Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Full Circle With Michael Palin


Look in the dictionary under peripatetic and you’ll see a picture of Michael Palin. Or at least you should. Lee and I have faithfully followed him around the world, from the North to the South Pole, around the Sahara and through the Himalayas. This is his longest journey by far, around the Pacific Rim, covering over 50,000 miles (he zigzagged a lot), and (I’m pretty sure) 245 days. I think it is also the trip I would most like to have accompanied him on. He begins on Little Diomede island, looking across the International Date Line to Big Diomede, which is Siberian Russia. (If he’d looked the other way he’d probably have seen his little sister Sarah’s house, where she stands constant vigil for invading Russians. Keep up the good work, Governor Palin! And do it far, far away from the Lower 48!) And he ends … well, close to where he began. I won’t say more than that.

In Around the World in 80 Days there was always the time pressure. It was a wonderful show, but it was more about the travel than about the getting there. Same with Pole to Pole. As for Sahara and Himalaya … fahgeddaboutit! Killing heat, altitude sickness, sand in your food, bitter cold, terrorists … no freakin’ way. This one is more casual. I had thought he intended to visit all the countries bordering the Pacific, but he didn’t , he just went where he wanted, which was Russia, Japan, China, Indonesia, Australia, Chile, the Upper Amazon. He skipped all of Latin America, and most of North America, except for the Mexico-US border. And that’s cool. He was able to spend more time and see more things. It all sounds like lots of fun. Even the part about shooting the rapids on the Amazon. I’d skip the fried maggots in Mexico City, though.