brew Ha Ha: A Motorcycle Quest from Lancashire to Cape Town (Paperback)
This book is a real page turner. You can feel the exhilaration, frustration and joy as the author takes you through his emotional journey. Excellent read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars African Brew, 17 July 2010
By 
H. I. Martin (Manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: African Brew Ha Ha: A Motorcycle Quest from Lancashire to Cape Town (Paperback)
A well written book. Very atmospheric and involving the reader in the details of the journey. It avoids the "and then I" that plague so many recent accounts of similar journeys. His description of encounters with the characters he meets and the challenges Africa throws at him are revealing and make the book a rewarding read not just as a travelog but as a journey of personal discovery. The book explores the attitudes, motivation and philosophy of a motorcycle adventurer through the matter of fact and seemingly casual record of an outstanding and exciting trip. Alan Whelan has taken up the touch lit by Ted Simon and carried it forward to a new generation.
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