Valerie Astill, Travel Writer

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Temples and Tacos Rice, Rats and Rickshaws

From Coconuts to Condors

A trip to Brazil, Peru and Bolivia

Book cover

This fascinating book is about the author's exciting holiday to Brazil, Peru and Bolivia with her husband and the many interesting experiences they encountered on the trip. Having stones thrown at them, having to sleep in a blood-spattered hotel room and being served a meal of inedible llama meat followed by fizzy fruit salad were just a few of the incidents that made this trip so unforgettable.

An account of a marvellous trip, rich with a variety of landscapes, climates, cultures and cuisines, the book describes a very eventful three week holiday, starting in Rio de Janeiro and finishing at La Paz.

Area covered includes: Rio de Janeiro, the Pantanal, Salvador de Bahia, Manaus, Letitia, Amazon Cruise, Amazon Camp, Cuzco and Macchu Picchu, Puno and the Altiplano, Lake Titicaca and La Paz.

Pneuma Springs Publishing

ISBN 978-1-905809-57-8             Purchase price 7.99


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' 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.

Lynda Mitchell

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'.

This is available as an e-book through Amazon Kindle. If you wish to purchase the paperback version and find that it is no longer available through your local book retailer, please contact me direct at the email address below: