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Desert Snow - One Girl's Take on Africa by Bike

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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.

340 pages, Paperback

First published May 22, 2013

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About the author

Helen Lloyd

4 books12 followers
It all started when I quit my job in 2009 with the plan to cycle from home to Cape Town. Two years and 25,000km later, I made it. After that, I cycled through Canada, US and Central America.

Then I wrote Desert Snow, my first book, about the ride through Africa. That of course did not earn me money, so I worked a real job too.

Now I'm travelling through Asia - still with the bike. Maybe I will ride a horse somewhere too.

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5 stars
60 (48%)
4 stars
43 (34%)
3 stars
18 (14%)
2 stars
2 (1%)
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1 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews
Profile Image for David Canford.
Author 14 books25 followers
July 23, 2016
A wonderful account of a young woman's cycle from Morocco to South Africa. You can't help but admire her tenacity in undertaking such a daunting journey. Her philosophy of living "in the moment" is inspiring. You get an insight into places that, like me, you probably know so little about, such as Mauritania, Guinea and the Congo. Unfortunately some parts are covered rather briefly or missed, including a trip into Dogon country in Mali which would have been fascinating to read about. I am now looking forward to reading her account of cycling across Siberia.
645 reviews
January 23, 2017
I liked how unbiased the author was in her perspective on Africa and all the people she met. I felt like I was exploring western Africa myself. It amazed me how safe she was out there in the wild and in cities by herself - made me believe in the honesty and goodness of people a little more, at least the people in west and South Africa. I also wondered if she would have been less safe if she were not white; she mentioned a few times that she was granted privileges because of her white skin. Lloyd is tough and uncomplaining; her journey was incredible. I'm glad she shared.
Profile Image for Florence.
28 reviews5 followers
March 16, 2020
What a ride! (literally)

A nice narration of an incredible adventure! I loved reading about Helen’s different encounters in her journey across Africa, be it the people or the animals!

Helen is a very brave and determined woman, and definitely inspiring!

I really appreciated the historical facts of the places she rode through as well.

I recommend reading this, whether or it you’re planning on cycling :)
August 10, 2020
Masterfully written

This book permeates the joy of cycling and the adventure of a woman alone cycling through Africa. You live the adventure as ndctbe transformation with her. Very profound, phylisophucal view of the continentet
Profile Image for Claire Miller.
2 reviews
January 6, 2020
An awesome story to inspire adventures, a little more courage and a lot more faith in people.
10 reviews
February 12, 2021
Gutsy girl

This a well written book. I loved the author's sense of humour and admired her courage. It was just enjoyable apart her diet which was fringe worthy.
Profile Image for Claudia.
23 reviews3 followers
February 15, 2017
Her novel had so much potential. Her adventure is original and daring, making it a compelling journey. However, he tone lacks emotion, she is vague about herself / narrator, and it makes it a bit of an empty novel.
42 reviews
April 8, 2015
Interesting book but the writing was a bit scattered and the editing was weak at points.
Profile Image for Tracy.
14 reviews
May 31, 2015
Such an inspirational book. If you are thinking of going on an adventure, then you must read this book. Helen Lloyd has guts and determination. This book will inspire the desire for adventure!
11 reviews
April 18, 2017
A great read

An enjoyable story of an amazing journey, very well written. Not really much more to say, but apparently I have to use 10 more words :)

I really enjoyed this book.
Profile Image for Will.
12 reviews
May 3, 2017
An excellent read. If you thought of Africa as a land of dangers and corruption, Helen explodes these ideas with her anecdotes of generous people she meets and the kindness of the general populations. One can only applaud her physical strength in completing this journey and her remarkable mental fortitude to press on through unknown dangers.
Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews

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