Globetrotter pens book of adventures to raise money for Compton Care

He's spent 30 years travelling around globe and now Geoff Leo is sharing some of his adventures to help raise money for charity.

Geoff at Machu Piccu
Geoff at Machu Piccu

The retired teacher has published Laughter On The Bus, Random Jaunts around the Americas - the first of a trilogy of books.

And the 67-year-old, who lives in Hednesford with his wife Karen, is donating all of the profits to Compton Care hospice in Wolverhampton.

The first book focus on his journeys through the Americas while the second and third will recap his trips to Asia and Africa respectively.

Journeys North America, from Vegas to Cuba, in Central America, from Guatemala to Panama, and through South America, from Colombia to Argentina all first in the opening instalment.

"It describes my misadventures over the last 30 years of gallivanting around the world. I have written in the style of Bill Bryson, so there is plenty of whimsy and comedy, if not the slapstick of Carl Pilkington," says Geoff,who used to teach at Northicote School in Bushbury.

He says the school holidays gave him the perfect opportunity to complete his "little explorations" and he would aim to see as much as possible in the time he had before he was needed back in the classroom.

Geoff has enjoyed seeing an abundance of wildlife on his travels including this sloth

"I found that in the Autumn half-term, I could fly from Birmingham and be in Argentina by lunchtime the next day, do some exploring and be home within a week. Travelling got into my blood and I enjoyed being able to up sticks and go off to explore," says Wolves fan Geoff.

There have many highlights during his travels in the Americas including Machu Picchu in Peru.

"I went to Machu Picchu years ago. We climbed for three days in the snow to get to the Sun Gate and when we got there it was raining. I went back to Sun Gate years later and the sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The views were spectacular," says Geoff.

He also enjoyed a visit to Mount Roraima, which is located on the border of Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana.

"It was where Arthur Conan Doyle got the idea for Lost World. I too saw it as a place where dinosaurs could still exist," says Geoff.

During his travels he's been able to get up close to a variety of wildlife from sloths to toucans but sometimes it's been a little too close for comfort, such as a case of mistaken identity with a spider monkey in Panama.

"I saw this monkey coming towards me and at first I thought it was going to attack me because monkeys can bite.

"But it actually saw me as it's mother and it just clung to me and cuddled me for a few minutes," says Geoff.

Geoff with his books

The people he has crossed paths with while travelling and their hospitality have also stuck in his memory.

"Everybody is always so welcoming because they are pleased that you have come to their country because you want to learn about their culture and their way of life," says Geoff.

He has taken advantage of his extra spare time due to lockdown to get ahead with his second volume about his travels through Asia and hopes it will be ready to publish in the autumn.

One of his recommendations for fellow globetrotters is the Taj Mahal, India's most famous monument.

"Everyone should see the Taj Mahal - it's the most beautiful place and most beautiful building. It's impossible to see it without shedding tears.

"India is the most wonderful country. Everybody is so friendly and people, even those with very little, so much happier with their lives," says Geoff.

Laughter On The Bus, Random Jaunts around the Americas, in aid of Compton Care, is available to buy from Amazon in paperback and e-book format.

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