In the second leg of his journey, Simon Reeve travels down the Rocky Mountains. In Montana, Simon meets a former Silicon Valley executive who has envisaged a new future for the land.
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Simon travels the length of California. He climbs to the top of one of the world's tallest trees, and meets the fire crews tasked with tackling the ever-present danger of wildfires, a growing threat given the state's changing climate and chronic shortage of water. He also meets street doctors providing much-needed medical support to people living in extreme poverty and visits a city on the desert for Americans who have dropped out of the rat race entirely.
2019 • Travel
Simon travels from Texas to southern Mexico, meeting a woman who risks her life to take supplies to migrants stranded on the Mexican side of the border in Reynosa, one of the country's most violent cities, which is dominated by a powerful criminal organisation. He also ventures into the rainforest to explore the Maya city of Yaxchilan, and meets the modern-day descendants of this civilisation, who are increasingly marginalised and treated as second-class citizens.
2019 • Travel
After seven months of hiking, Levison Wood reaches his final country - Egypt - and with 900 miles still to go to reach the Mediterranean, the authorities give him just 45 days to finish. After walking the barren shores of Lake Nasser and exploring deserted temples, Lev reaches Aswan and spends a night at a historic hotel. Moving on, he discovers more of Egypt's wonders, from magnificent buildings in the ancient city of Luxor, to the Pyramids of Giza, where he's given a hero's reception. The journey then takes him through strongholds for the Muslim Brotherhood opposition group, and as the security situation deteriorates he finds himself accompanied by police vans and armed officers.
This week, Julia’s journey reaches the Sporades. Known as the ‘Paradise Islands’, their lush pine forests and breathtaking coastlines are recognisable to millions as the backdrop of the movie Mamma Mia. On Skiathos, Julia boards a fishing boat in search of a secret world of hidden coves and deserted beaches,
This special episode sees Michael revisit his fifth travel series – Himalaya. For Michael, this epic journey across the world’s highest mountain range is the fulfilment of boyhood dreams inspired by the 1953 ascent of Everest by Hillary and Tensing. Beginning in the famous Khyber Pass, he travels through Pakistan and India and ascends into Nepal and Tibet to reach Everest base camp itself, before venturing into the mountain kingdom of Bhutan. But Michael’s journey isn’t all about scaling peaks – it’s also about finding out what life is like for the people who live in some of the harshest environments on Earth. He is curious to see countries that were cut off by the mountains for centuries and that have developed their own distinct cultures and ways of survival, to discover the different ways that religion influences society here, and to meet the hardy inhabitants of the mountains.
2020 • Travel
Beginning in the Sikh holy city, Michael is dazzled by the beauty of the Golden Temple and awed by the scale of its langar - the world's largest free kitchen. His route then takes him through the Punjab, India's breadbasket. Michael samples traditional chapattis, has a colourful kurta made up in one of the Punjab's biggest cloth markets, and can't resist the foot-tapping rhythms of Punjabi bhangra dancing, made famous by Bollywood. At Kalka, Michael glimpses the Himalayas for the first time and joins the 1906-built mountain railway for a stunning climb to Shimla.
On an epic railway journey from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh to Kolkata in West Bengal, Michael Portillo uses his Bradshaw's 1913 Handbook of Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel, published when the British Raj was 55 years old, to chart a course through India's history from the days of The East India Company to the dawn of independence. In Lucknow, Michael tastes the famous local kebabs before seeking the truth about 1857 Siege of Lucknow, a key moment in the rebellion which precipitated the end of the East India Company's grip on India and the start of direct British rule.
The Python star continues his first visit to Brazil by travelling by river from the northern border with Venezuela to the capital of Brasilia. Along the way he visits indigenous tribe the Yanomami, learning about the threat to their hunter-gatherer way of life, before watching a rehearsal by the Amazon Philharmonic Orchestra and searching for the remains of Henry Ford's unsuccessful attempt to build a vast rubber plantation in the middle of the rainforest. In Belem, music producer Priscilla explains why Amazonian women are such powerful forces, then he moves southwards, meeting rock star and political activist Dinho Ouro Preto, who believes that despite its social and environmental problems, the country is on the brink of becoming a superpower.