社会科学类纪录片,Discovery Channel 频道 ???? 年出品,是 DC Globe Trekker 系列其中之一。


  • 中文片名 :
  • 中文系列名:勇闖天涯
  • 英文片名 :Globe Trekker Season 5
  • 英文系列名:DC Globe Trekker
  • 电视台 :Discovery Channel
  • 地区 :美国
  • 语言 :英语
  • 时长 :约 52 分钟/EP
  • 版本 :VHS / DVD
  • 发行时间 :????

Globe Trekker transports viewers to unforgettable destinations through its stunning photography and spirit of adventure. In each episode, we send our charismatic hosts Ian Wright, Justine Shapiro, Zay Harding, Megan McCormick, Brianna Barnes, Holly Morris, Judith Jones and more off the beaten path to soak up the local culture, sample the cuisine and revel in breathtaking vistas. Globe Trekker’s motto? “living as the locals do!”

Explore your favourite Globe Trekker episodes by using the drop down menu below to find out more about your favourite series or show.

Traveller Megan McCormick begins her journey in the island paradise of Hawaii on Kauai, the least explored of the islands. She is invited to a Hula ceremony and learns that dancing was Lava-ly view… Megan at Kilauea volcanohow the natives expressed their history and culture in the days before the Hawaiian language evolved.

The main staple of the Hawaiian diet is a vegetable called taro. Megan lends a hand with the harvest, and is invited to taste the fruit of her labours at a Luau the following evening. Meanwhile, she kayaks down the Wailua River into the rainforest and treks into the forest to an isolated spot where she takes a refreshing dip in a waterfall.

From Kauai, Megan flies to Oahu, the most populated of the islands. At the tourist haven ofWaikiki she heads for the beach and takes a surfing lesson, learning how to feel the manna and ride the waves. The next morning Megan goes to the Honalulu fish market to find out how to tell the quality and shelf-life of a fresh catch.

Although Hawaii has been an American state since 1959, the Japanese community makes up a quarter of the population and Megan learns that today there’s a growing sovereignty movementAmsterdam Gay Pride March among native Hawaiians. She attends a ceremony in remembrance of the attack upon the US marine base by Japanese bombers on December 7th 1941, when more that 2,500 people were killed and the course of the Second World War was irrevocably altered.

Megan hitches a ride with a bunch of young marines who are heading for the North Shore to check out the surf. Further along the north shore, Megan is invited to an intimate marriage ceremony. Same sex marriages are commonplace in Hawaii, although a recent referendum asking Hawaiians to vote in favour of same-sex marriages was lost by a narrow margin. Nevertheless, David and Scott make a great couple.

Megan flies to Maui and, as hitch hiking is illegal on this island, she hires a car. She takes the Hana Highway all the way to the Haleakala Crater, the largest inactive volcano on earth and camps out overnight so she can witness a stunning sunrise the next morning. She then meets up with a mule guide to head down into the desolate, peaceful landscape inside the crater.

From Maui, Megan journeys to ‘Big Island’, where she goes hula pipi, rounding up cattle with the paniolas. It’s an exhausting day, and Megan is glad to find peace and meditation at the Buddhist B&B nearby.

Megan can’t possibly visit Kilauea and not see the lava flow, so she meets up with a local guide who takes her to the active crater Halimaumau. Here she sees the spectacular work of Pelli, the fire goddess who is said to have created the islands. It’s a perfect end to her stay in Hawaii, and Megan has discovered that although Hawaii is one of the fifty states of America, the Hawaiian spirit continues to flow strong.

Megan McCormick’s journey in one of the ultimate travellers’ destinations, West India, begins in the small holy town of Megan McCormickPushkar. Along with hundreds of thousands of visitors, she takes part in the annual religious festival and receives a blessing on the shores of the lake. The town is also famous for its camel fair every November and Megan drives a hard bargain with the traders.

After a gruelling 8 hour bus ride north to Bikaner, a remote desert city, Megan puts on a brave face and visits the extraordinary Karnimassar Temple. The temple is filled with rats, which are worshiped as the reincarnations of story tellers. In a small village just outside the city she bears witness to fire-dancing at the Sidh sect festival.

The golden city of Jaisalmer, which was built in the 12th century, is at the very heart of Rajasthan. Megan, with her hands freshly adorned with henna, wanders through the market streets and samples Bhang Lassi, the infamous local speciality, at the Jaisalmer Fort.

Megan makes the most of the renowned tailors in Udaipur, ‘The Venice of the East’, and has a traditional Punjabi suit made in just a few hours. Meanwhile a famous astrologer tells Megan what the next few years have in store for her.

Megan makes a brief stop at Ranakpur, the site of one of the oldest and most impressive Jain temples in India, before heading 400 miles south by plane to Mumbai, formerly Bombay – the biggest, fastest and richest city in India. Startled by the number of street children in Mumbai, Megan pays a visit to a children’s hostel and learns that travellers can volunteer to teach English at the hostel while in Mumbai.

Whilst in Mumbai, Megan goes to Bollywood, where 750 feature films are made every year, and meets popular actor Jackie Shroff. Before leaving town Megan samples local cuisine at Juhu Beach, Mumbai’s answer to New York’s Coney Island.

Megan McCormick teaches English in Mumbai Some people come to India just to visit Pune, the home of the Osho community. Megan takes instruction in the community’s beliefs and witnesses meditation and trance-like dancing.

Megan takes the overnight train from Mumbai toGoa, the holiday resort made famous by hippies in the 1960s. She scours Goa’s markets for mementoes of her trip and finds bargains to be had Anjuna Market, which was started by unfortunate travellers 30 years ago who had to sell the contents of their ruck-sacks to raise their fare home.

Globe Trekker Ian Wright discovers that New Zealand, far from merely being home to a larger population of sheep than of humans, is a land of wonderful landscapes, ancient Maori image:Ian Wright enjoys the beautiful NZ landscapeculture and the most extreme sports under the sun. After a long flight he arrives in Auckland. Next day he gets to know the city in true kiwi style ‘rap jumping’ down 13 stories of a city skyscraper.

Ian has been invited to a Maori community in Rawhiti, so he catches the ferry across to the Bay of Islands. About 15% of the country’s population claim descent from the Marae tribes who first came to New Zealand a thousand years ago from Polynesia. Outsiders can only visit a Marai (the church and hall at the centre of every Maori community) by invitation. On arrival Ian has to undergo the powhirl ceremony to find out if he’s friend or foe.

Catching a ride back down south Ian arrives in Rotorua, the Sulphur City. Because it’s on a fault line the underground activity bubbles up and comes up here as sulphur springs. It’s a thermal wonderland but it don’t half stink!

Before leaving town Ian experiences Zorb, another weird kiwi pastime which involves rolling through the countryside in a giant transparent sphere.

The Kiwi Experience bus is a great way to see the country. It’s cheap and easy and Ian is dropped off in the Akatarawa Valley near Wellington. He’s arranged to work on an emu farm for a couple of days, as part of a scheme called Willing Workers on Organic Farms. For 2 or 3 hours work a day you can get free board and lodging.

The Cook Strait is named after Captain Cook, and Ian takes the ferry to the South Island, image: Living in a bubble: Ian takes on the mighty Zorband on to Christchurch by train. There’s an amazing view from the train and Christchurch itself is a twee, leafy city built to a plan by members of Christchurch College, Oxford, 150 years ago.

Queenstown is the extreme sports capital of the world. Overlooked by theRemarkables mountain range on the shores of Lake Wakatipu it’s popular with tourists, many of whom, like Ian, just can’t resist the lure of the bungee jump. Nuttier still is the Fly by Wire, a bizarre contraption literally dreamed up by some inventor, in which Ian swings, high above a valley, suspended on a piece of wire.

Ian spends his last night in New Zealand ten thousand feet above sea level in the small, unheated Chancellor Hut, half way up the Fox Glacier. He flies to the glacier by helicopter and meets up with his guide Kathy, whose trained eyes ensure they avoid dangerous holes and crevasses. Ian gets up early the next morning to end his stay in New Zealand with a 4 hour walk in stunning scenery to the top of the Fox Glacier.

Presenter Justine Shapiro explores the heart of South East Asia – modern Malaysia, with its ancient forests and vibrant mix of cultures, and the beaches of Southern Thailand just across image:Justine meets new friends in Malaysiathe border.

Her first taste of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur. The capital is central to the Government’s Vision 2020 policy, which aims to make Malaysia a fully developed nation by the year 2020. Justine visits during Ramadan, when Muslims fast each day until sunset, but she finds out that there are two places to find food before dark – Chinatown and India Street.

Justine hires a car and heads north through theCameron Highlands to the Temenggor Dam. The area is home to ancient rainforests and tribes, and Justine and her guide Ruben, who is trained in jungle survival skills, take a boat trip out to a village where the Orang Astli people live. In preparation for a hunting party the next day, Justine witnesses the villagers making deadly poison darts. That evening the celebratory Sawang dance is performed in the village for the new year, where the dancers wear woven leaves and the women beat out the rhythm with bamboo poles.

Next morning Justine joins the hunting party and takes lessons in the law of the jungle. The party build their own shelter for the night out of palm leaves and the hut will remain standing image: Kadavi carrier at the Thaipusam festival for 6 months. Meanwhile the hunters catch a tasty dinner of frogs in the river which are cooked in bamboo.

From Temanggor Justine travels to Kota Bharuin the Islamic state of Kelantan. She is invited into a home to celebrate the festival of Hari Raya the end of Ramadan, where she helps out in the kitchen preparing an enormous feast and meets the pet monkey, trained to pick the best coconuts from the trees. The family also takes her kite-flying, a popular competitive sport on the east coast.

Before flying back to Kuala Lumpur, Justine spends a day on the unspoiled Perhentian Islands, where the beaches are fabulous and the crystal clear waters invite scuba divers to explore the marine life and coral reef. She drives along the coastline taking in the palm-lined white sandy beaches and tiny fishing villages.

Justine arrives back in Kuala Lumpur in time for the extraordinary Hindu festival of Thaipusam. It’s a chaotic affair as a million Hindu devotees undergo weeks of purification, then pierce themselves and carry heavy burdens as acts of penance all the way to the Batu caves outside the city, where they pay homage to the Lord Muruga.

Over the border to Thailand by train, Justine makes her way round the coast to the island ofPhuket. Tourism is big in Phuket, but a private beach is a great place to enjoy a Thai massage. That evening Justine hails a motorbike taxi to check out the legendary night-life in Patong. However she finds the blatant sex trade in town unpleasant and off-putting and opts for an early night instead.

Outside Patong is a sanctuary which gives a home to lesser known casualties of sex bars – gibbons, a breed of monkey, which are drugged and abused in the name of cheap entertainment. Justine goes to see a nearby island where they are monitored and gradually reintroduced to the wild.

Justine’s final adventure begins in the town of Krabi - a sea canoe trek back across the bay to Phuket. The Sea Canoe Company is run by an eco-warrior John Grey, also known as Cave Man who fights against the mass tourism which is destroying the lagoons. He takes Justine to the famous cave formations now under threat from vandals, where she sees the beautiful stalactite formations and learns the ‘look but don’t touch’ message of respect for the environment.

Traveller Justine Shapiro spends a week in Sydney, the gateway to Australia. On the eastern Pacific coast in the state of New South Wales, Sydney was the first port of call for the convict ships of the 1800s, carrying their cargo of outcasts from British cities to the penal colonies.

The best way to get your bearings in Sydney is to take a ferry tour around the harbour. Justine buys a weekly travel ticket, then finds a cheap hostel to rest her weary backpack in the King’s Crossdistrict.

On a mission to overcome her fear of heights Justine gets up early to scale Sydney Harbour Bridge. The climb can only be done with an organised group, so in spite of her vertigo Justine is in safe hands and the panoramic harbour view is definitely worth it. Back on terra firma Justine sets off to explore of Sydney’s history at The Rocks, an early settlement, and at the Colonial House Museum.

Bondi Beach, the most famous beach in the world, is the place to flaunt the body beautiful or just check out the lifeguards. Bondi is also the starting point for the coastal walk, a scenic cliff top promenade which many Sydney- siders incorporate into their fitness regime. En route to the Waverley Cemetery, which is surrounded by stunning coastal vistas, there’s the less populated Tamarama Beach and Bronte Beach, more popular with the locals but no less spectacular.

For all its European heritage Australia’s closest neighbours are Asian countries. The Sydney suburb Cabramatta is populated by a vast Vietnamese community. Also of non-European descent are the Aboriginal peoples, who, although they lived on the land for 64,000 years before the arrival of the first convict ships, have only been counted as citizens since the referendum of 1967. Justine joins a tour which takes in cultural aspects of aboriginal life and gives an insight into the way the Aborigines have been brutally treated by the European colonisers.

Justine ventures outside the city limits to Katoomba, gateway to the Blue Mountains. The mountains are so called because of an eerie blue haze on the horizon, the vapour exuded by the eucalyptus trees. Her guide takes her through the bush and the rainforest region surrounding Beacham Falls, and she communes with the Kangaroos, Australia’s national animal…though unfortunately her new-found friends are on the menu that evening.image: Gay & Lesbian Mardi GrasBack in town, Justine goes to a contemporary music performance at the world-famous Sydney Opera House. The Opera House was the product of an international architecture competition won by Danish-born Jorn Utsen, son of a naval engineer. Utsen drew his inspiration from childhood memories of billowing sails in the shipyards as he watched his father at work.A day trip to Bundeena is just a short ferry trip away, a calm backwater away from the urban sprawl. Justine witnesses the Festival of the Living, and hooks up with a local who takes her to the local RSL club, one of the many servicemen’s clubs all over Australia.Sydney has a long history of wild parties, ever since the legendary orgy that took place when the first ship of women convicts docked in the harbour after eight months of abstinence on the high seas. The biggest event in Sydney’s calendar takes place in February, the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Justine is invited to join in the procession by Robert, who has entered his fabulous costume Colours du Jour.

On her final day in Sydney Justine takes a quick Harley Davidson tour to some of the sites she hasn’t had time to see in just a week, including the Sydney 2000 Olympic site and the wealthy north shore region.

Traveller Megan McCormick journeys to West Africa, where 500 years ago Europeans uncovered bounties of gold in Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast) and ivory in the Cote d’Ivoire. Her trip begins in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Here Megan visits an intriguing coffin shop and is invited to attend a funeral. For the Ga people it’s traditional to be buried in a coffin which symbolises what you did in life.

Twenty miles from Accra is Kokrobite where Megan meets the famous drummer Mustapha Addy. At the cultural centre he runs he teaches Megan the basics of talking drums which have been used for centuries as a means of communicating between tribes and villages.At the Mole Game Reserve in the northern region of Ghana, it’s possible to walk around amongst the animals accompanied by a ranger. Megan is lucky enough to spy warthogs, antelopes and elephants.

Kumasi is the birthplace of the famous Kente cloth and weaving the vibrant textile is a family business, passed through generations for 400 years. They still use traditional methods based on observing a spider spinning its web. The cloth is part of Ghanaian national dress and is worn by town elders on special occasions.The nearby goldmines at Obuasi are some of the largest in the world. Every day half a million dollars worth of gold is brought to the surface and the Ashanti people who have been mining in Ghana for centuries became incredibly wealthy. Back in Kumasi Megan visits a goldsmith who makes trinkets for the Ashanti king.From Kumasi Megan takes a train to Takoradi & visits the slave castles of Elmina & Cape Coast. Elmina is a small fishing village but it was in the castles here that, until slavery was abolished in 1865, millions of slaves were detained and tortured. The following day is the Aboaker or ‘deer-hunt’ festival at nearby Winneba. Two teams compete to catch a deer, which is sacrificed to the tribal gods. With the gods appeased, the revelry continues all weekend.

From Winneba Megan heads back along the coast, stopping off at Brenu beach before crossing the border to the Ivory Coast. In spite of her scant grasp of the French language she image:Ghetto Life - a township in Ghanareaches the capital Abidjan. Here it’s still possible to buy ivory in the Cocody Market, but if you do it its illegal to export it from the county. A bus journey along the beautiful unspoilt coast takes Megan to a little town of Sassandra. She goes out fishing in a dug out canoe called apirogue with a local fisherman. Along the way they see a deadly green mamba and hippo, and cast their rods in the estuary, a prime fishing spot.The final leg of Meganís journey takes her to theMan region where she witnesses a wedding ceremony in the village of Neana. Itís an incredible ceremony where masked dancers perform extraordinary acrobatics and the village sage performs rituals asking the ancestors to bless the union. Following the sacrifice the whole village chants and dances until the sun goes down.

Pilot Guide Presenter Justine Shapiro does any thing but take it easy in the city they call The Big Easy. The French colony of New Orleans was sold to the Americans for a mere $15 millionJustine Shapiro: In love with New Orleansin 1803, when Napoleon was strapped for cash. Built below sea-level on reclaimed swamp land the city’s complex and multi-cultural history dates from its foundation on the crescent-shaped bend of the Mississippi River.

Justine takes a tour of the French Quarter with Lucille Lobe, who shows her the houses of the French Creole traders, complete with elegant European architecture and cottages for the slave-mistress who entertained the wealthy masters’ every need. They conclude their walking tour in Congo Square, where jazz music has flourished since the fusion of African and European beats gave birth to a whole new style.

From the French Quarter Justine takes a streetcar to the outlying Garden District, the rich, leafy neighbourhood developed by the Americans who found themselves unwelcome in the Creole French Quarter. She pays her respects in the Creole cemetery, where the climate of New Orleans necessitates unusual burial practice: as the city is built below sea-level the deceased must be buried above ground in strange sarcophagus constructions. The heat of the Louisiana sun cremates the corpse within a year, and the ashes are merely brushed aside to make way for the next family member. Among the tombs Justine locates the resting place of Marie Laveau, the nineteenth century voodoo queen of New Orleans.

At the Voodoo Museum Justine witnesses a voodoo wedding ceremony. She learns that although voodoo is widely viewed with scepticism and suspicion, the practitioners identify that part of them that needs healing and employ the charms of voodoo dolls to purge themselves of ill feeling.

Justine takes an aeroplane to the Jean Lafitte National Park. When the Cajun people were expelled from their Canadian homelands in the 1750s by the British they built their homes in Justine takes part in the Mardi Gras Parade the Bayou – huge expanse of marsh and lakes. Every Saturday at the Bayou Barn there’s a Cajun fait dow dow.

Fishing is a major sport popular in the wetlands and Justine joins an airboat trip through the marshes. Before returning to New Orleans she finds peace and solace paddling through theBearer Terrier Park, which is thankfully forbidden to airboats, allowing a host of wildlife to build their habitats undisturbed.

Drives along the Mississippi as far as Vacherie, Justine visits two wildly different plantations. The beautiful Oak Alley evokes an age of genteel southern living yet the tour makes no reference to the slavery which was an integral part of plantation life. Just a few miles away is the Laura Plantation, run by female family members for 84 years. Here Louisiana’s racist past is sensitively handled, as Laura the last president was outraged by her Grandmother’s brutal treatment of her home-bred slaves.

Back in the French Quarter it’s Lundi Gras, the day before Mardi Gras. Justine has been invited to join one of the 27 floats of the Orpheus krewe. Lundi and Mardi Gras are the culmination of the Roman Catholic tradition to mark 47 days before Easter. Dressed as a jester Justine joins in, throwing strings of beads to the throng.

In a city delineated by a history of racial and economic segregation, Mardi Gras is celebrated in another part of town by Black New Orleansians. Painted as Indians in a mockery of racial stereotypes, the ‘tribes’ challenge their rivals in a fierce competition of song and dance. On Bourbon Street the next morning, the success of Mardi Gras is measured in the amount of garbage to be cleaned off the streets – this year, like Justine’s week in New Orleans, has been a roaring success by all accounts!

Neil Gibson journeys through the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and then toFinland. He begins his journey in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. It is the biggest Baltic capitalimage:Neil Gibsonand its large Russian population means it’s hard to forget that until the beginning of the 1990s Lithuania was under Soviet rule.

After looking around a waste ground full of crumbling Soviet statues that were pulled down and vandalised when Lithuania declared its independence, Neil visits the huge Garunai flea market. Traders come from all over Eastern Europe and it’s possible to pick up some good bargains – as long as you can pay in American dollars.

Neil discovers that paganism is experiencing a revival in Lithuania. He travels to the small town of Kernave to help celebrate the biggest event in the Pagan calender – Midsummer’s night.

Travelling north, Neil makes one more stop in Lithuania – the city of Siauliai, famous for its hill of more than a million crosses. He meets a woman who explains that pilgrims have come here for over 500 years to leave crosses in the memory of those who have died. It survived the Soviet era despite being bulldozed at least three times.

Neil hops on a bus and travels over the border into Latvia. He discovers an Olympic bob-sleigh track, where he has the terrifying experience of travelling three quarters of a mile in just a minute.

In Riga, the capital of Latvia, also known as the ‘Paris of the Baltics’, Neil buys some amber, a gem which is washed up on the Baltic coastline. Just outside Riga is Salaspils, the former concentration camp. Thousands of Eastern Europeans were held here during World War II before being transported to other concentration camps, and the site is now a memorial to the thousands who died.

Estonia is the next stop and Neil goes to Setumaa in the south east of the country, home to the Setus. Since 1940 Setumaa has been divided between Russia and Estonia, but despite this it is still like a separate country, with its own language, culture and religious traditions. The Setus are famous for their unearthly throat singing, as Neil discovers when he arrives in time for the Setu Song Festival.

image: ustine takes part in the Mardi Gras Parade Next Neil hitches a lift in a motorbike sidecar, west to Parnu on the Baltic coast, where he stays on an Estonian farm. He then takes a ferry to the Estonian Islands to visit a famous Shaman, Vigala Sass. Sass explains his form of Shamanism to Neil and performs a cleansing ritual intended to keep Neil safe for the rest of his journey.

After a quick stop in medieval Tallinn, capital of Estonia, Neil continues his journey to Finland. After some sightseeing in the capital, Helsinki, he travels north to scenic Karelia. Neil spends the night sleeping in a lean-to in the forest and sets off to meet Finland’s most famous bear hunter, Vaino. Vaino has killed 36 bears and has kept all their skulls.

Neil’s journey ends in Sonkarjarvi, where the annual Wife Carrying Competition is taking place. Neil staggers along the course carrying his wife for the day, hoping to win the prize of a mobile phone and, the biggest incentive – the wife’s weight in beer. If that is, he lives to claim it!

Justine Shapiro rides into San Francisco on board the Greyhound bus, intent on spending a week discovering the liberal culture of the metropolis by the bay.

For her first night in the city, Justine treats herself to a rooftop penthouse cabin, where she awakes to panoramic views of the cityscape. Cable cars prove to be a novel yet practical way to get about town, and she hangs on all the way to Chinatown where she meets the locals and learns the lingo in Portsmouth Square.

In the 1920s the Italian quarter was the hangout of the beat poets and Justine encounters one of their number, Laurence Ferlinghetti, browsing the shelves in the bookstore he now runs. That evening she hears a young local poet giving a live reading at Vesuvio, a bar that was frequented by the original beat generation.

The next day Justine takes a trip across the water to the infamous Alcatraz, America’s most secure prison until 1963. She hears about the harsh realities of prison life from former inmate Leon ‘Whitey’ Thompson. Back in town, Justine exercises her liberty by joining the Space Walk,an underground art event staging guerrilla style art attacks all around the city. She calls it a night, however, when local police prove that San Francisco no longer lives up to its liberal reputation and break up the gathering.

A ride on the Green Tortoise Bus, which offers travellers a comfortable communal ride across the continent, takes Justine on a day trip north of the city limits, to Muir Woods. The woods Golden Gate Bridgeare home to the tallest living things on earth: 1000 years old and 230 feet tall, the Giant Redwoods are an awe inspiring sight and a National Monument.

Justine joins the ‘Cruising the Castor’ tour around the gay neighbourhood of Castro, which includes a poignant visit to the Names Project, a memorial to the victims of the AIDS epidemic which devastated the community in the 1980s. Haight Ashbury was the centre of the flower-power movement in the 1960s. Justine is fortunate to find lodgings at the Red Victorian, a hotel run by a genuine ageing hippie and Justine makes herself at home in the Flower Child room.The following day, its ‘on yer bike’ for Justine, s she discovers the highs and lows of cycling in the city. As rush hour draws nigh, Justine finds herself in the midst of Critical Mass, the monthly cycling protest designed to block the city’s arteries and infuriate motorists.In the Mission quarter Justine witnesses the Day of the Dead, a festival in early November when Mexicans connect with their ancestors, remember the dead and parade the streets in ghoulish guise.On her final day in town, Justine heads for Pacifica, the beach for surfing beginners. The sun’s not shining and the water’s freezing, but in just one afternoon Justine masters the art of riding the waves.

Justine Shapiro travels to Mexico City, a melee of modern sky scrapers, Indian markets and Spanish churches where most of Mexico’s political, cultural, and economic life has been centred for thousands of years.

After finding a cheap place to stay, Justine is keen to get her first taste of city life straight away. Her first stop is La Merced market. There’s been a market on the site since the Aztec Justine at the Basilica de Guadelupe era and now its one of the city’s largest food markets, boasting 150 varieties of that Mexican staple the chilli, as well as cactus, chicken guts, bugs and mosquito eggs. Justine samples as much as she can stomach, then pays a visit to a glass-blowing workshop.

Less than an hour’s bus ride away is the ancient Aztec site of Teotihuacan. It was a major city in 400 or 500 AD, but all the records and artwork were destroyed so archaeologists can only guess at the cause of its ruin. Teotihuacan is best known for its two gigantic pyramids, one to the sun and one to the moon, and after climbing the steep steps to the summit Justine takes in an incredible view of the whole site.

Back in Mexico City Justine meets up with Tommy Glasford, a North American artist who with a studio in the Zocolo, the main square. After showing her around his studio, Tommy takes Justine on a history-packed whistle-stop tour of the Zocolo. Her visit to the Museum of Anthropology is a little more leisurely and her guide knows all the gruesome history behind each archaeological treasure. Justine just can’t spend another night in Mexico City without paying her respects to Mexico’s most renowned liquor – tequila. There’s over 550 varieties to choose from in the bar and Justine tries her hardest to get through as many as she can. Her first stop the next morning is Sonora witchcraft market where she can buy medicinal and magical herbs to cure a host of ailments – insomnia, ulcers, diabetes, bronchitis… and even hangovers.

Spectator sports are another Mexican obsession and Justine’s curiosity gets the better of her as she buys a front-row ticket for lucha libre, masked wrestling at the Arena Coliseo.

Early the next morning Justine heads a hundred miles south west of Mexico City to the colonial city of Taxco. Although Taxco started out as a primitive mining camp, the discovery of silver transformed it into one of Mexico’s wealthiest cities. Justine is visiting Taxco at the time of the annual silver fair and there’s every imaginable trinket exquisitely fashioned from the precious metal on sale.

The Virgin of Guadelupe Festival takes place in early December and is the culmination of almost two weeks of celebrations. Justine witnesses the build up to the big day when local men Virgin of Guadelupe Festivaldart around the town with fireworks mounted on model bulls. The largest bullfighting ring in the world is in Mexico City and its here that she witnesses her first bullfight. Justine joins the devotional throng gathered at the Basilica de Guadelupe, where about five million Mexicans end their pilgrimage from far- flung regions of the country.

Twelve miles south of the city is Xochimilco, a favourite weekend destination of Mexican families who escape the urban sprawl for the network of canals and flower nurseries. Justine comes across a curious sight on the little island which Don Julio has shared with his family of decrepit dolls for 23 years. Curious tourists find the spectacle rather creepy but Don Julio insists his dolls are like spirits who watch over and protect him.

On Justine’s final day in Mexico she pays a visit to the lush, secluded mountains of El Rosario, where billions of monarch butterflies migrate from Canada each year and find refuge in the butterfly sanctuary. They are an extraordinary sight, a blaze of vibrant colour forming a thick carpet on the ground to escape the stifling humidity at the heat of the day. It’s a perfect, peaceful end a frantic week in Mexico’s vibrant, passionate and disorganised capital.

Presenter Ian Wright travels the south-east coast of Brazil, where exports in sugar cane, gold and coffee once made Rio de Janeiro one of the greatest cities of the colonial era. Nowadays Christ the Redeemerthe capital city of Brazil and the carnival capital of the world is most renowned as the home of samba & soccer.

After checking into a cheap hotel, Ian checks out the beach at Copacabana. After a white-knuckle bus ride to the overcrowded half-mile strip of seashore where the locals cariocas hang out, he’s quick to find instruction in beach etiquette from two seasoned beach regulars.

From the Centro district of the city Ian takes the only remaining tram in Rio to the wealthy district of Santa Tereza. Since 1971 this area has been called home by notorious ex-train robber Ronnie Biggs. He was sentenced to 30 years for his part in the Great Train Robbery of 1963 but escaped from his British jail and went on the run. He’s still a wanted man in Britain but he’s enjoying his twilight years in Rio running barbecues for carnival-goers and telling his life story to tourists.

A tourist train takes Ian to the top of Corcovado, the 2,200 foot mountain at the top of which is the massive statue of Christ the Redeemer is the most enduring picture-postcard image of Rio as it towers over the entire city. He then takes in the Taguca National Park, a seventy square-mile tropical rainforest right in the centre of the city. The Peak at Pedra Bonita is a natural wonder, and for the best aerial views of Rio, Ian goes hang-gliding over the city vistas.

The favellas of Rio are well off the usual tourist trail and many visitors don’t venture into these shanty towns to find out how a third of the population lives. Ian is shown around this city-within-a-city by tour organiser Marcelo Armstrong.

A short trip across the bay is the Museum of Contemporary Art at Niteroi. It’s Rio’s most modernist building and architect Oscar Niemeyer based his design on a champagne glass. HeIan get ready for some samba carnival actiondoesn’t stop to admire the content of the museum, though, as he’s on his way to an important game – Btofogo v Flamengo at the Maracana Stadium. It’s home to the nation’s true passion, football, and emotions run high at this lively local match.

On the 6th day of his stay in Rio, Ian flags down a bus along the coastal highway 101 to Parati. The colonial town used to be renowned for its coffee though nowadays its better known for cachaça. Ian visits a workshop, witnesses its creation and samples the pure alcoholic beverage.

Back in Rio the carnival celebrations are heating up and revellers are preparing for the week of festivities which signify the beginning of Lent. But before he can join the main parade Ian has to learn how to samba. At the Caprichosos de Pilares samba school they’ve been creating songs and costumes all year round in preparation of the big day, and now rehearsals are at a fever pitch. On the big day of the carnival all the samba schools are in fierce competition. Ian meets up with his samba school at last and, in full costume, takes up his position for the parade. Sixty minutes of solid samba and its all over, an amazing, electric experience that leaves Ian ready to go at it all over again!

It’s his last night in Rio and Ian finds out how the other-half celebrate carnival at theCopacabana Palace Ball & the Scala Gay Carnival Ball. He parties till the sun comes up, the perfect way to end his week-long stay in Rio de Janeiro.

The vast, isolated country of Egypt in the North Eastern corner of African is central to studies of the world’s oldest civilisations. Traveller Megan McCormick begins her journey in the sprawlingimage:Megan comes up close to the mighty Pyramids of Giza city of Cairo where the most impressive monuments and fascinating sights and relics can be discovered in the old city.

The Bazaar of Khan al-Khalili is a huge market, which has been open for business since the middle ages. Megan learns about herbal medicine from a “doctor’s ” clinic and sees craftsmen in the workshops at the bazaar. From here she pays a visit to the mosque at Ibn Tulun: although the site has been Islamic since the mosque was built in the 9th century AD, according to legend this was the spot where Noah’s Arc came to rest and where Moses confronted Pharaoh’s magicians.

No one comes to Cairo without seeing it’s most famous landmark, the Great Pyramids at Giza, just outside the city. They were built as the tombs of three Pharaohs, the first in a string of pyramids running all the way down the Nile to the Sudanese border. Evidence suggests that the first pyramid took hundreds of thousands of workers thirty years to construct.

Egypt was one of the earliest places where Christianity took hold and the monastery at St Antony’s, three hours to the south east of Cairo, was reputedly the very first monastery. St Antony lived as a hermit in a nearby cave for twenty years. Father Lazarus, a former university lecturer who emulates St Antony’s way of life, tells Megan why he chose to live on this mountain saturated with prayer.

image: IMegan meets Faher Lazarus the hermitEn route to Siwa in Egypt’s Western DesertMegan stops at the war cemetery at El Alamein, commemorating the soldiers who fought in World War Two. Tens of thousands of young men on both sides died in the Battle of El Alamein. When she arrives in the remote oasis town of Siwa, close to the Lybian border, Megan is invited to a Siwan stag celebration. The laid-back town is famous for its dates and olives and the town centre is dominated by the crumbling remains of the 13th century fortress of Shali.

From Siwa Megan embarks on a five day desert trek to Luxor. On the way she pays a visit to the oasis town of Bahariyya, where every traveller is greeted personally by the mayor. She joins a family celebrating sebuwa, a ceremony held a week after the birth of a new baby. The following day the group heads for the historic ruins of Bagawat. Here there are 263 Coptic tombs dating back 1800 years, some of which have biblical murals painted on the interior.

Megan is relieved to arrive in Luxor at last. The West Bank of Luxor is known as Monument Valley and its here that you’ll find the famous Valley of the Kings. The government has invested heavily in security at major sites since the Shi’ite massacre of fifty people at Luxor in November 1997 which cast a cloud over the Egyptian tourist trade. Nevertheless Megan finds an Egyptologist to guide her around the working archaeological site and to teach her about burial practice. The next morning she has an early a breathtaking view of the entire site – by hot-air balloon.

For the final leg of her trip Megan takes a short flight from Aswan to Abu Simbel, the gateway to southern Egypt. It’s here that Ramses had his sun temple built over three thousand years ago. Four massive statues over sixty five feet tall impress upon the traveller the ruler’s strength and divinity. The temple was moved block by block to a man made mountain sixty five metres higher then its original site so as to prevent submersion by the newly created Lake Nasser.

Ian Wright in CanadaIan Wright travels as far north as he’s ever likely to get – to Arctic Canada, the Land Of The Midnight Sun.

He begins his trip in Montreal, the heart of the Quebecand the world’s largest French speaking city after Paris. After sampling gourmet delights in town he heads out to a ‘sugar shack’ where, when the sap rises in March, Canada’s renowned maple syrup is made. He learns all about the process of tapping the sap from the trees and boiling it down, and at the end of the day tastes the fruit of his labours.

From Montreal Ian takes a trip to the Madeline Islands.The region used to be a hunting ground for the seal pups which are born on the ice fields each March but these days the only trade the pups are mixed up in is tourism. Ian is accompanied by an expert on seals and it’s an incredible experience.

Ian is warned about the wintry weather in Yellowknife, nevertheless he’s intent on journeying to the Northwest territories, known as the Great White North. The capital, on the Great Slave Lake, was built just 50 years ago by pioneers looking for gold. He’s there at the time of the Caribou Carnival, an annual festival originally held to welcome the spring. It’s a whacky event where anything goes, from computer-bashing to ugly dog & truck competitions. In the evening Ian joins a Japanese group heading out of town to see the spectacular aurora borealis, the northern lights. This unbelievable sight which occurs when the earth’s magnetic field generates electric energy by inter-reacting with solar winds.

Seal cutting contestEven further north is Baffin Island in the territory of Nunavut. It’s the only territory in history that has been peacefully handed over to its native people. In Iqaluit, the capital of the province, he hears the ancient Inuit tradition of throat singing and shares tales of abating frostbite in temperatures that can reach as low as -89°F.

It’s a four day dogsled trek from Iqaluit toKimmirut across a plateau called Meta Incognita, ‘the dreaded unknown’. Luckily for Ian he’s accompanied by Denise Martin, the first Canadian woman to reach the North Pole on foot. She teaches him the basic skill of driving dogs but its no easy ride! They reach Kimmirut in one piece and in time for the annual seal-cutting contest. Here seal hunting is still a necessity for the 350 strong community because, as Ian is forced to accept, it’s part of their staple diet.

On the last leg of Ian’s journey he has to accompany the dogs on a flight back to Iqualit. From there he heads to Broughton Island, or Qikitarjuaq in Inuit. He takes a trip with Palooshi Kanaloosi and his grandson Jason, hoping to see a polar bear, but today the ice is too rough and the group catches a glimpse of bears in the distance.

Crazy though it may seem, Ian is invigorated by the harsh climate of Arctic Canada, enthralled by the vast open spaces and freshness in the air. Nevertheless he’s glad of the shelter of a nice warm igloo at the end of the day.



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