Oliver Chris: My Life In Travel
'Sea lions are like underwater Labradors - they're just so friendly'
Saturday 01 April 2006
First holiday memory?
One year in France my brother went off to climb a hill and got lost. Fortunately my dad found him in the end.
I've just come back from Argentina where I went hiking around the Torres del Painewith a couple of mates. After that we went to the Valdes Peninsula where we went scuba-diving with sea lions - they're like underwater Labradors, they're just so friendly.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
I have recently discovered Cornwall and I love it. Places like Sennen Cove and the Lizard are just so beautiful. Roskilly's ice-cream and apple juice are fantastic, too.
What have you learnt from your travels?
I suppose I have a better appreciation of different cultures. When I was in India I really enjoyed walking down the street and being the only white face.
Ideal travelling companion?
My girlfriend. We hardly ever get the chance to travel together because of the nature of our work - she's a doctor - so we have to book things at the last minute.
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
All three, at any time.
Greatest travel luxury?
A pair of linen French Connection painter trousers which are perfect for everything, be it the plane, on the beach or even going out for dinner.
I read quite a lot on beach holidays; my last book was A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. It depends where I am, though; when I was in Argentina I kept a journal.
Where has seduced you?
Everywhere I have been: Argentina, Rwanda, Uganda, Cornwall, India. Every country has something special and unique about it.
Better to travel or arrive?
I quite like the journey. I'm impatient so I like to be on the move and enjoying things as I go along.
Worst travel experience?
My girlfriend and I had some time off so we asked all our friends to recommend somewhere to go; they said the Bay Islands of Honduras. It was completely the wrong time of year to go, there were tropical storms and hundreds of mosquitoes. We ended up going to Nicaragua, which thankfully was amazing.
We stayed at the Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel in Udaipur, India. Our room had a huge bay window, which was cantilevered over Lake Pichola. It was so beautiful.
I love walking the South West Coast Path - I'd like to explore it more from Woolacombe Bay to the Lizard.
Best meal abroad?
There's a medieval village on the Côte d'Azur called Eze, which is pretty much owned by two hotels. The Chèvre d'Or is phenomenally expensive but the Château Eza is very similar but cheaper. I had the most amazing seven-course set lunch there. We were there for hours and were treated like kings.
First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?
Go for a walk, then have a cold beer.
To travel by boat to Holland then go overland to Moscow. I'd then take the Trans-Manchurian Express to China, travel across and take a boat to Japan then go around the arse end of the world to California, across to New York and then fly back home.
New York and London. I really like Nice, too.
Nowhere for a while, because I've broken my ankle. I was supposed to be going skiing in Verbier but I can't now. I'm trying to convince my girlfriend to ditch the skiing trip and come to Las Vegas with me instead.
Oliver Chris stars in the new series of 'The Green Wing' on Channel 4, Fridays, 9pm
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