Travel: Yeee-hah - so long Buenos Aires, howdy Bucharest
PASSPORT: HANK WANGFORD
Sunday 02 February 1997
The stamps in his permanent passport bear testimony to his double life. Since 1990 he has been travelling to Romania to organise contraceptive and well woman clinics. Under Ceausescu, contraception was illegal and state doctors examined women internally at their place of work, to check they were not wearing contraceptive devices. Hutt tells of doctors performing abortions without anaesthetic, while chatting to their chums and smoking cigarettes; and how a 32-year-old woman who has had seven children and 25 abortions is not unusual. His work in Romania relies heavily on donations, but he has managed 18 visits in six years. Stamps dated 1992 show that Hutt made trips to South America and Mexico, for a radio programme about cowboys. He retraced his steps in 1994 to write a book called Lost Cowboys - From Patagonia to the Alamo. His stamp for Mexico brings back memories. In South America he acquired a taste for the green tea called mate which is sipped from a gourd through a tube.
He liked the drink so much he equipped himself with a gourd and seven kilos of mate herb. The gourd looked suspiciously like a dope-smoking device and a customs officer in Mexico took one look at the little packets of green herb and said: "Marijuana". "It's tea," said Hutt. "You think I'm stupid? It's marijuana," insisted the officer. "How stupid do you think I am?" replied Hutt, "do you think I'm going to smuggle marijuana into Mexico?" With that, the customs officer let him go.
Hutt's stamp of Argentina puts him in mind of another tangle with the law. He was stopped in Buenos Aires by two cops on Harley-Davidsons wearing mirror shades and riding boots with gold spurs. His crime? Going the right way round a roundabout and stopping at a red light. His punishment? The confiscation of his passport for two weeks. "But," cried Hutt, "I am leaving tomorrow!" "I am sure there's a way we can 'regulate' this," grinned one of the cops, scribbling the words 'thirty dollars' on a piece of paper. After Hutt gave them the money, the pair handed back his passport and raced off, spurs shining in the sun. Hutt's experiences haven't put him off though. He is hoping to retrace his steps to make a film.
YOUR PAPERS PLEASE
Name DR SAM HUTT
Place of Birth WELWYN
Date of Birth 15 NOVEMBER 1940
Place of Issue GLASGOW
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Natural wonders in the UK: From Giant's Causeway to Durdle Door
Flight from Britain to Turkey delayed by 7 hours after champagne cork damages ceiling
Exclusive Escapes: Upmarket holiday company goes bust on the eve of bank holiday weekend
What's it like on board North Korean airline Air Koryo - the worst in the world?
The most powerful passports in the world
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...