Peter Burdon Quotes


Peter Burdon
  • Peter Burdon

  • Born: The United Kingdom.

  • Description: How did you come to write a travel book?

    It all happened by chance really. I have always enjoyed writing and when I was a student in London I wrote popular science articles and spent six weeks as a science journalist with Focus Magazine. Lindsey and I had often talked about going travelling but it wasn't until I finally proposed that she came up with her grand master plan: an epic honeymoon. Our friends and family bought us various things to do on our travels, such as tango lessons, whale watching and a climb to the top of the Khongoryn Els sand dune in Mongolia. A few people suggested I write a blog so that they could keep track of how we were getting on. I agreed and slowly built up a small but loyal readership! When we got home we thought it would be a good idea to turn my notes into a book and use it to raise money for three charities that we had come across during our travels.

    Which charities will you support, and why?

    We had many fantastic experiences on our travels. However, it is impossible to travel through countries such as Mongolia, Laos, Cambodia and Bolivia without witnessing extreme poverty, the impact of war, and a lack of opportunity for many of the young people. Therefore, we have decided to support Christina Noble Children's Foundation which helps children in need with education, medical care, social opportunities and job placement, Mines Advisory Group, which clears the remnants of conflict for the benefit of communities worldwide, and Emilie's Charities which supports projects involving under-privileged children and young adults in developing countries.

    Is there anywhere in particular you would like to return?

    We spent five days at an eco-lodge called Chalalán, deep in the Bolivian rainforest. It is an extraordinary place. When it was time to leave, our guide, Sergio, asked if we might return one day so that he could take us to his village and introduce us to his parents. I promised we would, and have every intention of keeping my word!

    And anywhere you would never return?

    After much deliberation, we decided to enter the mines of Potosí, also in Bolivia. I have no wish to venture inside those mines again. We are hoping to use some of the proceeds from the book to help support community and health projects in Potosí.

    64,000 miles is quite a distance to travel - how did you get around?

    I worked out that we used 27 different modes of transport. However, we mainly travelled by train and bus and, in the interests of cost and time, took four long haul flights.

    Did you and your wife ever fall out?

    In the first 7 months we spent about 20 minutes apart, so there were inevitably a few difficult moments, especially on some of the longer, more uncomfortable bus journeys... I was also decidedly unamused when I discovered that Lindsey had stashed a load of stones in a secret compartment in my rucksack. She'd picked up her favourite from each country as a souvenir and aesthetic appeal had clearly been more important than weight or size. But on the whole, I think we got on very well and made very good travel companions. And the stones now make a very nice decorative piece at home.

    Other than the long bus journeys, were there any other low points?

    We were gassed and robbed on the night train from Hanoi to Hué in Vietnam. I lost all of my photographic equipment, some photographs, my precious notes and, for a short while at least, my sense of humour.

    You mentioned that your friends and family bought you experiences to do on your travels - what was the most unusual wedding present?

    My father bought us two one-way tickets to Siberia, which I suppose is not exactly a normal present to give your son and daughter-in-law. But he insisted it was because he loves trains and was not down to my choice of bride.