The Iran Report

Imam Khomeini airport was pretty slick. Not overdone as I imagine one sees in the Emirates, but modern and efficient with a surprisingly low hassle kind of vibe. Obtaining my visa in Mumbai had been a troublesome affair, but immigration was a piece of cake. Some of my fellow male passengers seemed pretty slick too…


Mexico

  Good Morning Mexico Mexico holds a fascination for me, a grand romance. The country is brimming with nature in all its diversity and the relics of a fabulous, tragic history. Fiestas, fine food and friendly people all add up to a pretty awesome travel destination. And yet, ask an average American and they would…


Kenya

Kenya – The Journey to Lake Turkana August 17, 2011 Northern Kenya is a pretty wild, remote region and the public transport is whatever you can get. On the morning of July 30th at Moyale on the Ethiopian border, I was a little delayed organising my transport due to the activities of my companions and had…


Ethiopia

    Ethiopia, June 9th, 2011 – First Impressions June 12, 2011 The crack of dawn gained imperceptibly and emerged from the reflections on the aeroplane window somewhere over Sudan. The rainbow horizon was intense and soon the glare of the re-born sun under-lit the masses of cumulus cloud below to great effect.  It was too…


Indie Tibet

  Tibet might be thought too harsh a terrain to sustain such open, easy attitudes as those that animate the Tibetan people, but it certainly does. Being the highest region in the world over a vast area (average elevation 4900m), Tibet is awesomely beautiful, often implacable, with a delicate, lived-in, harmony, worn at the edges….


Is there love in the Kosmos? Music festivals, welfare and psychedelics

A crystalline lattice has encrusted grass and leaves; clear air trembles with waves of energy. Geometric transparencies shift across white plaster wall and closing eyes, rainbow fountains flood the retina. His mind is swimming, rotating and dissolving. He expands into shimmering colour haze, leaving his body, floating on luxuriant caresses of warm air, a texture…


Ayahuasca

17th August, 2012, Iquitos Peru. The little dugout canoe took us one at a time over the muddy red river. It was rather dodgy vehicle, rolling like greased butter and barely clearing the water, but gliding smoothly once you relaxed and got going. Ernesto, our respected Tabaquero followed me and then a girl who worked…


Jungle Tobacco

I returned to the Amaru Spirit centre not knowing quite what I was getting into but willing to give it a go. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as some great author of truisms once said. Excepting the quixotic romance of travel, or perhaps because of it, factors in my life were not adding up to a…


No Weddings and Three Funerals – disturbing death rites in Sulawesi

In answer to the question “what did you do on your holiday?”, attending funerals would normally be seen as a strange, macabre reply, but when visiting Tana Toraja in the highlands of southwest Sulawesi, we have to make an exception. In this beautiful land of mountains, rice paddies, boat-shaped houses and perhaps the friendliest folk…


Vippassana, The Musical – an exacting and vaguely illicit account of a meditation course from a mind full of pop

India 2011 I felt thin and denuded as India’s dry February landscape. On an amazing trip through Asia and still feeling sorry for myself. Things were getting to me. The bleak multitude of human shapes like empty sacks in the dust and swerving headlights, the stink of urine and car exhaust. Given the smorgasbord of…