Craig Doyle: My Life In Travel

'We're ignorant of our own countries. People can be quite insular'
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The Independent Travel

First holiday memory?

A place called Glandore in west Cork, which was a lovely little fishing harbour; I would have been about five at the time. The Prime Minister Jim Callaghan was staying at the hotel there and we were staying at a house up the road. My brother and I were playing in a little boat and my mother came out to find Jim Callaghan watching us. He asked my brother his name and then asked him the same question the next day, to which my brother replied, "I told you yesterday!".

Best holiday?

The holidays I had as a kid were fantastic. We used to go to places like Torremolinos, which wasn't too built up at the time. We'd hang out in the old town rather than the touristy places. I have great memories of holidays in Ireland running around beaches. These days, any time away with my kids is great.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I love Scotland - my favourite place is Mallaig on the west coast. It's absolutely beautiful.

What have you learnt from your travels?

How ignorant we are of the rest of the world and of our own countries. We don't celebrate the British Isles enough. People can be quite insular.

Ideal travelling companion?

My wife, we have travelled a lot together. If you can travel with someone, you can marry them. I also like travelling alone because you're forced to find more out.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

A bit of all three. I don't like doing things that terrify the life out of me. One of my favourite trips was a horseback safari in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The hind of my horse had a lion's scratch on it, so I was aware of the element of danger while I was taking in the beauty of the area. That was a good combination of excitement and beauty.

Greatest travel luxury?

Motilium, a travel sickness preventative.

Holiday reading?

I'll take things I've read before like John Steinbeck's short stories. I don't really read novels, I like small things to dip in and out of. I am a huge fan of maps, too.

Where has seduced you?

South America, in particular Patagonia. I explored the Torres del Paine on horseback, which was mentally rewarding and peaceful. Buenos Aires is great for having a wild time.

Better to travel or arrive?

To arrive. These days, I'll do my best to make sure the journey is as luxurious as possible. The journey is usually a day of your trip and should be as enjoyable as the holiday.

Worst travel experience?

Walking into a hotel in Mallorca with a camera crew. It was a hell-hole - the lobby was full of British tourists chanting "bring him out, string him up". Two teenagers had got drunk and one of them had wandered into the staff quarters and passed out with his trousers around his ankles. A waiter found him and dragged him out and the boy accused him of being abusive. The guests had a field day. It was just awful.

Worst holiday?

I've had loads. The QM2 was a bit disappointing because it had none of the romance I had expected. It felt a bit Blackpool and Las Vegas.

Best hotel?

Francis Ford Coppola's hotel Turtle Inn in Placencia, Belize; the Villa Marie, just outside St-Tropez; and the Choupana Hills in Madeira.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

A walk from the Explora lodge in Torres del Paine, Chile at sunset - it was just beautiful. There's a great walk on the Wicklow Way in Ireland near where I live, and another favourite walk is through London at about 7am as people are making their way to work and setting up stalls. It feels as if the city is starting to breathe again.

Best meal abroad?

A curry in the middle of a forest near Cochin in India. It was cooked over a fire and was amazing. We had about eight vegetarian curries, which we ate with our hands.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

I usually ring my wife then go out for a walk. I need to know where I am. If I've got a car I get out and explore.

Dream trip?

The Galapagos islands. I have been offered trips through work but have turned them down because I want to go for the first time with my kids, when they're old enough to appreciate it.

Favourite city?

London, Stockholm and Buenos Aires.

Where next?

On holiday to the western Algarve with my family. We are staying in a place called the Parque da Floresta, which looks very nice.

Craig Doyle is on Capital Radio, Saturdays 9am-12 noon. Capital Radio is available nationally on Sky Channel 0109.

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