The Extraordinary True Story of Family Lost and Found
Arturo's Route
Arturo's Journey
Robin Journey
Robin's Journey


The Book

As a child, Robin Bayley was enchanted by his grandmother’s stories of her father’s Mexican adventures; of bandits, wild jungle journeys, hidden bags of silver and his narrow escape from the bloody Mexican Revolution.  At the end of the 19th century Robin’s great grandfather, Arthur – or ‘Arturo’ – Greenhalgh left England to travel through the Americas.  His fabulous stories were passed down through the generations, but Robin always sensed in them an absence, as if some key detail remained untold. So great was his desire to fill that vacuum that he sold his London flat and abandoned a successful media career to retrace his great grandfather’s footsteps across the Atlantic, through the US, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela and finally Mexico.

The Mango Orchard tells the true story of Robin and Arturo’s parallel journeys – a hundred years apart – into the heart of Latin America. 

In The Mango Orchard, Robin, undaunted by the passage of time and a paucity of information, seeks out the places where Arturo had travelled and lived, determined to uncover the mystery of what he had left behind.  Along the road Robin encounters witches, drug dealers, a gun-toting Tasmanian Devil and an ex-Nazi diamond trader. He is threatened with deportation, offered the protection of Colombian guerrilla fighters and is comforted by the blessings of los santos.  He falls in love with a Guatemalan psychic and almost gives up his quest, until a sense of destiny drives him on to western Mexico and the discovery of much, much more than he had ever expected.

Click here to buy
The Mango Orchard on
The Mango Orchard on Amazon
The Mango Orchard


In a village outside Tepic, in the Mexican state of Nayarit, Robin learns not only that Arturo had narrowly escaped the Revolution with his life, but that he’d also had a hand in starting it. Even more startling is the revelation that ‘the whole village’ shares his surname: Greenhalgh. When Arturo had returned to a quiet life in Edwardian England, he had left behind in Mexico a lover and an illegitimate daughter, whose offspring – a century later – had multiplied into a vast and thriving family of 300 souls.

Robin’s ‘new’ family welcomes him with open arms, believing him to be the reincarnation of their English ancestor. He is quickly drawn into the secrets, suspicions and intrigues of village life. The Mexican Greenhalghs had long believed that Arturo had died on the Titanic, on his way back to be with them. Robin must shatter that illusion, as well as help his beloved English grandmother to accept her father’s secret past. In the process of drawing together the missing pieces of his family history, Robin learns about the role his great grandfather had played in the factory strike which helped to trigger the Mexican Revolution, and the true circumstances of Arturo’s final departure from the country. He also finds that all the letters that Arturo had furtively sent to his lover, Maria, after returning to England were stolen for the money they contained. Tragically, both Arturo and Maria died not knowing that their love for one another lived on.

On his return to England, Robin and his grandmother reverse roles. Where once it was he who was enraptured by her stories, she now listens as he recounts his – and Arturo’s –adventures in the Americas. As he tells these stories, and shows his grandmother photographs of the Mexican family, he watches as her reluctant acceptance turns to fierce pride. At the age of ninety, she flies with Robin to Mexico where she is greeted by a mariachi fanfare and a sea of Mexican relations, their faces bathed in tears. For both sides of the family this final journey is a spiritual homecoming. After a hundred years, Arturo has finally returned.

Click Here to read the opening pages from The Mango Orchard

Robin Bayley

How The Mango Orchard was written
Robin Bayley began writing The Mango Orchard in 2004, ten years after the journey in which he followed in his great grandfather’s footsteps around Latin America and discovered that his ancestor had left a secret family in a small village in western Mexico. Robin had wanted to write the book sooner but the muse wasn’t with him. And besides, there was something on the telly.
Before he began his journey in the early 1990s, Robin went to talk to his grandmother. Although she had her misgivings about his giving up the security of a good job, she gave the project her blessing, on condition that he “hurry up” and finish it while she was still alive. The journey was an unmitigated success and he found more than he ever thought possible, but before he could begin writing The Mango Orchard, Robin retraced his steps, travelling Arturo’s route once again, absorbing a wealth of details he had missed the first time round.
He revisited Ellis Island in New York, Colombia, Venezuela and Guatemala before returning for an extended stay in Mexico. Then the writing began.
Forgetting the minor detail of his dyslexia, he initially thought it would take a few months to finish copying up his notes and sculpt them into an acceptable narrative. It took five years. In that time, in various locations in Mexico, Spain and the UK, he wrote over three million words, typing with such fervour that he went through three computers and damaged the nerve endings in his fingers.
After some heavy editing, The Mango Orchard was finally finished in early 2009. Before Robin sent the manuscript to his agent, he sent it to his grandmother, who read it twice. She died that same year, a few weeks short of her 103rd birthday, after having been told that the book of her father’s incredible journey had been given an international publishing deal, and that The Mango Orchard would be dedicated to her.

Click Here For Research


Film & TV
Design and Build by Tanya White