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Dead Men Don't Leave Tips
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What does it take to follow your dreams? "DEAD MEN DON'T LEAVE TIPS: Adventures X Africa" by Brandon Wilson is an edge of your seat tale about one couple's seven month honeymoon dream odyssey - 10,000 miles across Africa from top-to-tip. After their "ship of fools" safari turns into a nightmare, they set off across Africa alone. And that makes all the difference. DEAD MEN DON'T LEAVE TIPS takes readers onto the crazed roads of African adventure and into the hearts of its people-while transforming the "travelogue" into a raw, penetrating, more poignant genre.

Early reviews:
"Brandon Wilson jacks the vehicle of trans-African adventure for a ride so real you breathe the dust and drip the sweat while trundling down off-the-beaten tracks outstanding in the number and quality of their ruts. If adventure drives are a genre, Wilson has created a smarter, more brazen, more sweeping subspecies.
This is a masterful crossroads of characters, exotic places, history and human drama in a rig that never stalls, and allows the devil to drive his own ill-behaved backyard..." ~ Richard Bangs, adventurer/author of The Lost River and Mystery of the Nile/executive producer Richard Bangs ADVENTURES

"Brandon Wilson's DEAD MEN DON'T LEAVE TIPS is that rare event: a travel book that transcends its genre to become a transformative journey of the soul into a disparate and gorgeously challenging culture, as seen through the eyes of a man determined to experience life as it is, rather than as it's presented to us. Eschewing the typical tourist African safari, Wilson and his travel companion, along with a host of madcap dysfunctional fellow travelers, embark on a wildly funny, poignant, and at times terrifying, trip across the African continent. From the rapacious markets of Marrakesh to the stunning breadth of the Sahara and haunting domains of the Masai, Wilson brings to life in lucid prose the smells, sights, and sensations of being a foreigner in a strange land, who yearns for communion with the world he has set out to explore. This is travel writing at its most sublime, a paean to Africa in all her contradictory beauty, and a tribute to the resiliency of those who travel beyond boundaries not only in search of meaning, but also of understanding." ~ C.W. Gortner, author of THE SECRET LION

“Brandon Wilson follows his stories of Tibet in "Yak Butter Blues" with an even more sensational recounting of his trip across the African continent in a new book, "Dead Men Don’t Leave Tips." There’s a magic about Africa that few are privileged to enjoy first hand. Wilson, however, allows readers to share in all that. He masterfully takes the reader along on a seven month trip across the African continent to meet its people and enjoy its breathtaking beauty in ways few have written… Wilson writes a magical story, indeed, laced with humor and tragedy. Well worth reading, it brings Africa to readers on an intimate level not found elsewhere.” ~ Andrew F. O’Hara, author of The Swan: Tales of the Sacramento Valley/journalist

"Maui writer Brandon Wilson has done it again with his latest book...The wild and wonderful story of a seven-month journey from the top of the continent in Morocco to its southernmost tip, Cape Point. It's a great read in the comfort of an easy chair, one of those books that inspires the dream of wanderlust while allowing the reader to take all the risks and suffer the discomfort and frustrations only vicariously. Throughout the trip, there is magic. Brandon is enchanted when a curious baby gorilla climbs down from its mother and caresses his beard and touches his lips. They spend time in native villages. They climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, raft the rapids of the Zambezi, revel in the sight of exotic animals, birds and butterflies. They visit modern, Westernized cities and native villages. Simple pleasures like bathrooms, hot showers, friendly people, cold beer and local food are savored as memorable treats. As with all who travel with open eyes and open minds, the journey changed them." ~ Liz Janes-Brown, The Maui News (Hawaii)

"Leaving domesticity, Brandon and his brand new wife Cheryl joined what proved to be the do it yourself safari from hell. From the hot dry hell of the Sahara to the humid hell of the jungle, through starving villages and squalid cities, we follow a picturesque group of "pilgrims." Brandon's writing makes the reader feel the heat, the discomfort and even despair, while giving one laugh after another. Living it was difficult. Reading about it isn't. Not that it was all misery. It is clear that Brandon and Cheryl felt well rewarded for their endurance. His passages about wildlife, scenery and friendly people sometimes approach the poetic. Like all good writing, this book does a lot more than entertain. One would expect to learn about Africa – its people, animals, landscape – from a travel book, but, without lecturing Brandon gets us to see social conditions; the gap between rich and poor, urban and starving. Racially, he is colorblind, with respect for all people, while sometimes justly indignant about cruel or exploitative behavior. Brandon is a writer with the eye of an artist, a basic decency and social conscience that in another book made him the champion of the suppressed Tibetan people. He has the humor of a cartoonist and the old fashioned ability to tell a good story. I strongly recommend this one to you." ~ Dr. Bob Rich, award-winning author of thirteen books/editor/counselling psychologist

“There's a gene, they tell us, that causes some people to want to jump from airplanes and scale impossible peaks. Perhaps there's a gene, as well, for those who relish rough travel…If there is such a gene, Brandon and Cheryl Wilson of Maui have got it… He writes a lot, and sincerely, about why he prefers to travel on the edge — on foot, in dirty clothes, with nothing on his back, for example, as he does at one point in Zaire…He wants the "process of getting there, the journey," and he wants the "sense of accomplishment" at the end of the day (or year, or whatever) that comes from, well, from literally having survived, apparently. There are elements of humor in the Wilsons' predicaments (having chosen what was clearly the world's least trustworthy trekking company), and we can sympathize with their frustrations with oddball traveling companions. Wilson offers great advice for the road (always ask three people the same question; if their answers agree, you may just have the truth). And his concerns about the ecological and social woes of Africa are shared by the many who love the continent that Paul Theroux has called the "Dark Star."” ~ Wanda Adams, Honolulu Advertiser (Gannett)

“Dead Men Don’t Leave Tips is an adventure journal only the craziest traveler would take as a guide. But we can dream, can’t we? All through Brandon Wilson’s Dead Men Don’t Leave Tips: Adventures X Africa one idea kept coming to me. Parallax! That’s not a word that comes to mind every day. In science, it means getting better or more complete information about displacement or movement by collecting data from two points of view that are not in a straight line with the thing you are examining or learning about… Wilson pursues the parallax view of everything everywhere at every opportunity. He studies his fellow travelers and their motivations and observations like Margaret Mead recording the lives of Papua New Guineans. That, however, is nothing but technical practice for the real work of genuinely absorbing dozens or hundreds of African cultures. To get in touch with "real Africa" and to understand lives as they are lived, Wilson talks with people who are not in the business of guiding and informing (and even listens to those who are in the overland/travel business). Sometimes the informant is a person eking out an existence in, say, the Central African Republic. When it is, he inquires of two or more people in different situations and observes still more. Sometimes he collects information from a Peace Corps worker or an Embassy employee. And always, he reports his own direct observations and often those of his intrepid and obviously longsuffering wife as well. Parallax, for Wilson, is clearly a method for chipping through individual biases and official "facts" toward the precious truth which, over and over, turns out to be that misery and joy, dreams and wishes, family feelings and love are the same for us all no matter where or how we live. Fortunately, Wilson never stops treasuring the differences from culture to culture in Africa, and he never becomes numb to the differences between African cultures and his everyday life.

I was swept away by the drama and storytelling in Wilson’s book...Brandon Wilson is never a tourist. He travels heart-first with both feet solidly on the ground and his curiosity always in high gear. He is exactly the right person to be writing travel books for the rest of us.” ~ Joseph W. Bean, Book Reviewer, Maui Weekly (Hawaii) 5 shakas






Links

http://www.PilgrimsTales.com

Table of Contents

African Route Map Introduction Chapter I. Gale Force Getaway Chapter II. Afffricaaaaa! (Morocco) Chapter III. Survival In The Sahara (Algeria) Chapter IV. The Cosmic Dance (Mali) Chapter V. Voodoo Wakes, Python Snakes (Togo/Benin) Chapter VI. Baboon Platoon (Nigeria/Cameroon) Chapter VII. Ubangui Anguish (C. A. R.) Chapter VIII. Jungle Trance, Pygmy Dance (Zaire (Congo)) Photo Gallery Chapter IX. Gorilla Stalk, Volcano Walk (Zaire/Burundi) Chapter X. Whirling Wildebeests (Tanzania) Chapter XI. Land of the Masai (Kenya) Chapter XII. Challenge of Kilimanjaro (The Climb) Chapter XIII. Border Extortion (Tanzania) Chapter XIV. Leave Your Pants at the Door (Malawi) Chapter XV. Road of Pain, Legacy of Shame (Mozambique) Chapter XVI. Zambezi, Sea of Torment (Zimbabwe) Chapter XVII. Barking Dogs, Invisible Walls (South Africa) Chapter XVIII. Assembling the Mosaic (Retrospective) About the Author Other Books by the Author

About the Author

BRANDON WILSON is an award-winning author and photographer, internationally published adventure writer, explorer and expert light trekker. A voracious explorer of over ninety countries, he's particularly passionate about inspiring others with the possibility of discovery through long distance trekking. Trekking in Africa and across Tibet opened his eyes to the deep satisfaction of traveling 'one-step- at-a-time'. By slowing down, he believes we absorb the hidden magic in the world. We travel outside-while traveling within. Besides crossing Tibet, the author has twice hiked the famed Camino de Santiago across Spain, the St. Olav's Way across Norway, and he was the first American to complete the 9th century, 1150-mile Via Francigena trail from England to Rome. He also enjoys wandering long-distance GR trails across Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Tuscany, the Pyrenees, Dolomites and Alps. These physical, mental and spiritual journeys help fuel his irrepressible wanderlust. Dead Men Don't Leave Tips: Adventures X Africa premiered in November 2005. His first book, Yak Butter Blues: A Tibetan Trek of Faith won an Independent Publisher IPPY Award in 2005 and Wilson's photography has received awards from National Geographic Traveler and Islands magazines. The author is a member of The Explorers Club and Artists Without Frontiers. He is an ardent supporter of human rights.

Reviews

Richard Bangs, author of "The Lost River" and "Mystery of the Nile"/adventurer/executive producer "Richard Bangs Adventure": "Brandon Wilson jacks the vehicle of trans-African adventure for a ride so real you breathe the dust and drip the sweat while trundling down off-the-beaten tracks outstanding in the number and quality of their ruts. If adventure drives are a genre, Wilson has created a smarter, more brazen, more sweeping subspecies. This is a masterful crossroads of characters, exotic places, history and human drama in a rig that never stalls, and allows the devil to drive his own ill-behaved backyard..." Joseph W. Bean, Book Reviwer, Maui Weekly: "Dead Men Don t Leave Tips is an adventure journal only the craziest traveler would take as a guide. But we can dream, can t we? ...I was swept away by the drama and the storytelling in Wilson s book...Brandon Wilson is never a tourist. He travels heart-first with both feet solidly on the ground and his curiosity always in high gear. He is exactly the right person to be writing travel books for the rest of us." C.W. Gortner, author of The Secret Lion "Brandon Wilson's DEAD MEN DON'T LEAVE TIPS is that rare event: a travel book that transcends its genre to become a transformative journey of the soul into a disparate and gorgeously challenging culture, as seen through the eyes of a man determined to experience life as it is, rather than as it's presented to us. Eschewing the typical tourist African safari, Wilson and his travel companion, along with a host of madcap dysfunctional fellow travelers, embark on a wildly funny, poignant, and at times terrifying, trip across the African continent. From the rapacious markets of Marrakesh to the stunning breadth of the Sahara and haunting domains of the Masai, Wilson brings to life in lucid prose the smells, sights, and sensations of being a foreigner in a strange land, who yearns for communion with the world he has set out to explore. This is travel writing at its most sublime, a paean to Africa in all her contradictory beauty, and a tribute to the resiliency of those who travel beyond boundaries not only in search of meaning, but also of understanding." Andrew F. O'Hara, author of The Swan: Tales of the Sacramento Valley/journalist "World traveler and writer Brandon Wilson follows his stories of Tibet in "Yak Butter Blues" with an even more sensational recounting of his trip across the African continent in a new book, "Dead Men Don't Leave Tips." In language that does justice to the beauty of the land and its people, Wilson takes the reader with him on his daring seven-month, 10,000-mile journey by truck, bus and foot from Morocco to Cape Town in South Africa. It's a spellbinding journey that captivates the reader with thundering falls, blistering deserts and grassy plains. Suffocating streets and shouting vendors contrast with proud tribesmen, quiet jungles and majestic gorillas. Wilson writes a magical story, indeed, laced with humor and tragedy. Well worth reading, "Dead Men Don't Leave Tips" brings Africa to readers on an intimate level not to be found elsewhere." Dr. Bob Rich, award-winning author of thirteen books, counseling psychologist "Like all good writing, this book does a lot more than entertain. One would expect to learn about Africa - its people, animals, landscape - from a travel book, but, without lecturing Brandon gets us to see social conditions; the gap between rich and poor, urban and starving. Racially, he is colorblind, with respect for all people, while sometimes justly indignant about cruel or exploitative behavior. Brandon is a writer with the eye of an artist, a basic decency and social conscience that in another book made him the champion of the suppressed Tibetan people. He has the humor of a cartoonist and the old fashioned ability to tell a good story. I strongly recommend this one to you." Liz Janes-Brown, The Maui News "Travel writer Brandon Wilson has done it again with his latest book...It's a great read in the comfort of an easy chair, one of those books that inspires the dream of wanderlust while allowing the reader to take all the risks and suffer the discomfort and frustrations only vicariously."

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