Travel

Travel-aboutPete was always a child of the sun. One glimpse of the sun's tantalising rays and he would transform. Typical to Pete's constant struggle to thwart convention, Pete's tan was not your standard Rod Stewart-esque golden hue; rather it took the form a sort of patchwork quilt sewn by a demented toddler, like a red and white Frisian cow. This, coupled with his tendency to enjoy a small vomit whenever the mercury rose beyond tepid, made him quite the head turner on the beaches we were lucky enough to sample on our multiple gap yaaars together.

This may have put lesser humans off the idea of travelling some of the world's hot spots but Pete's wonderful ability to find humour in anything (and often in himself) made him the ultimate travelling partner. Another string to his travelling bow was his ability to pick up a foreign language at the "tombe of un chapeau". I remember in Mexico, in a brief hiatus from his and Charlie's constant re-enactments of their GCSE French oral exams, Pedros would regularly break into dialogue with any unsuspecting local passing by. On one such occasion I overheard Pete asking a friendly Mexican waiter: "coca light. cuidad de mexico. heuvos rancheros. errr gracias. tambien porque? No?" Which roughly translated reads "Diet coke. Mexico City. Scrambled eggs. Err thank you. Also because? No?". You can imagine the bemusement.

Pete's approach to speaking Spanish was; if you say it with enough confidence, they'll understand. Pete notched off a wealth of countries and cultures over the years, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Mexico, Guatamala, Belize, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, to name a few. I was lucky enough to visit some incredible places and share some wonderful experiences with Pete. However, one of my fondest memories of Pete was in Brazil larking about in a small lake we stumbled across whilst trekking though the desert (yeah, we travelled). Sam, Charlie, Pete and I had spent a couple of hours jumping off an oddly placed bench in the middle of the lake. It was as mental as it sounds. Fairly randomly, Pete broke out into the most unbelievable laugh. It lasted for around 10 minutes and included stomach cramps, violent retching, attempts to drown himself and spontaneous vomits.

Like anytime you saw Pete really go for a laugh, it was an unbelievably euphoric moment. I like to think of that laugh as a culmination of his happiness and his love for life being released in an extraordinary outburst.