First published in the Sun-Herald, 2005
Relatives pleaded and wept. Well-travelled friends exchanged significant looks. Even the travel agent raised an eyebrow. I blamed my teenage obsession with 80s action flick Romancing the Stone (“She’s a girl from the big city. He’s a reckless soldier of fortune. For a fabulous treasure, they share an adventure no one could imagine… or survive”) and boarded a plane to Bogota, my own reckless soldier of fortune in tow.
First published in Black & White, 2005
We cross the Rio de la Plata in the blackness that comes before dawn, on a slow boat from the old Uruguayan smugglers port of Colonia del Sacramento. Before us, a pale stain lights the horizon: not the rising sun but the insomniac glow of the city.
First published in Black & White, 2004
In search of adventure, we take a bus from Ecuador’s capital Quito and head east into the Amazon Basin. The road climbs to the highland paramo, wreathed in cloud, then drops through rainforest in every shade of green – trees bearded with silver lichens and vermillion bromeliads, spliced with cascading falls and below, the roar of white water.
First published in Good Weekend, March 29, 2003
William S. Burroughs loathed it, Timothy Leary loved it, but most people scarcely know it exists. It’s DMT, a powerful hallucinogen that offers a mind-blowing and sometimes terrifying high … as well as a possible explanation for everything from schizophrenia to alien encounters.