In my last post “Travelogues” I listed a number of famous personalities who have done TV travelogues, or similar programs, here is a quick overview of what they have done, as far as I can remember.

Home Grown

Michael Palin Great Railway Journeys, Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Hemingway Adventure, Sahara, Himalaya, New Europe and 80 Days Revisited
Billy Connolly Journey to the Edge of the World, World Tour of New Zealand, World Tour of Ireland, Wales and England, A Scot in the Arctic, World Tour of Australia and World Tour of Scotland
Stephen Fry America and Last Chance To See
Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman Long Way Round and Long Way Down
Charley Boorman London To Sydney By Any Means and Sydney To Tokyo By Any Means
Paul Merton China, Indian
Griff Rhys Jones Rivers, Mountains
Griff Rhys Jones, Dara Ó Briain and Rory McGrath Three Men in a Boat, Three Men in Another Boat, Three Men in More Than One Boat
Victoria Wood Victoria’s Empire
Martin Clunes Islands Of Britain
Robbie Coltrane B Roads of Britain
James May and Oz Clarke Wine Tours – Big Wine Adventure (France and California), Drink To Britain
John Sergeant On The Tourist Trail
Julia Bradbury Rough Guides, Railway Walks, Wainwright’s Walks
Kate Humble Frankincense Trail
Sir Trevor McDonald The Secret Caribbean
Bruce Parry Tribe, Amazon (and some others I haven’t seen yet)
Ray Mears Extreme Survival, Bushcraft, Wild Food, Goes Walkabout, Northern Wilderness

 

Across the Pond

Anthony Bourdain No Reservations
Andrew Zimmerman Bizarre World
Adam Richman Man v. Food

If I’ve missed anyone I’m sure one my many readers will remind me.

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I love my passport and I am very lucky it is a British one, this gives me a good chance of getting into most countries with the bar minimum of hassle.

I am however struck by the problems the relay pairs have had getting across borders. I think up to now, (they got across the pacific last night) they have been refused entry to 5 or 6 countries, including China – now that is a huge detour.

I found myself wondering why they hadn’t stuck to the original route (see the header image); Mr Palin managed it, so why not this time. Well he had to cross the Persian Gulf between the middle east and India and then cross India. Unfortunately the sea crossing Mr Palin did is not very safe and pretty much impossible to do on the Dhow as demonstrated in 80 Days Revisited and even if you do manage to get out on the water it hugely dangerous thanks to pirates.

Pirates are quite a serious problem these days, there are unfortunately they seem to be increasing their attacks on shipping.

On top of piracy on the high seas there are other more pressing problems on land, this is where politics rears its head – which it does frequently. In the last few years Thailand has suffered with social unrest that briefly crippled the tourist industry, Russia invaded Georgia, the Middle East large areas of Africa and the Indian sub-continent continue to be less than safe. All of this depresses me – I’d love to visit these places.

Paperwork is a serious issue and failure to get a Visa could well be disastrous, Ewan Mcgregor and Charley Boorman demonstrated a large scale overland trip around the world is possible in Long Way Round, another great travelogue/challenge – but they took longer than 80 days and I think there may have been some flights involved on the way. Plus I don’t think I would like to ride a bike around the world.

Charley Boorman continued the madness with London To Sydney: By Any Means and Sydney To Tokyo: By Any Means.  In the second instalment they have unfortunately been plagued by problems and forced to fly, this even happened in the first adventure. The idea of both was to avoid flying, and politics, border control and the weather spoiled this.

21 years ago Mr Palin had to overcome some pretty big obstacles – but now it seems almost impossible.