Mink Machine

Review: Full Circle

Full Circle

The BBC travel shows with Michael Palin are among the most well-produced mainstream narratives out there. He has made several trips made into books and TV series. This one describes a lap around the Pacific Ocean, a quite original itinerary.

He starts in Alaska, makes his way down eastern Russia to Japan and passes Australia before reaching South America, starting the long way up to Alaska again. The trip covered 50 000 miles in 270 days.

I found the book ten years ago in London and since then I’ve come back several times to reread some of the chapters when I was about to travel the same way as that particular chapter, such as the ferry passage across the Korea Strait or driving along Highway 1 in California.

Since he travels with an army of crewmen, the authenticity is unfortunately sometimes on par with Mariah Carey visiting an African village in high heels. But Palin mostly makes up for it by using his dry British humor and charming demeanor.

For instance, my favorite TV series by Palin is his Sahara excursion. This clip is from an episode where he boards a 2 kilometer long train to cross some of the desert:

As you can see it is not exactly a mainstream tourist destination, but at least he gets on the train. I would love to go on this train as well, but I suppose it wouldn’t work as smooth without being a celebrity followed by a team of cameramen.

Comments

No comments yet.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured stories

The lakes of Lombardy

"The town of Como, largest settlement around Lake Como, attracts a lot of people with big wallets. But I preferred to take the funicular up the mountain to the Brunate region, where you get a much better view of the lake."

Aliens in Nevada and New Mexico

"We turned around and went down another dirt road, past countless Joshua trees until our car was covered in dirt and we finally arrived at the Front Gate of Area 51."

Vineyards of southern France

"Not far from Sauternes is the village of Saint-Émilion, also a famous wine region but what got me hooked was their impressive limestone caves."

Having champagne in Champagne

"We roamed the damp and chilly tunnels and stumbled upon a large barrel delivered by Napoleon himself."

Eating my way through Basque country

"Not too bad to wash it all down with a local Txakoli, the young white wine typical of the Basque country."

Reliving history in Washington D.C.

"As I entered the heavily guarded Rotunda in the center, some of the most famous documents in the world laid before me."

Instagram