The first book I remember reading that involved travel to far flung locations was one written by an old colonial hand, Fred G Merfield, with the alluring title ‘Gorillas were my Neighbours’. Looking back, I now see it as the memoirs of a casual racist, (amazingly quite acceptable at the time), with caricatures of tribal rituals, cannibalism and bush meat in Equatorial Africa. However, it was a considerable eye-opener for an eleven year old boy and certain phrases from it still loiter in my mind.
In the mid 1990’s I was working for a tour leader for a well-known UK adventure holiday company, leading small groups into the nether regions of Asia and the Middle East. The company wanted to capitalise on the Channel 4 TV series “Beyond The Clouds”, the programme name referencing a mistranslated “Yunnan” (South of the Clouds), a province of southwest China. Read more . .
I remember an early morning cycle rickshaw ride to Old Delhi station, rucksack on knee. There was a “Public Carrier” by the side of the road with a bloke lying under it messing about. But he wasn’t. Read more . .
My Favourite Day of the Tour… The early 90’s was still a time when you could operate tours in Zaire, but only just. Our tours began in Uganda. Groups arrived at Entebbe Airport not only with their own luggage, but also with a pallet of assorted tinned and dried food put together by the ever hard working and multi-talented operations managers back in the UK.