Funny way to ex­plore

Co­me­dian Mark Banks talks about his travel peaks and val­leys

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - TRAVEL 2013 - ME­LANIE PETERS

MARK Banks is one of the most recog­nised and re­spected South African co­me­di­ans. He has been in the busi­ness for 25 years. His show Bank­rupt will be on at the Bax­ter Theatre from July 31 to Au­gust 10. How widely have you trav­elled? More than your aver­age suc­cess­ful astro­naut. Be­cause laugh­ter is needed in so many far-flung places, lots of travel is re­quired. I see my­self more as a comic mis­sion­ary than a co­me­dian.

Where was your favourite hol­i­day or time spent abroad?

New York City. A quick two-anda-half weeks in and out. I try to do it ev­ery cou­ple of years.

Your worst ex­pe­ri­ence on a hol­i­day?

The ex­pen­sive, over-rated, sticky and over-priced Sey­chelles. Your fun­ni­est ex­pe­ri­ence? An Amer­i­can speed­boat full of mil­lion­aires that had crashed into a reef off the coast of Barcelona.

What do you avoid dur­ing a hol­i­day?

Peo­ple, noise, queues, try­ing to claim Voy­ager miles, too much travel in any coun­try with too many an­i­mals that can kill you. Rich talk with me liv­ing in Jo­han­nes­burg. Best meal abroad? English fish and chips, mushy peas, scampi and a roll eaten out of a news­pa­per at a bus stop in the rain.

Favourite place to have sun­down­ers?

Twelve Apos­tles Ho­tel in Oudekraal on those sum­mer days you get in the mid­dle of win­ter.

What have you learnt from your trav­els?

Don’t panic. Don’t al­ways get there first – re­mem­ber, the early worm gets eaten. Never be the first off. Be po­lite. Re­spect other coun­tries – re­mem­ber you’re on their turf. Ideal trav­el­ling com­pan­ion? Af­ter try­ing 2 453 701 ap­pli­cants I haven’t found one yet. I love lone travel.

Cul­ture vul­ture or adrenalin junkie?

Prob­a­bly a bit of both. I love tear­ing around art gal­leries on the back of a Har­ley-David­son. I am con­stantly try­ing to merge the two. Great­est travel lux­ury? A very good, solid, five- litre, four-wheeler light­weight suit­case. Peo­ple al­ways travel with too much lug­gage. Buy there. Hol­i­day read­ing? Ev­ery­thing on where I’m go­ing. Usu­ally I keep a diary of ev­ery minute. Favourite drive? Cal­i­for­nia coast high­way from Los An­ge­les to San Fran­cisco. Chap­man’s Peak Drive. The road to the Sey­chelles air­port de­par­tures. Dream trip? I still want to do the Ori­ent Ex­press or the Trans-Siberian 12day train trip that ends in China. Love trains.

As a sea­soned trav­eller can you share some tips?

Travel as lightly as pos­si­ble. Don’t eat any­thing you don’t know how to eat. Be nice.

ALL ABOARD: Banks is crazy for trains and dreams of tak­ing a trip on the Ori­ent Ex­press or the Trans-Siberian Rail­way.

FUNNY MAN: Mark Banks

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