My Life In Travel: Mylo, DJ
'The bed was soggy, but cost only $6. I actually had a great night's sleep'
Saturday 09 August 2008
First holiday memory?
Hot car journeys through France with four of us kids in the back. My youngest brother, Simon, suffered from the most incredible car-sickness, it was like The Exorcist. After a while we didn't stop any more because we would never have reached our destination. We just slowed down and he stuck his head out of the window, covering the whole side of the car and anyone who was unfortunate enough to be driving behind us.
2002-2008. I work hard, but I just wasn't cut out for the 9-to-5.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
The Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Skye on a clear day – a rare experience, as it's one of the world's rainiest places. It's a jagged mass of black rock, like an entire mountain range in miniature. If it's clear, the 360-degree views are incredible – the Outer Isles, the Small Isles, down to Mull, across to Ben Nevis and the Torridon Hills and the whole of Skye and Lochalsh in between.
What have you learnt from your travels?
Not to fall so fast asleep on the Eurostar that they have to stop the train at Calais for an hour while they wait for the paramedics to arrive, because they mistake you for someone who's taken a drug overdose.
Ideal travelling companion?
Samuel Johnson. I say that, although no doubt in reality he was a pompous, cantankerous anti-Scottish man. He comes to mind because as well as writing Johnson's famous biography, the eager, sycophantic, possibly insane James Boswell also wrote an account of their travels in the Western Isles in the 1770s. They were rumoured to have stayed at Ostaig, where my folks live. By all accounts, Johnson had a horrible time.
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
I'm a culture bum and an adrenalin bum – so a bum, first and foremost.
Greatest travel luxury?
Baby wet-wipes. Also not paying for flights and hotels when I'm DJing.
Recently I've read Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Peter Bernstein's Against the Gods.
Where has seduced you?
Formentera, and Kep in Cambodia. Everyone in Ibiza urges you to go to Formentera, which is a smaller island about half an hour away by ferry. I eventually got round to going this year, and it really is stunning. It feels like the end of the world and it has the purest blue water I have ever seen. My sister lives in Phnom Penh and she took me to Kep last time I visited her. It's a coastal village near the border with Vietnam. We stayed in a place called Veranda Natural Resort, which is a series of tree houses linked by wooden walkways. It was an amazing place, very Ewok. I also love Puerto Escondido in Mexico; Bisbee, Arizona; the Pyrenees; Mumbai; the entire West of Scotland... and Hackney.
Worst travel experience?
Probably one of the many occasions when I was on tour in 2005. We had to go from the gig to the airport, then straight to the next gig, carrying tons of live gear in flight cases. I don't think I've really recovered.
Anything's better than being stuck at home with no money. And bad experiences make the best stories.
Somewhere in Ciudad Juárez in Mexico. It was the only place I can think of where if you were a couple, they assumed that you wanted the room for an hour as opposed to the whole night. The bed was soggy and covered in cockroaches and the sink spat water straight through the plughole and on to the floor. It cost $6 a night, so I guess it was fair enough. I actually had a great night's sleep there.
For comedy value, it has to be the Hotel Trois Quatorze in Cannes. It's totally daft – every floor has a different theme, from Aztec to Oceanic. It feels like The Crystal Maze.
Favourite walk/ swim/ride/drive?
My favourite swim is in the Fairy Pools in Glenbrittle on the Isle of Skye. There's a natural underwater archway and various heights for jumping off the rocks into the water to cater to all levels of stupidity.
Best meal abroad?
At El Rincón del Puerto, just behind the harbour in Ibiza Town. It's the only place I've eaten on the island where I could only hear Spanish voices. They do a dish where they drop cooked spaghetti into a huge wheel of Parmesan at the table before serving it. We had a sweepstake at our table to guess the price of the Parmesan. I won. I pride myself on my cheese-valuing ability.
First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?
Go on to the balcony, have a double espresso, then get on to the internet, tragically.
Anywhere covering a large distance on foot.
Glasgow (pictured left), for the people, pubs and the enormous flats; and Paris, for the lifestyle, the architecture and the fact that you can cope with it on foot.
St Petersburg, then Jersey for an outdoor gig in Elizabeth Castle, in the port of St Helier.
Mylo is DJing at Get Loaded in the Park, 24 August on Clapham Common (0844 847 2467; www.getloadedinthepark.com)
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