They seem like the ideal travel companions. And they even wear flip-flops:
Holidays for most of us mean sun, sea and sand – but not for madcap Andy Drury and Nigel Green.
Instead of flicking through travel brochures looking for exotic hot spots, they check out the war zones and trouble spots where our Foreign Office warns people NOT to go — then go there.
During their adventures they have:
- Been shot at by Russian troops while trying to sneak over a border into Chechnya.
- Been chased by rampaging elephants in Uganda.
- Visited Chernobyl nuclear power station, risking radiation sickness.
- Fled the Taliban in Afghanistan.
- Been held at gunpoint by the Republican Guard in Iran.
Construction worker Andy, 42, and legal executive Nigel, 45, both from Puttenham, Surrey, have even been divorced by their long-suffering wives after their twice-a-year trips drove the women to distraction.
But the cousins, who reckon they each spend £3,000 a year on their adventures, keep going back for more.
Father-of-two Andy said: “Living on your wits and on the edge every day of your holiday is such a buzz. There is no way we could settle down with a book on a beach.
“In many of the places we go we meet UN peacekeeping troops who are in armoured cars and full battle kit while we stroll around taking pictures in shorts and flip-flops.
“We have eaten insects in Uganda, camel in the Sudan, bear in Trans-Dniester, a breakaway republic from Moldova, and had more goat curries than I care to think about.”
Nigel said: “I think most of the government troops or rebels we encounter come to the conclusion we are not undercover soldiers or spies — but are just barking mad.”