There was no real travelling before this except to concerts in different parts of the UK. Checking information on one era mingled into checking the other so, if your interested you can check out the listing of the concerts I went to which is in reality here for my own interest.
September 1973: Fly to New York for a so called once in a lifetime holiday.
Initially I intend heading straight for Brooklyn to meet Ralphy an American whose family were of Italian origin. Ralphy had been travelling Europe a few weeks previously and had stayed with a his cousin and her husband who I was friendly with. On leaving them he offered "if you know anybody going to New York tell them to look me up" not realising that I was going a few weeks later.
As it happened, when I phoned the contact number I was given I was told Ralphy was still in Europe so, I stayed the night in Manhattan before heading for Toronto on a Greyhound bus to meet Fritzi (another friend of the aforementioned couple) the next day.
In brief, I spent the whole holiday with Fritzi in Ontario with trips to her parents lodge on the edge of one of the lakes North of Toronto. We also took some trips to places like Niagara Falls and London Ontario before returning to New York for my last few nights.
By this time Ralphy had returned from Europe and I stayed with his family in Brooklyn's Union Street. The whole family I was to realise immediately were exactly that. Family, Mafia, call them as you will, but while I was with Ralphy I was safe on back streets of Brooklyn that resembled a scene from West Side Story when the lights went down.
With my first "holiday of a lifetime" over I vowed to do it all again some day.
September 1974: Travel to London for a concert at Wembley Stadium starring Elton John, Crosby Stills , Nash & Young, Joni Mitchel and others.
December 26th 1974: I fly to Toronto.
December 28th 1974: Drive to a chalet on the side of a lake North of the city.
This is the same place as we'd gone to the previous year but unlike then when we sunbathed and swam, this time the lake was frozen over with people ice skating on it and making snowmen.
December 29th 1974: We lose the car.
After walking back to the road where the car was we realise that there had been so much snow over night that we couldn't find it. We eventually found it under a six foot drift.
December 30th 1974: Set off back towards Toronto to see the New Year in.
We skid off the road on the return journey and were lucky to get away with a few scratches on the car.
January 2nd 1975: Set off hitch-hiking to Florida with Fritzi.
We stop overnight in New Jersey with a guy we'd met at the lake the previous week. Much as we both wanted to freshen up though we couldn't because the bathroom was permanently occupied by a plantation of marijuana plants complete with ultra violet lamps to assist in their growth.
The three day trip down was uneventful other than being educated in the art of CB radio as one truck driver called ahead to ensure that as we left one truck another was waiting for us. And so it continued from Washington right through to Fort Lauderdale.
The Florida trip included visiting Fritzi's grandmother who lived there and doing the usual tourist things like going to Disneyland and Seaworld and a one week trip to Key West.
Being young and adventurous and having no money to talk of we decided to live off the land while we were in Key West. For five nights we slept in a twenty-four hour laundry whilst eating fruit off the trees and fish from the sea that the rich arse tourists caught on the boats they chartered for the day. Obviously, if they could afford to charter the boat they could afford a nice hotel so they'd get their photo's taken with the tuna, mahi mahi or sailfish that they'd caught and then give them to the waiting hippies on the key. There were barbecue grills on the beach so all we had to pay for was the charcoal.
Five days later, yearning a return to the real world we ran screaming to the nearest McDonald's. That tied in with the time we met a guy who was there on business who, realising our situation insisted on buying us drinks all night, explaining that he was on company expenses so not to worry about the money. The night ended with him treating us to a lobster meal as it came out in conversation that neither of us had ever tasted it before.
Before leaving Florida we'd been told "if you can't get a ride all the way to Washington don't take a ride at all" as if you get stuck in in Georgia or either of the Carolina's you'll never get out. However, as we'd had such a smooth hitch free (excuse the pun) journey down we took the first ride offered which was only going as far as North Carolina. We arrived in the dead of night and wiped our eyes as our driver woke us up before driving away. As his lights disappeared in the distance Fritzi said "my bag's still in the car". In a nutshell, all of our personal things including our passports were gone. We ended up spending a night in a police station cell and were given a one dollar chit in the morning to get breakfast. All that would afford was a cup of coffee and a plate of grits. I hate grits. Despite the bad start, we got back to New Jersey in record time.
Eventually I obtained an emergency passport in Canada for one trip. That being back to the UK. I can't remember how we got across the border into Canada but I'm sure it wasn't straightforward despite procedures being much more lax back then.
31st January 1975: See Leonard Cohen in concert at Toronto Massey Hall.
It would have been in the days following this that I returned to the UK.
May 1975: I move from Newport in Wales to Jersey.
September 1975: Following Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin's singer) having a car accident on the Mediterranean island of Rhodes he was flown to the UK and subsequently airlifted from London to Jersey for tax purposes. The rest of the band followed a few days later. Initially they stayed at a house owned by a school friend of Robert's called Jim Dudley. As Jim was a drinking partner of mine it was inevitable that I'd get to meet the band members which I did several times.
December 9th 1975: Led Zeppelin's bassist and drummer join resident pianist Norman Hale on stage at Behan's Night Club for the weekly Tuesday rock'n'roll night, ending with "maybe we'll bring the rest of the band next week". Norman was a former session pianist who knew John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page from working together in the past.
December 16th 1975: True to their word, Led Zeppelin joined Norman Hale again on stage at Behan's Night Club to perform just over an hour of mostly rock'n'roll classics. The set started with Robert Plant sitting on a stool with his crutches by his side but after a few numbers there was a roar of approval from the audience as he cast them aside to sing standing.
Probably 1976: Take the ferry to St Malo on route for Spain.
From St Malo I hitch-hike down the French coast to Biarritz and across the border to San Sebastian in Spain. Here I got stuck and didn't get a lift for twelve hours or more. When a truck eventually stopped and I said "Madrid", the driver said "Lisbon" and I said "OK" to get out of the rain.
The only thing I remember about Lisbon is that I was propositioned by a guy in an open market trying to sell me a knife. Upon my refusal I was dragged behind a tent where he opened up a purposely designed brief case revealing a broken down shotgun and two smaller hand guns.
The next day I move on to Algeciras in Spain where I take a ferry to Ceuta in Morocco.
The following days see me travelling first to Tangier then South to Fez, Marrakesh and then to Casablanca where I got food poisoning and was forced to abandon the holiday under the impression I was dying.
October 1977: Move to London with a friend.
We'd got into a little altercation with the authorities in Jersey and felt the need to escape.
November 1977: We return to Jersey.
December 22nd 1977: I return to Newport for my annual visit to friends and family.
December 23rd 1977: I see the Sex Pistols at The Stowaway Club in Newport.
July 1978: Sark with Carole, Ken, Hazel and Greg.
Date to follow 1979: Seychelles.
Having moved in with my current girlfriend two years previously this accounted for my lack of travelling in that period. Come 1979 I really needed to escape though so took the three week trip to Mahe in the Seychelles. In the first two weeks I spent most of the time just relaxing on Beau Vallon Beach.
I also took time out for the occasional day trips to the neighbouring Praslin Island, Ste Ann Island, Northolme (which was a local haunt being just up the coast) and Victoria the capital.
I had big plans to go out with a bang by going marlin fishing and visiting other islands but these were thrwarted when I was involved in an accident and broke two vertebrae in my neck. I was initially paralised from the neck down for three days and then airlifted back to Jersey with a registered nurse to accompany me as far as London and then the airline staff for the last flight to Jersey.
What happened was that I rented a house in a small private collection of properties and one of my Australian neighbours in the next house just happened to be booked on the same London flight as me. As luck would have it she was a registered nurse so the hospital reluctantly released me against their better judgement. On the other hand my insurance company were glad to see me leave as the hospital bill was soaring fast.
My girlfriend nearly died of shock at the airport when she came to collect me and saw me being lifted from the plane in a wheelchair and wearing a neck brace. When I'd phoned her to tell her that I'd broke my neck she misheard me and thought I'd said I broke my leg.
The eventualities of the broken neck were that I spent seven months out of work on sick benefit.
Probably Easter 1980: Alderney for a weekend trip.
June 1980: French Riviera & Monte Carlo. Adnan Khashoggi
Whilst in Canne we coudn't help but notice a fantastic luxury yacht complete with a helicopter pad a few hundred metres out to sea. We remained and the yacht disappeared until I moved on to Monte Carlo and there it was in the harbour. Every other corner in Monte Carlo seemed to have a limousine with a driver and armed bodyguard and I didn't put two and two together until a few days later back in England. I knew nothing of the owner or the boat which was called Nabila until I got back to the UK where there was a three page article in one of the daily papers. The subject of the article was international arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi who had been in the Rivierra on his yacht that he'd named after his daughter, Nabila. The Nabila was subsequently sold to the Sultan of Brunei when Khashoggi encountered financial difficulties. It has since been sold to Donald Trump who renamed it Trump Princess and ironically Trump had to sell it when he ran into financial troubles in 1991. It's current owner is Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. As Nabila it was used for the yacht scenes in the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again.
June 1981: Go to London for a long weekend to tie in with a few Bob Dylan Concerts.
Date to follow: Probably Riviera. (details to follow)
September 1983: French Riviera with Dicky and Sarah and Richard
Somewhere down the line we met a guy called Gilbert who was one of the most boring people I've ever met. So boring that I took an over night train from Nice to Geneva just to get away from him. I returned a few days later but he drove me crazy. The only interesting thing about him was that his ailing and ageing mother had left her finances in the hands of her only son Gilbert. What she didn't know was that he was an addictive gambler and that the inheritance was dwindling away day by day.
It was on this trip that I'd seen a video jukebox for the first time. It was in a bar just outside Nice railway station and the song everybody kept putting on was Bat Out Of Hell by Meat Loaf.
I lived on the beach at Canne for quite a few nights. The sea wall there right in front of the Carlton Hotel has a big overhang which is perfect protection should it rain (quite a contrast to living in the hotel).
As with other trips to the Riviera I flitted up and down the coast on the train from Frejus, Canne, Antibes, Juan Les Pins, Nice Villefranche-Sur-Mer and Monte Carlo with the occasional bus ride to St Tropez which isn't serviced by rail.
I can't remember how it all got started but whilst in Monaco I met a girl who I got on famously with. It transpired that she was a Canadian who had met her husband in Monte Carlo some time before. They got married and were supposed to be celebrating their first wedding anniversary where they met but something happened and they split up. Sooner than waste the holiday she came on her own. and when she met me she gave me the option of keeping her company and my payment in return would be half of her winnings should she get lucky. She did, so I did, but sitting at the card tables for hours on end for the next three days drove me crazy so I left her to it. I did however get to spend three nights with her at no cost whatsoever in Loews Hotel (the one that the Monte Carlo F1 race tunnel goes under).
I also visited Paris on the return journey of this trip.
August 1984: Two or three week holiday in Ibiza (details to follow).
October 1984: I go to Longchamp Races for the Arc De Triomphe meeting.
I may be wrong on the year but it was around this time and I'm guessing it was as a result of falling in love with the city the previous year that I again went.
August 1985: Two week holiday in Ibiza and meet members of Queen.
Not sure of the date but it was just after Live Aid. I was staying in Santa Eulalia and got talking to a guy who it turned out was Joe Strummer, the singer from the Clash. This in turn led to me meeting and spending a night out with Bob Geldof, Queen's Freddy Mercury and Roger Taylor, Jason Bonham (son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer) and actually being with the Queen members when they got up on stage to do an impromptu set of rock'n'roll songs in a pub. READ MORE.
Summer 1986: Ibiza again.
This is the trip where I went to Majorca first. I wasn't even supposed to be going to Ibiza except for maybe a few days but got hit by misfortune at the casino on the first night so left for the security of a few friends in Ibiza the next morning.
Jason Bonham was still there (or there again) though I didn't get to meet him on this occasion which is a pity as he performed with Safe Sex (a band that included Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page) at the Heartbreak Hotel in San Antonio in the August.
December 5th 1986: Take the 16:00 flight to Heathrow.
Stay overnight in Chiswick at the house owned by my then girl friend's brother. I have to leave at four the next morning for my next flight so we drink straight through with no sleep (more info). This was to become a habit that continues to this day.
December 6th 1986: Take the 10:10 flight to Delhi.
December 7th 1986: Arrive in Delhi shortly after midnight.
Meet two girls before leaving the airport so share a taxi and eventually get a hotel together.
December 7th 1986: Get up early and take a day trip to Agra (home of the Taj Mahal).
Visit Agra Fort and Taj Mahal. Upon my return to the hotel the girls were frantic having seen an enormous rat come up through the hole in the squat toilet before returning back down it. To put their minds at rest I stayed in their room for the night with the three of us snuggling up together in the one big bed. If you want a full run down on the whole trip, see if you can track down a copy of the first of my novels "Comeback".
December 8th 1986: Sightseeing in Delhi.
December 9th 1986: Take the 02:00 flight from Delhi to Bangkok.
On the flight the speaker announced that if anybody wanted an upgrade to business class for free just press the intercom button. Nobody replied until they offered again with the additional offer of a free bottle of champagne. I got to the button first.
I stay in an upmarket hotel in Bangkok with an Australian girl I met on the plane.
December 12th 1986: Take the 15:40 flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong.
For the duration of my stopover I stay with an old musician friend and his wife who I met when I first went to live in Jersey. He was working as a school teacher in Hong Kong with a fancy Braemar Heights apartment in Wai Tsu Cresent that overlooked the bay.
December 13th 1986: Spent the day being a tourist.
December 14th 1986: Go to Sha Tin Racecourse.
The top English jockey Pat Eddery had only one mount that day and it was in the feature race. I figured he hadn't flown in from Europe for the hell of it so, after seeking advice on how to place a bet from one of the locals a large wager was placed. Unfortunately there was a slight language barrier which meant I placed the bet on the right number horse but in the wrong number race. The outsider I had gambled on lost. I eventually doubled the bet on the right number horse in the right number race and it lost too. This was a serious blow to my finances. The day ended with a Chinese meal at a top notch restaurant with my hosts.
December 15th 1986: Take the 22:40 flight from Hong Kong to Bali.
December 16th 1986: Arrive in Bali at 06:00.
I was originally scheduled to fly out of Bali on the 18th but due to some travel agent mess up I didn't actually leave until the 26th. To this day the ten days I spent there remain the best ten days holiday I've ever experienced, but all else aside, Bali was (and still is) very cheap so was much needed after my financial calamity at the races in Hong Kong.
December 26th 1986: Take the flight from Bali to Perth.
Arrive early evening where the male half of the couple I'm staying with (knowing of my love of gambling) took me to Perth Casino. Having bought 50 dollars worth of chips we agree that when the chips are finished or when 30 minutes were up, win or lose, we quit. 30 minutes later we sat at the bar with two bottles of champagne and $2,000.00 Australian dollars.
December 31st 1986: Take the flight from Perth to Adelaide.
This flight was originally scheduled for the 22nd but due to the previous travel chaos I was now running late. I officially stay in the suburbs of Elizabeth with my eldest brother who emigrated with his family in the early nineteen sixties. We tried to track down my brother's son Mike to see the New Year in together but it wasn't to be. I was eventually to spend more time with Mike who lived in the city than his with his dad.
January 10th 1987: Take the 13:00 flight from Adelaide to Sydney.
Back on schedule having spent only one week instead of two in Adelaide.
January 15th 1987: Take the 15:35 flight from Sydney to Fiji.
Meet two sisters whilst leaving the airport and end up spending the whole time with them. As it was getting dark when we arrived, the first night we stayed close to the Nadi Airport then in the morning rented a car and moved closer to Suva the capital.
January 17th 1987: Take the 22:30 flight from Fiji to Honolulu.
On the back of my new found wealth in Perth I splash out and stay at the Outrigger Resort Hotel on Waikiki Beach.
The following days seen me go right around the island taking in North Shore to watch the surfers, but on that day there was so much mist I couldn't even see the beach let alone the surfers or the sea. Also trekked to the top of Diamond Head, the dormant volcano at the end of Waikiki Beach.
January 20th 1987: Take the 09:20 flight from Honolulu to San Francisco.
I stumble upon a downtown bar about five blocks from my hotel. It becomes my home from home whilst I'm in town.
January 22nd 1987: Fly from San Francisco to Las Vegas.
This was not on my itinerary but I had the money so thought why not. Upon arrival I hire a stretched limousine at the airport to take me to the strip (they can be rented complete with chauffeur by the hour). I spent the whole night in a casino playing blackjack. I ended up even. No win, no lose.
January 23rd 1987: Take a late afternoon flight from Las Vegas back to San Francisco.
Two night girls came into the bar teasing the male clientèle by wiggling their unsupported breasts. On hearing my British accent the one girl lifted her top, lopped them out and forced my hands onto them. When she found out it was the last night of my holiday she insisted on giving me a real American send off. It would have been rude for me to refuse.
January 24th 1987: Take the 12:15 flight from San Francisco to London Heathrow via transit at Houston.
We didn't get to Houston until after our connection should have left and I was sure I'd missed it. Unbeknown to me though, half the people on the flight with me were also booked on the same connection so, (much to the disgruntlement of the people already there) it waited for us.
January 25th 1987: Arrive at Gatwick at 10:00 then fly out late afternoon for Jersey.
Early July 1995: Take a boat and road trip to Paris to see the David Bowie on the 3rd and U2 on the 4th.
Some time later in 1987: Syria and Greece.
An episode best forgotten. In a nutshell, I flew to Damascus and immediately met a Scandinavian couple. On explaining that my intention was to purchase a bicycle and go on a camping/cycling holiday through Lebanon and the Golan Heights the male half of the couple said he'd join me. We bought a bike and set off the next day only to be stopped at the Syrian/Lebanese border. This in turn led us being evicted from the country for being infidels. The full story can be found here.
We were then given the opportunity of flying to either our home countries or the nearest airport that would have us. We opted to fly to Thessaloníki in Macedonia Greece. From there we take a ferry to one of the neighbouring islands where we spend the next two weeks.
I did however take time out to visit the monasteries in Meteora which was one of my more memorable good experiences of the trip. The monasteries were a feature of the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only.
Date to follow 1988: First trip to Rio.
As a footnote I will point out that my retained passports only date back to 1989 which is why some dates prior to this point may be a little vague.
October 8th 1988: Fly to London for the second of Jean Michel-Jarre's Destination Docklands Concerts.
October 9th 1988: Attend the second of Jean Michel-Jarre's Destination Docklands Concerts.
October 10th 1988: Fly back to Jersey.
August 1989: Fly to Rio De Janeiro.
Three week holiday staying with the Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs to celebrate his 60th birthday. Basically what happened was that I met Ronnie on my previous visit to Rio in 1988. Upon showing my holiday pics to the brothers Jack and Chris (Biggs), Chris proclaimed "look Jack, Dave met Uncle Ron". Even though we drank together all the time there was never any mention of their father's brother, the famous train robber. With that, the wheels were set in motion for Jack and I to visit Ron together so we set it up to tie in with his 60th Birthday.
Also resident at Ronnie's apartment was Bob (Bongo) Starkie of the Australian glam rock band the Skyhooks. He had befriended Ronnie and had bought an island hideaway off the coast of Brazil with him. Bob was initially there to make a documentary film of the Great Train Robber with the proceeds of his musical career and a night club he'd just sold. To help ensure it's success Paul Seabourne (the guy who masterminded Ronnie's escape from jail) was flown in for the occasion. Ronnie's son Mike also arrived from America on the 7th of August, the day before the birthday bash.
Ironically, the film was finished the following year but could not be sold because of the outbreak of the Gulf War with Kuwait. In brief, every general entertainment/news channel on the planet ploughed all their spare resources into covering the war. The film I'm a Crook But I'm Not A Villain has not seen the light of day to date. This episode of my life is more than adequately covered in my novel South Across The Border.
With the exception of travelling North to Manaus to see the Amazon and South West to see Iguassu Falls we stayed with Ronnie for the duration of the three week trip.
June 28th 1990: Fly to the UK for my brother's wedding the following day.
June 31st 1990: I return to Jersey.
July 13th 1990: Fly to Paris for the next day's Jean Michel-Jarre concert.
July 15th 1990: I return to Jersey.
August 5th 1991: Get Thai Visa.
October 7th 1991: Fly to Bangkok.
October 25th 1991: Fly out of Bangkok back to the UK.
November 6th 1992: Fly to Bucharest.
This was to be my first experience of Communism. I had been forwarned not to exchange money anywhere other than official outlets. However, as I had no pre-arranged accommodation and I'd met a girl on the plane who did we decided to team up together. But upon arrival at the airport I needed cash immediately or chance losing a chance of hassle free accommodation so I changed some money on the black market to get me started but...... read on.
November 7th 1992: We were approached on the street with an offer to exchange money and this time my partner needed some so I offered to do the transaction for her. I went to the edge of the square and just as I was about to exchange her US Dollars for the wedge of notes that he'd just started counting from the top we hear "police" as a third person approaches us. We snatch at one another's money and walk in opposite directions and when I get back to the girl and tell her what had happened she started laughing. I asked "what's funny" and she answered "have you checked the money"? I said no but I watched him start counting it. On checking I found the first few notes on the top and the bottom were real but everything in between was toilet paper.
Being tourists we did the usual touristy things like sightseeing at Ceausescu's Palace and despite it being November the weather was quite warm so we went rowing on one of Bucharest's lakes. The one thing that stands out in my mind more than anything about Bucharest was the bullet marks (the result of various uprisings) on so many of the buildings.
November 8th 1992: Lunch for two at the plushest place we could find.
Despite only changing £20.00 on arrival that had been more than enough having paid my share of the rent in US Dollars and reimbursing the previous day's swindle in the same. Back in 1992 it was pretty much impossible to spend money in Rumania and I still had left over cash after paying for the two meals and several drinks.
November 8th 1992: I take the evening flight from Bucharest to Bangkok on route to Ho Chi Minh City.
Last stop before leaving was the duty free shop at the airport where I bought 600 cigarettes with the last of my Rumanian Leu currency. I stay overnight in Bangkok
November 9th 1992: Fly from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City.
Considering it was still full blown Communism at the time I found the whole procedure of filling in forms stating my business and whereabouts before leaving the airport somewhat alien to me. And then upon arrival having to report to the police station to confirm the same and then going back to the police to report when I was leaving and repeating the whole procedure every time I wanted to go to another town!
I initially teamed up with some Scandinavian guys who introduced me to a few of the ways of life in Viet-Nam. One called a pedlo taxi cyclist over and whispered something in his ear while slipping some money into his hand. The pedlo guy disappeared and returned a few minutes later with some local currency. The procedure repeated several times over the next hour or so but each time it would be a different end result. Local food, moonshine whiskey, a pack of cigarettes with 19 kosher of the tobacco variety whilst the last one was a little stronger until the last call of the pedlo cyclists resulted in us taking one pedlo rider each for a ride to the other side of town. On arrival at our destination my new found friends were greeted presumably as regulars and we were led into the living room of the large single floor dwelling. Being the guest I was offered first option of the local delicacies so the owner went into the back room and reappeared with a girl who couldn't have been more than eleven. Disgusted at even the thought of what was happening I showed my disapproval which got lost in the translation. The owner looked up at me and seeing my ear-ring he said "ah, I understand. I have special for you" and left then reappeared this time with a similar aged child but this time a boy. I looked at the Scandinavians and said "you do what you want but I'm out of here" walking back to the waiting pedlo rider.
The Scandinavians joined me and we ended up in a late night bar that served food. To cut a long story short, the meal consisted of mostly fruit that was served on a naked girl who served as a table. Having had little sleep since leaving Jersey I fell by the wayside shortly after and was never to see the Scandinavians again, nor have any recollection as to how the night ended.
November Tuesday 10th 1992: Take the evening Reunification Express train to Nha Trang.
November 12th 1992: I book to leave on the 14th (long story version) on the same plane that crashed leaving only one survivor but manage to change my flight to a day earlier.
November 13th 1992: Take the early morning flight to Bangkok then onward to Kho Samui.
For the next five days I rent a beach hut in Lamai.
November 14th 1992: Plane that I'm originally booked to fly on crashes.
The story that I got (more details) was spot on except that the plane was flying into not out of Nha Trang.
November 19th 1992: Take the ferry from Kho Samui to Surat Thani where I take a coach to Phuket.
27th November 1992: Fly from Phuket to Bangkok.
28th November 1992: Fly to somewhere in India, then on to Abu Dhabi, Bucharest and then on to London for my connection to Jersey. The whole flight took approximately 48 hours. It was an epic journey with lots of memories though (full story).
December 18th 1992: I attend a Keith Richards and the Ex-Pensive Winos concert at the Town and Country Club, London.
This was Keith Richards birthday and when given a bouquet of flowers from someone in the audience he responded "I feel like Maria Callas".
June 19th 1993: Travel to St Malo in France to see INXS.
June 30th 1993: Return to Jersey.
December 3rd 1993: Fly to Venezuela.
I initially stay in Caracas for a few days where on the first night I experience my first earthquake. On Wikepedia the date of the earthquake is listed as 9th of July 1997 so I could have the dates of this trip totally wrong but I tend to think that Wikepedia does unless there was another earthquake that they haven't listed.
December 5th 1993 (probably): I travel over the rain forest in a series of Cessna planes. Destination Angel Falls. It's commonplace in the jungle to hitch a ride off the Cessnas.
The final touchdown was in a village at Sapo Falls. The airstrip like the others since leaving Caracas was a field with a few primitive huts on the outskirts.
We were supposed to take a four hour motorised canoe trip to Angel Falls but the river had dried up a few days earlier so we had to settle for another Cessna trip to see it from the air.
DATE UNKNOWN: Take a plane from Caracas to the Dutch island Aruba (the only all white Caribbean island) then I flew on to Tobago.
Aruba was unimpressive but Tobago was idyllic (the real start of my love for the Caribbean).
December 21st 1993: Take a six hour boat trip from Tobago to Trinidad.
Trinidad is exactly the opposite of Tobago. Tobago being small, peaceful and virtually crime free whereas Trinidad is basically a very dangerous place. At least the capital Port of Spain is.
Having helping a wheelchair bound lady onto the plane (assistance that wasn't forthcoming from the airline staff ) she invited me for Christmas dinner but I declined. I have no recollection of that Christmas other than re-entering Port of Spain on Boxing Day to have a bet on the British horse racing that was transmitted live there.
April 1994: Fly from London to Barbados then on to St Vincent in the Caribbean Take a day trip with a local boatman to Mustique and check out the homes of the rich and famous (Princess Margaret, Mick Jagger, David Bowie etc).
I return to the UK three weeks later.
December 17th 1994: Fly to Malaysia.
December 21st 1994: Fly to Singapore
December 23rd 1994: I take a ferry to Batam Island then on to the East coast of Sumatra (the ferry route I took has since been discontinued). From here I travel by bus to Bukattinggi before taking the tourist overland route North East to Samosir Island on Lake Toba, Medan and then sidestep to Bukit Lawang that is a protected wildlife park that specialized in the breeding of orang utangs. As with the aforementioned ferry, the breeding at Bukit Lawang has also been discontinued following a flash flood in 2003 that killed 239 people and temporarily also killed tourism in the area.
June 29th 1995: Take a boat and road trip to Paris to see the Rolling Stones on the 30th.
Bon Jovi were the support act.
31st June 1995: Return to Jersey
December 21st 1995: Return to the UK to spend Christmas with my family..
December 7th 1997: Fly to Goa for the first of many times.
December 21st 1997: Return to the UK to spend Christmas with my family..
December 13th 1998: Fly from Jersey to Goa via London Gatwick.
December 27th 1998: Return to Jersey.
November 8th 1999: Fly to Goa via London Heathrow and Mumbai
November 26th 1999: Return to Jersey.
November 28th 2000: Fly from Jersey to Goa via London Heathrow and Mumbai.
December 7th 2000: Return Jersey. VERIFIED BY PASSPORT STAMP BUT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE ?????
December 2001: Fly to London For a weekend racing at Sandown.
December 2001: Return to Jersey.
December 18th 2001: Fly to Goa via London Heathrow and Mumbai.
January 8th 2002: Return to Jersey.
November 30th 2002: Fly to Goa via charter (unconfirmed).
December 2002: Fly to London For a weekend racing at Sandown.
December 2002: Return to Jersey.
December 14th 2002: Return to Jersey.
August 27th 2003: Fly to London to see the Rolling Stones at the 2,000 capacity Astoria.
This is and will remain until the day I die the highest price I have ever paid for a concert ticket.
August 28th 2003: Return to Jersey.
December 2003: Fly to London For a weekend racing at Sandown.
December 11th 2003: Fly to Goa by charter.
January 4th 2004: Return to Jersey.
March 13th 2004: Fly to Goa by charter.
March 27th 2004: Return to Jersey.
July 2004: Spain & Gibraltar.
August 4th 2004: Take a bus to Gibraltar for the day not realising it was a national holiday to mark the 300th Anniversary of it's independence. As it happened almost everywhere was open and as an added bonus Elton John was being flown in to play at the evenings concert at the 9,000 capacity Victoria Stadium. I easily obtained a ticket and stayed overnight.
Mid August 2005: Return to Jersey.
August 29th 2004: Return to Spain.
I have no idea why I took two trips in such a short timespan. I took a day trip to Gibraltar again too?
Mid September 2004: Return to Jersey.
December 2004: Fly to London For a weekend racing at Sandown.
December 2004: Return to Jersey.
December 30th 2004: Fly to Goa by charter.
January 13th 2005: Return to Jersey.
February 26th 2005: Fly to Goa by charter.
March 12th 2005: Return to Jersey.
July 1st 2005: Fly to London for the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park.
July 2nd 2005: Attend Live 8 concert in Hyde Park.
July 3rd 2005: Fly back to Jersey.
December 2005: Fly to London For a weekend racing at Sandown.
December 2005: Return to Jersey.
December 24th 2005: Fly to Goa by charter.
January 14th 2006: Return to Jersey.
March 25th 2006: Fly to Goa by charter.
April 28th 2006: Return to Jersey.
July 31st 2006: Fly to London to see Roger Waters in Hyde Park the next day and The Who on the 2nd.
July 3rd 2006: Return to Jersey.
December 3rd 2006: Fly to London For a weekend racing at Sandown.
December 6th 2006: Return to Jersey.
December 16th 2006: Fly to Goa by charter.
January 6th 2007: Return to Jersey.
March 24th 2007: Fly to Goa by charter.
April 7th 2007: Return to Jersey.
June 16th 2007: Fly from Jersey to Corfu via London Gatwick.
June 28th 2007: Whilst having lunch in Corfu Town there's a 5.8 earthquake that really rocked the place.
June 29th 2007: An aftershock from the earthquake hit which seemed a lot stronger than the quake itself. This time we were four floors up.
June 29th 2007: Fly from Corfu to Jersey via London Gatwick.
August 2010: We hire a Heron plane to fly to Deauville in France for a day's horse racing Thanks to a long standing relationship with the restaurant's maitre'd Pasquale, subsequent visits saw us on the next table to The Aga Khan, Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones, jockeys Frankie Dettori and Lester Piggot to name a few.
December 4th 2007: Fly to London For a weekend racing at Sandown.
December 6th 2007: Return to Jersey.
December 11th 2007: Fly to Goa by charter. ONE OF THESE IS WRONG
December 15th 2007: Fly to Goa by charter. ONE OF THESE IS WRONG
January 5th 2008: Return to Jersey.
March 22nd 2008: Fly to Goa by charter.
This is probably the trip where I met Christa as she visited me in Jersey later that year.
April 12th 2008: Return to Jersey.
Late June 2008: Fly to Stuttgart in Germany.
June 23rd - 25th 2008: Horn in Germany
A few days later drive South to Mettnau on the banks of Lake Constance and stay in a small hotel for a few nights. Cross the border into Switzerland and go to Rhine Falls.
June 24th 2008: On the way back we visit Rhein Am Stein in Switzerland.
June 25th 2008: European Cup semi finals played in Basel. Watched in the main square by thousands as a big screen had been erected for the occasion.
August 2008: Deauville Races
December 6th 2008: Fly to London For a weekend racing at Sandown.
December 8th 2008: Return to Jersey.
December 28th 2008: Fly to Goa by charter.
June 26th 2009: Fly to London to see Neil Young on the 27th and Bruce Springsteen on the 28th.
June 29th 2009: Return to Jersey.
August 2009: Deauville Races
I think this is the first time we stopped over and stayed at Horn Fleur.
December 4th 2009: Fly to London for a weekend racing at Sandown.
December 6th 2009: Return to Jersey.
December 26th 2009: Fly Jet Airways to Goa via Mumbai.
January 17th 2010: Return to Jersey.
August 7th 2010 : Fly to Cardiff.
Have no idea what for or how long.
August 2010: Deauville Races
November 20th 2010 : Fly to Goa via charter.
December 1st 2010: Fly to London for a weekend racing at Sandown.
December 3rd 2010 : Return to Jersey.
March 25th 2011: Fly to Goa via charter.
April 8th 2011: Return to Jersey.
May 13th 2011: Fly to London to see Roger Waters at 02 Stadium the next night.
May 15th 2011: Booked into the Gatwick George Hotel
May 16th 2011: Fly back to Jersey.
August 20th 2011: Take a boat and road trip to Deauville Races in France.
Dabirsim won the Prix Morny
August 22nd 2011: Return to Jersey.
December 2011: Fly to London for a weekend racing at Sandown.
December 11th 2011: Fly to Goa.
December 24th 2011: Return to Jersey.
August 2012: Take a boat and road trip to Deauville Races in France.
August 2012: Return to Jersey.
August 25th 2012: Fly to Malaga via London Gatwick.
September 9th 2012: Return to Jersey.
December 12th 2012: Fly Quatar Air to Goa via Mumbai.
December 26th 2012: Return to Jersey.
July 6th 2013: Fly to Gatwick.
I have no idea what the occasion was.
July 7th 2013: Return to Jersey.
August 2013: Take a boat and road trip to Deauville Races in France.
The Prix Morny is the feature race.
August 2013: Return to Jersey.
November 15th 2013: Fly to Bristol on route to see my family.
December 2nd 2013: Return to Jersey.
December 14th 2013: Fly to Goa via London and Mumbai.
January 4th 2014: Return to Jersey.
August 2014: Take a boat and road trip to Deauville Races in France.
The Prix Morny is the feature race.
August 2014: Return to Jersey.
December 4th 2014: Fly to Bristol on route to see my family.
December 8th 2014: Return to Jersey.
December 22nd 2014: Arrive in Goa for the first day of my retirement.
See separate blog page (below).
At the time of writing there are still many omissions. There was a second trip to Germany. Two weeks in Tenerife. A second holiday in Majorca. A second trip to Belamadena in Spain. Other trips to Fuengerola in Spain. Three trips to Holland. A trip to Belgium. Various trips to France near and far. An early trip to Geneva (before the Swiss diversion). And that's only the one's coming to mind at the moment. But being EEC countries none are immediately traceable as there were no passport stamps to check for dates.