Travel Editorials

Excerpt from Dinesh Dhamija's biography: From A Kiosk to a Continent

Chapter 4 - From a Kiosk to a Continent

In 1979 I was working for IBM, reluctantly paying half my salary to the government, when Thatcherism suddenly appeared.

Three beautiful Virgins beckon, published in Classic Travel magazine

As we hurtled along the narrow St. John roads in our open-sided taxi truck, two scantily-clad women emerged from the undergrowth, breathing heavily and glistening with sweat. Naturally, as good courteous Englishmen we stopped to offer them a lift - and they accepted. The Roger Moore in me began reaching for the hilarious punning chat-up line. But something about the way they smiled at one another and held hands told me that a scruffy Englishman making corny comments wouldn't exactly light their fires.

The passion of Seville, published in Money Market

The people of Seville don't sit around wondering whether killing bulls for entertainment is ethical or humane, or whether flamenco is a ritualised sexual tease, they just get on with it and celebrate the wonders of gender difference.

Maldivian fun on the ocean wave, published in Diver magazine

No sooner had we surfaced from a quite staggering dive - huge manta and eagle rays flying in formation above and below us, reef sharks looming out of the big blue and the best coral in North Male Atol - than the weather hit. First it was a black cloud the size of Egypt that came tearing towards us from the West, shedding its curtains of rain like an arrested coke dealer in a hurry. Then it was the wind that whipped off the choppy waves and rocked our boat sideways, sending loose crockery for six. Excellent!

Mexico Profile, published in Money Market

The Pacific waves roll up to the shore in a long tumbling surf (rather than one short crash), meaning that you can wallow in the natural jacuzzi of the frothing water as the sun sets over the horizon and the gypsy band music wafts over from the restaurant.

Deep in the desert, published in the Mashreq Herald magazine

With a roar of the engine and a twist of the throttle we were off. Blasting over dunes, through rocky valleys and up dry river beds, sand and dust billowing out behind us.

Extreme dining on a Norwegian glacier, published in Classic Travel magazine

It made us giggle, the outlandishness of it, the hedonism and beauty, the superabundance of rich, exquisite foods, the heady thrill of being so high up in the world, gazing at an ice-carved landscape where the summer sun never sets.

Hitch-hiking to Russia

It all began with Ismo, a Finnish horse doctor who stopped at a garage in mid-Sweden and nearly fell out of his car. He was completely out of control, swinging the wheel of his Merc station wagon into the traffic and the trees, fishing out fruit, pictures of racehorses and tapes of reincarnation philosophy from underneath the driving seat.

As night fell and his driving worsened to a careering lurch, he expounded the wisdom of tuning in to previous lives. His first, he told me, was 36,000 years ago, "and my last one was as a red Indian in Canada".