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This is the richest, longest, most ambitious and most exhausting of all the journeys. There was so much to do and so many different terrains, climates, foods and illnesses to experience that at one point it seemed like we were engaged on the ultimate new Olympic event – Full Circling.

Though at no time was it quite as relentlessly punishing as the heat and sandstorms of the Sahara, the sheer distance covered – 50,000 miles through 17 countries in ten months of filming was a huge test of stamina, and indeed human relations. One day after we’d got back I worked out with Nigel Meakin, the cameraman, how many meals we must have eaten together whilst travelling round the Rim. The answer was 876.

And there’s much more useless information like that on the website. From how to cook eggs in a volcano to playing horse’s jawbones at parties in Chile. Just a few clicks away are full details of the island on which Robinson Crusoe was abandoned, how to help neuter a dog, and the best place to eat maggots.

A circumnavigation of the Pacific Rim is a trip no travel agent will ever offer you, so take the palinstravels version now, and feel insufferably smug.


Michael Palin, 25th September 2002.