EGYPT 2017 We leave Aswan aboard a felucca, the Egyptian single-mast sailing boat that once carried goods along the Nile. Nowadays, their precious cargo is tourists. We sail towards Luxor, passing villagers swimming, washing, playing and even riding their donkeys in the water. The river is not as congested as I expected, just a few feluccas, the odd rowing boat, a couple of cargo boats and some cruise ships are our only companions all day.

Read more 0

EGYPT 2017 As we leave the confines of our hotel, a wizened old man approaches us. He smiles, sort of, showing off his four remaining, tarnished teeth. “You need taxi?” he asks. We do, so he leads us to his cab, crossing a four-lane highway by simply holding up his hand and walking out into the stream of cars, like Moses parting the Red Sea. As he pulls out into the minefield that is Cairo

Read more 0

NIGERIA 1992 Just after entering Nigeria we come to a police stop. A tall, well-built policeman jumps onto our truck and starts chatting away – a really friendly man, full of smiles and laughs. Suddenly, he smacks his left forearm with his right fist really hard, repeatedly. “I’m really strong,” he tells us. He turns to Martin. “Hit me,” he says. Not one to disobey the law, Martin gets stuck in – walloping him as

Read more 0

BURKINA FASO, IVORY COAST 1992 It was becoming very hot and I am starting to feel really sick. The last thing I need is an 18-hour train journey, but, I thought, if the train is half as good as the one from Ouagadougou to Bobo at least I could sleep it off. The train station is unbelievably huge, as it was in Ouaga – there are around 12 ticket desks, but only one is open.

Read more 0

MALI, BURKINA FASO 1992 As we cross the border from Mauritania into Mali, I notice a dramatic change almost immediately. We are in real Africa. The Africa I had imagined. There seems to be a more relaxed attitude here, a feeling of warmth (not just from the sun, but from the people as well). In Mauritania, and to some extent Morocco, I had felt like an uninvited guest. Tolerated rather than welcomed. But here, I

Read more 0

WESTERN SAHARA 1992 We’d been in the desert for five days, with no idea how long we would be here for. We – that’s our old Bedford truck, another English overland vehicle, a Polish 4WD and a couple of Land Rovers – were camped up about 20km outside the small town of Dakhla in the Western Sahara. To the left of our camp (or right if you were facing in the other direction), there was

Read more 1

NAMIBIA 2012  We were on the road again, this time towards the NamibRand Nature Reserve. As we leave the highway, en route to Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, we encounter numerous springbok, oryx and zebra. The springbok run and leap in front of our car, accompanying us as we make our way along the 20km track that leads to the lodge reception – a personal antelope escort service. The lodge overlooks the plains, and the mountains beyond.

Read more 0

The rules are simple, but the choices are less straightforward. Assuming money was no object, where would an A-Z tour of European football end up taking you? As a well-travelled 48-year-old Chelsea season ticket holder, I’ve had my fair share of trips to the continent following the Blues and England. Moscow, Munich, Barcelona, and Zagreb among others spring to mind, but there is still an untold amount of places – and clubs – to discover. In

Read more 0

NAMIBIA 2012 It’s hot. And I’m sweating profusely, despite the air con. A complete contrast to the freezing December weather we left behind in the UK; our winter coats thrown into the depths of the boot of our 4WD, to be left unseen for the next two weeks. We drive out of Windhoek, heading for the wilderness of Erongo. After a couple of hours easy travelling on smooth tarmac we turn off the highway on

Read more 0

Olimpija Ljubljana 1 v 2 Maribor (07.05.16) “Let’s go and watch some football in Eastern Europe somewhere,” I said. Neal (a fellow Chelsea season ticket holder) and I were discussing the increasingly prohibitive cost of following the Chels in Europe versus the enjoyment we had travelling abroad to watch the beautiful game. The planning. The build-up. The culture of whatever place we found ourselves in. The people. The pre-match beers. The banter. The atmosphere. The

Read more 0

You may have seen a banner hanging from the West Stand upper tier declaring ‘Slovenian Blues’ and wondered, ‘What’s that all about?’ No? Well, I have. So, on a recent trip to Slovenia to take in the ‘Eternal Derby’ – Olimpija Ljubljana v Maribor – I had a beer or three with the co-founder of the Slovenian Chelsea Supporters Club, Matjaž Homar – along with his fellow Blue, Gregor Horvatič, or ‘Boy’ as he is

Read more 0

ZIMBABWE (1993) We’re standing at the side of the road, thumbs in the air, seeking a ride out of Harare towards the Bvumba Mountains, which lie on the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border. Lorna and I plan to stay at the late author Doris Lessing’s place, now a guesthouse. We’d heard about it through some fellow travellers, Martin and Julia, who are going to manage the property for a couple of months for Lessing’s nephew, Trevor. Our first ‘lift’

Read more 0