60le— still a heavy burden but half of it consisted ofcamera equipment to which I clung stubbornly. At any rate. this is how the journey began.

Everyone needs a reason to sustain a prolonged journey. R. L. Stevenson once expressed his; 'For my part I travel not to go anywhere. but to go. I travel for travel‘s sake. The great affairis to move; . . . to come down off this feather-bed of civilisation. and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints. . .‘ I experienced the same satisfaction at covering distance. the lure of adventure through a measure of hardship and the ensuing sentiments of discovery. both raw and subtle. I had the additional motive ofphotography for I had trained as a photographer and wanted to record this journey on film. But at times the cutting flints could be too sharp. such times as when I lay locked inside a Uruguyan cell under the gaze ofsuspicious soldiers. fell ill with para-typhoid in China and was mugged in Rio.

And why the kilt. you may ask? It came. I admit. largely as a gimmick. If you are curious about others. it helps to be a curiosity yourself. That was the theory. anyway. and on the whole it worked. The kilt brought me many rich encounters and opened many doors that would otherwise have remained closed. It also brought me insults and derision, and outright hostility in Mexico City where rotten fruit was thrown at me. I wore my kilt with pride but not where it was blatantly unacceptable and when it proved a greater hindrance than a help. It preserved my modesty for about three of the five years, but at times only just. It was rudely inadequate in the eternal winds of Patagonia. and through the grid steps leading up to the Statue of Liberty (aptly enough).

On my return to Britain I visited a bakery, my mouth watering at the thought of all the dainty confectionaries I had missed for so long. The woman behind the counter dropped cream-filled meringues and custard slices into a bag. and then added some of those other things that sit sedately on bakery shelves and then mush into a trifle of their own accord once inside the privacy of a white paper bag, and asked if I had been abroad. (I had an unavoidable tan). I held the paper bag, already turning soggy. handed her enough money to buy six 1978

\ 3 ’, . :. ' J . , . 0 e a L. ' ‘2“, . I‘ " . “' "j L p. r 3'“ ~' g t we" 1:. l‘ V j: ' TR ‘~ \ A \ iz‘agat-“h-.1‘\~ . A .. A‘ , . e r .}:¥“1,“-‘ g.: :‘\'..l‘,_- H . . . a K Alastair enjoying a tresth snared rabbit somewhere in Alaska.

outrageous pints. and explained , briefly. ‘Five years!‘ she mused.

witchdoctors in Peru. and a bar cocktail in the Yukon containing a

journey. and ultimately one ofthe

gives you one month‘s travel in 21 European countries including Romania. Yugoslavia and Finland for £1 19, plus 30—50% off sea crossings.

Rail Passes For those over 26 most European countries do rail passes valid for weeks or months. Many of these can be purchased direct from BR in Scotland.

Bus Miracle Bus Co. ()1 379 6055. London to Istanbul £60 one way. 4 days. Transalpino (any age) London to Belgrade £62 one way.

0 Alt: Round the World Transalpino‘s cheapest is £795 and valid for one year for any age. London Delhi

Honolulu,Various destinations can be arranged at varying prices. Transalpino. 150 West George Street. Glasgow. 14 North Bridge. Edinburgh.

lsic Flights For those under 30 in possession of International Student Identity Card. Prices one way only from London Lima £222. Rio £251 . Tokyo £357. Peking £230, Phuket £274. Delhi £239. They also do flights for non-students and other ages. one way from London Rio £317. Tokyo £430.

Special Packages Transalpino. South America £690 for six months. London Bogota Quito - Lima London (ISIC‘ holders under 30). Far 3 East £730 for six months. London Bangkok Hong Kong Kuala Lumpur Singapore Bangkok - London (ISIC holders under 35). Cheap Flights for non-students: All one way from London Nairobi


so we’re able to give sound, sensible advice on skis, boots, clothing, goggles, gloves, earmuffs, hats, boot-clips. bumbags etc.

and our prices have never been keener!

We’re worth a visit.

The Football match. played between , T teams ofelephants with riders. takes s K I S H o P place every November in Surin, _,/’

Thailand. l. . / 261 saucmenaii St Glasgow Tel 041-332 4814

Alastair Scott's book. Scot Free, the first of three books about his travels {- round the world, is published in April by John Murray. He is giving an illustrated lecture at the City Hall. Candleriggs. Glasgow on Wednesday l 12 Feb and at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Thurs 13 Feb. (See Open List: Words for details).

£194. Manila £225. Seychelles £570. Peking £605. A round the world cruise costs from £6000 to £ 1 5 .000 taking in the Bahamas. Acapulco. Hawii. Australia. Bombay. S Africa. Portugal and Southhampton. Start doing the pools now. 0 Guides British Rail recommend Thomas C ook‘s Continental Timetable. available from Cook‘s £4.25 containing trains to all imaginable destinations; their ; International Timetable lists all the f unimaginable ones to help you navigate across Africa and S America. Lonley Planet publish some of the most well known guides for distant travel Africa on a Shoestring £6.95. lndiaa Travel Survival Kit £9.95. China a Travel Survival Survival Kit £9.95 and SE Asia on a Shoestring £6.95. Bradt publish various titles in their Backpacking in S America range at£4.50. as well as Backpackers in Africa £5 .50. Frommer's guides measured in dollars. S America on $25 a Day etc cost about £7.95. All these books are . available at Waterstone‘s. George Street. Edinburgh and John Smiths. St Vincent Street. Glasgow. NB Frustratingly almost all cheap travel starts from London which can add quite a lot on to the cost. However. British Rail are giving I incredible 80% discounts to railcard : holders in February Glasgow—London return £8. Edinburgh—London return £12. Not available on Fridays.


‘And have you had a nice time‘." How on earth was I to reply'.’ I wanted to tell her about

genuine pickled human toe; about the way important Tibetans send herds ofyaks ahead of them on winter journeys to act as a snowplough. and the way the Faeroese cook whale (boil 11/: hours). pigs‘ hearts (boil 1‘/2 hours) and sheep’s heads (boil 1V: hours); about New Zealand's rare frog whose eggs bypass the tadpole stage and hatch as ready-made rare frogs; about the Turkish peasant woman who stopped her donkey and cart on a downhill road. and filled my arms with apricots; about the traveller‘s responsibility how vision must remain broad. not restricted by a camera‘s cyclopean eye. and behaviour remain sympathetic to the views of those amongst whom it is a privilege. not a right. to be. . . Ihad 11/4 million words in my diary. but she wanted a quick. simple reply. So I told her about that football match in Thailand and explained how it had been one ofthe funniest sights ofthe

most pitiful.

‘Elephants'." she queried. I nodded and had to repeat that amongst the crowd of people had been 200 elephants; 190 were spectators. the remaining ten were the players.



W/ittt m (it flat/S (in/out lost

Price. Our unfair advantage.




0 Ball British Rail provide more than you‘d think in the way of foreign travel and can sell tickets to almost anywhere. check with the information people at Waverley and Central stations before you head for Moscow or Peking.

Inter-Rail If you are under 26 this

We rent a wide range of cars, from a Fiesta to a Mercedes. You’ll find our cars second to none.

116 Polwarth Gardens Tel. 031 228 6088 0 Competitive rates are also available on vans and mini-bus hire.

The List 7 20 Feb 47——