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My African Conquest – Julia Albu – 80!

A women of substance, grit and determination

Julia Albu is one of the most incredible octogenarian‘s you will ever hope to meet. She is full of life, and smiles and I had the privilege of interviewing her a while after her return from her epic journey across Africa and then onto England to see the Queen (who incidentally didn’t have the time to see this fabulous person who had just driven in a 20 year old Toyota Conquest across Africa to see her!). After writing to most of the royal family, Camilla eventually replied saying she would have tea with Julia on her visit to Cape Town in the coming months.

Listening to this 80 plus change, traveller, you would never say that she is over 50!  Her book, My Africa Conquest, sold so many copies, even Julia doesn’t have a copy. So if anyone wants to donate their book back to the author, she will be delighted.  Published by Jonathan Ball publishers the book is a delight to read.

Samantha Ford wrote:

She whispers through your dreams at night

Like the cry of a Guinea Fowl she calls to you “Come back, come back”.

From far away you hear her voice, seducing you with a beauty you an never forget. The sounds of her, the smell of her, the essence of her, as she waits. 

The grasses whisper, the colour of a lion’s mane, then sigh with the longing for you to come home where you belong.

The sudden stillness, the silence and the strange light, the bleached whiteness of the wings of birds against an indigo sky. In the distance, the ground shakes with booming thunder, as the lightening spits across the sky, the clouds heavy with promise. The leaves quivering, then still again.

Then when the storm is over the chorus of frogs croaking in discordant harmony, the birds returning as a joyous choir, and the sound of the hollow monotonous drips on the banana leaves. The mists of the rain covering the hills like a widow’s veil.

The Guinea Fowl cries once more “Come back, come back” and our heart breaks for this place you remember.

This place called Africa….