Michael Palin´s Sahara (BBC) (2 Disc Set) - (DVD)
Starring Michael Palin et al
Discovery Miles 1 400
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Michael Palin's passion for travel remains as strong as it was when he voyaged Around the World in 80 Days, from Pole to Pole and Full Circle. his newest challenge, to cross the Sahara desert, rediscovers the spirit of exploration, as many of the countries he visits have remained widely unseen before now. Michael said, "the Sahara desert is the size of the United States but has the population of Norfolk. It is a place of magical appeal. Although famous as a geographical location, its life, landscape and rich history remain shrouded in mystery and I feel privileged to have experienced some of what it has to offer. Yes, the travel was at times difficult, but it was amply rewarded with new sights and sounds, people, languages, food and customs." There is no easy way to cross the Sahara by land and Michael encounters the same problems and difficulties that travellers have faced on this epic journey for centuries. With the emphasis on interacting with the people they meet along the way, the team is stretched as they all undergo the arduous expedition. The voyage starts in Gibraltar, which is only 12 miles away geographically from Mrica. After a practice camel-ride on the beach in Tangier, Michael moves on through Fez (spiritual capital of Morocco) and Marrakech (tourist capital of Morocco), before entering the real desert where the warmth of the Sahawari people, softens this inhospitable land. Crossing the Senegal River to the old French colonial capital of St Louis, Michael leaves the desert behind and briefly savours the delights of cosmopolitan Senegal: jazz clubs, wrestling competitions, dance troupes and the Queen of the Senegalese soaps, Marie-Madeleine. He endures two days and nights on the Bamako "Express" train, and in the process gets to know a school mistress who is nothing if not forthright about the disadvantages of polygamy. Michael celebrates the "Tabaski" feast in the beautiful city of Djenne before journeying down the Niger River after which he wanders through the rubble that is 2ldt century Timbuktu. He then moves on with cameleer Omar, who introduces him to the delights and vicissitudes of life on the move. Walking 12 hours a day, eating the odd sheep that has tagged along, Michael finally gets to grips with the heart and soul of the desert. After a brief diversion into Colonel Gadaffi's Libya he turns west along the north coast past stunning and deserted classical sites at Apollonia, Cyrene and Leptis Magna. Just along the coast is Ceuta, a Spanish enclave on Morocco's coast, a little. chunk of Fortress Europe in Africa and as such a magnet for would-be immigrants whom he talks to before returning to his original starting point, Gibraltar.
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