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On Holiday —-Sort Of!

On Holiday —-Sort Of!

Hello Mother, hello Father –

Iv’e arrived at camp pajama. Well of course that’s not right and I am not that old and probably neither are you (You may be able to ask someone.)

Back there in the blog. I mentioned Peter S and I guess this is the time. But as I frame and flash back  it may make no sense, so all will eventually be mumbled out and no conclusions made. I have none myself but this is sort of how it happened…… What were you doing in  the summer of 1983?

I have a letter. kindly forwarded to my by my Father that I sent to them, Mum and Dad.( I received this in 2010 and have been staring at it ever since. right up to the point it took me two days to find.) Dad was an adventurer and I am sure much to Mum’s disquiet paid for my 1983 Inter Rail card. For you North Americans one month of unlimited rail travel all over Europe, I am sure you can  imagine, (Well sorry, I guarantee all your  imaginings fall short,  I don’t have a word for what It, it was weirder. Your imaginings will be short of the mark. Most of what you are thinking has been over done. (By lots of uncouth Americans ,lol) (see modern language sneaking in). Exploding trousers! (Pants, well either or are quite alarming, we will leave that for another day, I will unedited, unexplained and without a safety net re-veal all.( I mean I will type it out as written only adding photos and the like to illustrate. To you I leave the burden, of making any sense of this at all,


Dear Mother and Father,

I thought it was about time I wrote to inform you of all the events that have taken place in the last two days. On the night of the 12th July or the morning if the 13th.Peter suffered some form of heart problem, he had difficulty breathing,his pulse dropped and he was  going unconscious. A  local dude I found up the carriage could speak English, he had some medical knowledge. He gave Peter a heart massage and he improved a bit, we stopped the train and were taken to the local medical center. Peter was given an injection and some tablets, we were put back on the next train. I was unable to find out what was wrong with him, because the Doctor only spoke Serbo-Croat.

I am at a camp-sight outside Bar with five Yugoslavs.



Peter considered it dangerous to stay abroad, I thought rest would be better. The landscape from the train ride down had been valleys and crazy long span bridges no sign of anything, rugged. A long hard third class train raid  seemed a bit much. (In 1983 there was no spell checker or back space so I will type what is here and crossed out.)  He decided that it would be safer for him .( TO MAKE ME GO WITH HIM) 

This might seem selfish but I was not going to travel; back across half of Europe at the expense of my once in a life time long planned adventure.You will probably have heard about it from Peters folks by the time this letter arrives.

On the 16th I am off to Venice then via Florence off to Rome to meet Mr Wade. (Oh yes  Mr Wade and ensemble led us on the aforementioned trip to Italy and possibly more of that later,)

I will not be going to MOROCCO! Because,it will be too hot and expensive: I have learnt from guys that heave done this before that there is a lot of strain put upon you both physical and mental y by this long distance no budget travelling.

It’s true, I could feel this happening as my temper got shorter, as I became exasperated at Peter’s lack of decision making and slow pace. He seemed moody, I may be better off  without him on this adventure.

I will be going to see the Spirs around the 27th- 30th July. I may be home early because I had to use my emergency  money on a Romanian train. We were made to pay an extra six pound each for a ticket even though we had Rail Cards! Look I was not going to argue with  Train guards, Special Policemen and two Soldiers with AK 47’s. We had non of their currency left as we were busy leaving Romania.We were lucky a Romanian paid for us and we gave him pounds, it was a big risk to him as currency stuff can put you in jail,we tried shots of rum and cigars first but hey Stirling is Stirling.Two Dutch chaps had the same problems.)

We missed our connection to Belgrade (More of this later). We ended up on a border getting our bags searched for the third time in Eastern Europe. Bucharest is a filth hole ( Sorry 1983 it was shitty) Cobbled streets, buildings collapsing, swill in the gutters: it smells. Naples is a perfumed beauty compared to this place, this place is hell on Earth. ( and I guess at the time I had no idea how lucky I was not to live there but also to have had the option to visit and leave when ever I wanted, we made a kids day by giving him our half finished bottle of coca-cola. I had no idea.)

The Yugoslavian coast is spectacular. I am staying 2 or 3 days, I have been swimming, listening to local music at a beach cafe with my new friends and their school associates, who are all on the camp site, ( Actually I was staying with the naughty boys who were banned from coming with their school but organized a camping trip anyway. something about chasing beautiful girls but I can’t tell you anything about that.)






I walked up the mountains until a snake jumped out and scared me. I shot back down again.


Snake jumped out here left to right from the hole in the wall had no idea if it was poisonous but I wasn’t hanging around to find out.




The mountains were fantastic I did a bit of painting, I think its some of my best stuff that is how they were in colour.

I am keeping out of the sun and am eating very well, because food is cheap.

I have only two pairs of trousers the grey cords split in Innsbruck, from the waste band down!??! Very embarrassing (and that aint the end of it, remember this is a letter to my parents from a grade 11 student (Lower Sixth for you UK types.)

I walked up a lot of Austrian mountains, (Innsbruck deserves a blog all to its self and god dam will get one.) I made the snow lines in high summer that is pretty good, it was breath taking.


OK them are the said Trousers that exploded later that night.

Hope you don’t mind my decision to carry on ( Regardless)

Lots of Love to you all your Euro Trecking son and expedition leader.

( AS for the rest of the story before and after or even part Two of this  or the Uncut version hang fire I need some beers and its Wing night Hot-wings and beer for me.)

Oh and it aint so simple with Peter S and Me I will have to unpack that later.


One Response to “On Holiday —-Sort Of!”

  1. Mark Needham says:

    Hi Rich – long time. I don’t have an email for you – lost in various IT changes. r u on facebook or get in touch via email. It would be sad to lose touch.