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Dire Straits star John Illsley talks about his travels, from Cuba to Cornwall

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Take me to Cuba! Dire Straits star John Illsley talks about travel, from an upcoming trip to Havana to his dream destination – Papua Recent Guinea

John Illsley checks in to our travel Q&A

This week, Dire Straits star John Illsley checks in to our travel Q&A.

He talks in regards to the highs and lows of life on the road, his future travel plans and more…

WHERE NEXT?

I’m heading to Cuba where I’m looking forward to seeing Havana’s old architecture and exploring the countryside.

BEST FOREIGN CITY?

I used to be impressed by the Portuguese capital on a recent visit. It has a touch of faded grandeur about it, nevertheless it’s being tidied up. The persons are lovely, too.

TOP TIP?

Travel as flippantly as possible; I’m at all times amazed by the number of baggage people tackle planes.

TRIP MUST-HAVE?

Probably my iPad, because I’m a Scrabble addict.

EVER GOT IN TROUBLE ON YOUR TRAVELS? 

When Dire Straits were crossing from Canada to America, we got the third degree by customs officers who searched us moderately too intimately for my liking.

FIRST HOLIDAY MEMORY?

As a boy, going to Trevone Bay in Cornwall, where my father had met my mother. We rented a bungalow near the beach and I soon got to know each rock pool.

Shabby chic: John is heading to Cuba where he's looking forward to seeing Havana’s old architecture (pictured)

Shabby chic: John is heading to Cuba where he’s looking forward to seeing Havana’s old architecture (pictured)

FIRST TRIP ABROAD?

I didn’t have a passport until I used to be in my late teens. My first use of it, aged 19, was flying all the way down to the south of France to hitch my brother. We stayed on a campsite and misbehaved for a month.

DO YOU ENJOY TOURING?

We toured as a band for around 16 years — I like the family atmosphere you get on the road. I still enjoy touring, but nowadays can handle only a few weeks at a time.

TOURING LOW POINT?

We only ever cancelled one gig — when a makeshift stage in Luxembourg collapsed.

Beautiful: John reveals his dream destination is Papua New Guinea.  Above is Raja Ampat, an archipelago on the country's western tip

Beautiful: John reveals his dream destination is Papua Recent Guinea.  Above is Raja Ampat, an archipelago on the country’s western tip

AND HIGH POINT?

Playing London’s Marquee Club within the early days. One night it will need to have been over 100f and the sweat was pouring off us — that’s when Mark Knopfler began wearing a headscarf and I wore wristbands.

DREAM DESTINATION?

I’d wish to visit a friend in Papua Recent Guinea since it sounds so beautiful, nevertheless it’s going to take some planning.

  • John Illsley is currently touring the UK. His latest album, VIII, is out now. For more information, visit johnillsley.com.

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