Travel journalism

Living the green life

The Mail on Sunday, September 3 1989

It was not until the notorious Night of Bliss and Organic Excitement was about to run its controversial course that the real truth finally dawned.

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Good and old - the hotel that dares to be different

The Melbourne Age, May 6 1995

The future is not what it used to be. Fifty years ago, people could imagine a world that simply became better and better in every way. It was progress. It was bound to happen. Of course, it didn't. This is true not only on the grand scale of poverty and pollution and the commercialisation of everything, but also in the details of life - the leather coat that turns out to be plastic, the fresh food...

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Discovering Australia (and the secret life of the Kingfisher man)

The Guardian, May 11 1996

It is early morning on the Murray river up on the northern border of the state of Victoria. Every so often, a gang of bright white cockatoos comes crashing out of the tree tops, screaming abuse at each other on their way across the water, but otherwise the river and the forest are deeply silent as Bill Vickers pushes his boat upstream.

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A test match in Antigua

The Guardian, May 2 1998

The American actor Robin Williams once denounced cricket as 'baseball on valium', a game of tedium and cucumber sandwiches. Robin Williams knows nothing.

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Beating about the Australian bush

The Guardian, January 23 1999

There was a story in the papers late last year about a European couple who had taken their camper van way out into the back of beyond in northern Australia and then got stuck in some mud with nothing around them except the vast space of the outback. Then they started to fight. The result of that was that the young woman abandoned the van and stalked off into the desert and, even though the man ran...

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Chaotic days and winking ways in Cuba

The Guardian, March 20 1999

It was a big moment. The young couple had emerged from the register office in the centre of Havana, holding hands and smiling shyly, to find the pavement full of people and the street in front of them occupied by what must have been the biggest, flashest, reddest Mercedes sports car in the city.

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Art cars in Houston, Texas

The Guardian, June 19 1999

There are not a lot of rebels in America. Most Americans don't seem to realise this - they still think they're living in the home of the free - but the truth is that the decisions of their daily life have become so commercialised, their self-image so puffed up with patriotism, their politics so encased in self-righteousness that this society, which is so keen to boast about its devotion to the...

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The mystery of the Mayans

The Guardian, January 22 2000

Once, the world was full of mysteries, some of them frightening, some of them wonderful, some of them merely fascinating, but now, it can be a banal and predictable place, the tracks of daily life so well-beaten and defined, our culture awash with the imbecile obvious, our existence suffocating in safety. But mysteries remain.

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A hard time in the Hague

February 1 2000

There is only one thing you really need to know about the Hague - one simple fact, one accident of history, one utterly damning weakness. The terrible truth is that the Hague is not Amsterdam.

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Athens - a city where cats sleep on the pavements

The Guardian, April 29 2000

The lost American nods into his beer and says that the Greeks are different. He should know. He came here, he's not sure, maybe 20 years ago - he just dropped out and never came back - and he's been here ever since, mostly writing poetry, and for all that time he's been illegal, no kind of papers at all, and the fact is that it's never caused him a moment's hassle.

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A match made in Havana

The Guardian, February 10 2001

Sometime long after midnight - after the food had run out, but while the wine and the rum were still bubbling over the bar, probably around the time that the salsa band finally took off into orbit and the whole room went with it in one collective dance of perspiration - just around then, I fell in love.

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Perfect peace on a hilltop in Andalucia

The Guardian, January 25 2003

One dull week in February when everything in Britain was coated in drizzle, my partner and I ran away to Andalucia and under a crisp blue sky we drove far up into the mountains north of Seville, through a small town of narrow streets and white houses called Cazalla, out into the hills again, up through the poplar trees, where we rounded a bend and suddenly discovered an absurdity.

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