David and Valerie Astill clearly have a
gift for making friends and....were privileged to attend a number of local ceremonies and events such as the candomble
in Salvador de Bahia, an important religious ceremony in honour of the gods, which very few tourists have experienced....
Valerie Astill's descriptions of adventures, landscapes, costumes and local customs are detailed and picturesque. Her
book also includes many photographs, sadly only in black and white.
Joan Stephens, Leicester Mercury
A nice travelog, honest and lightly written.
It's warts and all. "The entrance and archway dating back to the 16th century had obviously been used more recently as
a public convenience. It smelt dreadful..." If you want an insight into travel through Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, this
will give you what you're after.
Paul Bondsfield, Explore Worldwide Ltd
We enjoyed this book because it conveys the
reality of travel in these countries and the everyday issues facing the traveller. Too many travel books tend to present
a 'tourist board' image of a location which is very different from the practical experience of the average visitor.
Problems, hiccups and the unexpected help one to understand and appreciate a country much more. This is why the lack
of colour photos doesn't matter. This book is a real journal of an exciting and challenging venture and not just a
'puff' for the South American tourist industry. Well worth reading.
Brian and Margaret Ludlow
'From Coconuts to Condors'..is one of the best
travel books I have read - full of detail, never boring and more like a wonderful adventure story. I really admire not only
your bravery in going to such dangerous places but also your stamina in coping with food poisoning and making such early
morning departures. Thank you again for such a delightful read.
Valerie Astill's book is a marvellous account of
a challenging three week holiday in Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. Her very readable writing style makes the culture, climate
and landscapes of these countries come to life. Her descriptions are incredibly detailed and picturesque, making it
so easy to visualise the scenes that she describes. Indeed, I almost felt as though I was in the shower with her and the
little green frogs!...I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful travelogue - well worth reading, even if you're not
going on holiday to South America.
John Davies, author of 'Lyrics and Limericks' and
'Chester to Chepstow'.
As a fellow traveller to the Andes, I have much
enjoyed 'From Coconuts to Condors'. I don't actually mind the photos being in black and white, as I can visualise the
locations from Valerie's excellent descriptive writing. I have also enjoyed the fact that the book is well written, in
the correct tense, and with proper punctuation! Having only been to Peru, I now want to visit both Brazil and Bolivia!
Thank you Valerie.
Gill Twissell, author of 'Rest Upon the Wind'.