Blog

Afghan Dreams - 0 comments

All images ©Doug McKinlay

First published in CNN Magazine - 2006

Search any news channel, open any newspaper and there will be an instant picture of southern Afghanistan. The conflict, as well as the terrain, is now as familiar to us as our own backyard. But to judge a whole country based on such a limited image doesn’t do it justice. While war rages in the south, even affecting Kabul, the capital, most northern provinces are experiencing relative calm. Afghanistan is truly a divided country.
Read More
Apocalypse Still? - 1 comment

All images ©Doug McKinlay

First published in The Times

Who out there has seen Hot Tub Time Machine with John Cusak? I watched it for the third time the other night. I know, I know, not the most highbrow piece of cinema, but funny nonetheless, especially if the 1980’s was your formative decade. We had Ronald Reagan and his crew of miscreants – remember Don ‘the Bomb’ Rumsfeld, and who could forget that old party gagster Dick ‘the Dick’ Cheney – of course these two hacks would pop up 20 years later to become the architects of our current mess. On the other side of the 1980’s Iron Curtain though we had the up-and-comer Mikhail Gorbachev and his camera-hungry wife, Raisa. Arguably – no matter what the Americans say – it was Mikhail who saved our collective bacon back in the day.
Read More
A Little Bit of Paradise - 1 comment

All images ©Doug McKinlay

First published in Perfect Weddings Magazine

Aruba. I know what you’re thinking, love-struck honeymooners walking hand-in-hand along powdery white beaches; or older couples renewing vows made years prior; or even tropical weddings set among gently swaying palms up against azure seas and impossibly blue skies. Sure, Aruba has it all when it comes to romance, and in spades. But what happens when the dewy eyes get tired of staring into each other or when the anniversary holiday devolves into conversations about the kids; or, dare I say, the wedding is over and all the champagne is gone. What then? Can Aruba stand alone outside all the romance and offer its visitors something else? Well the short answer is yes.
Read More
Hidden Gem - 0 comments

All images ©Doug McKinlay

First published in Tempus Magazine

It’s an unusual viewpoint; looking up at falling rain as it pockmarks the surface of the water. Perhaps how Salvador Dali might have envisioned bath time. I’ve snorkelled in many tropical seas but never while the heavens opened above. Through this surreal windscreen I can just make out sharp mountains as they rise out of the deep blue forming a thick rainforest canopy; a canopy so verdant it looks as if anything dropped would grow. Indeed, I’m swimming along the rocky southern shore of the Caribbean island of Grenada, also known as the Spice Island for it’s near monopoly on nutmeg and mace.
Read More
The Great White North... - 0 comments

All images ©Doug McKinlay

First published in The Guardian

It’s cold; somewhere near the -25C mark, but with the wind it feels more like -35C. My eyes keep tearing up, creating small rivers of saline that run down my cheeks and freeze solid; tiny icicles form on my eyelashes threatening to weld my contact lenses to my corneas. This is winter in the Duschesnay region of Quebec, Canada’s largest province, and I am driving a team of sled dogs across a landscape locked in a deep freeze.
Read More
Head on Collision... - 0 comments
First published in Landrover Magazine

Roberto Canessa is the man who should be dead. Against impossible odds, he lived through a horrific plane crash, followed by a 72-day battle for survival in the frozen heights of South America’s Andes Mountains. Thanks to numerous newspaper and magazine articles, books, two movies and countless interviews Canessa’s story is well known. Still, sitting and chatting with him at his home in Montevideo, Uruguay, surrounded by all those clippings and photographs, the details of his story are just as vivid even today, more than 40 years after the incident.


Read More
Dr Strangelove I presume... - 1 comment

All images ©Doug McKinlay

First published in Business Traveller Magazine

Not long ago hopping a flight to Kabul wasn't just a matter of going online and booking a seat with a recognized airline. Indeed most commercial carriers gave Afghanistan as wide a berth as possible. But that didn’t mean being at the mercy of the RAF, hoping for the chance of getting a lift on an air force transport. There was another way. Yes it's unscheduled and yes it's beyond the pale of pretty much all the world’s civil aviation authorities. But there is a very specialized group of airmen – primarily ex-Soviet air force – who, showing a cunning entrepreneurial streak, scooped up decommissioned heavy lift Ilyushin-76 cargo aircraft at the end of the Cold War and effectively became the white van men of the skies.
Read More
If you can't stand the heat, get outta the kitchen...... - 1 comment

All images ©Doug McKinlay

First published in The Times

It didn’t seem possible, not this early on. Only five kilometres in and already one of us succumbed to the heat. Sitting in a pile against a rock with just a sliver of shade for cover, he looks more like the survivor of a car crash than a hiker at the start of a four-day, 86-kilometre walk. This isn’t good. But then this is the Fish River Canyon in southern Namibia, one of the most inhospitable but beautiful places in Africa and definitely not to be taken lightly.
Read More