My life in travel: Pam Hogg
'My best holiday was the time I climbed to Machu Picchu in platform brogues'
Saturday 16 November 2013
Pam Hogg is a fashion designer, who produced her first collection in 1981. Her new online store launches this weekend (pamhoggshop.com)
First holiday memory?
Searching for stones along the beach in Dunoon, Scotland, with my father, to place around his prize-winning rockery in our front garden. I could only have been about two or three years old, but I still find myself zoning in on the shiniest stones on every beach to this day.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
I'd love a few weeks in the wilds of Scotland. I hitchhiked all the way to John o'Groats in the Seventies but never had the opportunity to return and visit the islands as well. It's awesome up there, away from everything. You tend to forget that Scottish scenery is among the most breathtaking in the world, when it's right on your doorstep.
The one where I climbed to Machu Picchu in platform brogues. I travelled extensively in the early Eighties, but the combined Mexico, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil trip in 1983 was the most memorable: from the helicopter ride over Iguaçu Falls to sailing to a floating reed village in the Bolivian Plateau. The climb to Peru's Inca citadel was a breeze, but it was fairly treacherous on the way down: you could see a sheer drop in places.
What have you learnt from your travels? Knowledge acquired from travelling is immense. I travelled through Iraq and Iran in the mid-Seventies, which was hardcore. I'd chosen a destination I'd read about as a child through tales of Arabian nights, but the reality on the streets of both countries at that time were unimaginable. The desperate poverty was shocking, but it was coupled with experiences of extreme kindness from the most humble of sources.
Ideal travelling companion? Someone who's adventurous, fearless and as inquisitive as myself, but who maybe has more time on their hands to research before setting off. I tend to discover as I go.
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
I don't hang around on beaches. I want to soak it all up, from the local food to the history. I head straight for the old quarter in every city and hunt down a great bar. It's always a good place to start.
Greatest travel luxury?
Travelling for me is a luxury, full stop. I'd love to have unlimited time and resources to go wherever I wanted, so perhaps a huge bag of cash and spare time would be my greatest luxuries.
I vividly remember reading Complicity by Iain Banks, sitting atop a lighthouse-shaped café in Marmaris, Turkey, with the sea air blowing in through the windows. I saw and spoke to no one but my waiter for hours. Unable to put the book down, I sat there all day with coffee and cakes.
Better to travel or to arrive?
I love both, especially if the journey is by land. My first car was a Morris Traveller. It took me all around Europe and across to Morocco to Marrakech and the desert.
I also did the Gumball Rally about 15 years ago, a high-speed race across America from New York to Los Angeles, stopping at various highlight destinations en route such as Graceland and Las Vegas. That arrival was a miracle – I can't believe we all made it alive.
Favourite city? Venice for a few days away, but I also love New York. I could see myself living there at some point. Berlin is such a chilled city too. I could spend a lot of time there.
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