Forms of identification: Tremayne Carew Pole
Tremayne Carew Pole, publisher and founder of The Hedonist Guide travel series, in Namibia.
Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.
1. Where would you rather be right now?
On a boat heading up the Congo, heading into the heart of darkness.
2. Famous person (dead or alive, real or fictional) you’d most like to go on a trip with:
My great-grandfather was a general in the British Army and he fought campaigns in the Boer War, Burma and Afghanistan. I would have loved to have travelled with him back then, when the world was a totally different place.
3. Tourist must-see you think is actually a “must skip”:
Almost all of them. Seeing a place is not about looking at monuments; it’s about living the city and breathing the culture. Checklisting a bunch of buildings alongside a bunch of other tourists is soul destroying.
4. Everyone asks what’s #1 on your list of places you want to go before you die. But what’s your #3?
There are several places that I am desperate to visit – heli-skiing in Kamchatka, Russia; the Djenne mosque in Mali; Mobutu’s palaces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo town of Gbadolite; Burning Man festival in Nevada; ice skating around the archipelago in Stockholm – they could be in any order.
5. Strangest meal abroad:
A cobra was killed in front of me in Vietnam. Its heart was cut out and put it in a glass with its blood and some rice wine to drink. Then the snake was stir-fried for lunch. It was surprisingly good.
6. Coolest mode of transport you’ve taken:
There have been some interesting river crossings. In Sierra Leone we had to load our jeep onto a hand-pulled ferry, and later traded 20 gallons of gasoline with the army for a ride out to one of the islands in one of their boats. In Sumatra we used a dug-out canoe that we had to pull across a raging river.
7. The travel story you’ll never stop bragging about:
The long weekend with the Liberian warlord, [Joshua Milton Blahyi, known as] General Butt Naked. I went out to potentially publish a book on him and ended up having a surreal weekend surrounded by religion, politics and ju-ju (black magic).