African Brew HaHa – A seriously challenging motorcycle journey

This is not an ordinary motorcycle travel story and it’s certainly not a travel guide.  The author’s aim , somewhat eccentrically, was to cross Africa in order to meet people and drink tea with them and then take the used tea bags with him on to Cape Town, so that someone could paint and then sell them.  He also chose to travel down the western side of Africa on a British road bike – which involves an almost impossibly challenging route.

Although Alan was (and still is) a biker before he dreamed up this trip, he probably wouldn’t have seen himself as an expert rider, at least not at the sort of riding he was to encounter on this journey.  Maybe no one could ever become an expert at this sort of thing;  some parts of the route turned out to be mission impossible.

There was also the challenge of keeping the bike going and Alan wasn’t exactly a DIY repair expert when he started out either, although he did take the precaution of having an expert available back in UK on the end of a phone.  Not that phones were easy to come by either of course, or hotels, or food, or petrol stations or much of anything at all in some places.

This is a very readable book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Alan was trained as a journalist and he writes a good story which also comes across as very honest – including about his own most difficult and least proud moments.

He describes some very interesting and impressive people and some pretty unappealing ones too.  The places and situations come to life in the pages of the book and sometimes, as he describes very clearly, he got himself into pretty scary situations.

This was a journey of real adventure, of which I personally stand in very considerable awe.  Alan ended up in places and situations which were pretty awful by the standards of anything many of us will have ever experienced.  And the same will have been true for Alan when he set off on this journey; he’d been to Africa before but not this way and not to these parts of it.

African Brew HaHa is published by Summersdale and listed at £7.99 but it’s available from Amazon for less than this.  You can also read more about Alan and his journey on Alan’s own website by clicking here.