Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

TV Traveler on the Go Again, This Time around Pacific Rim

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

TV Traveler on the Go Again, This Time around Pacific Rim

Article excerpt

INTREPID traveler Michael Palin went "Around the World in 80 Days" back in 1989 and journeyed "Pole to Pole" five years ago. On his latest and most arduous expedition, "Full Circle With Michael Palin," he explores the exotic countries of the Pacific Rim. The 10-week series embarks Monday on Channel 9.

The Monty Python alum doesn't know how he caught the travel bug, but acknowledges he was always curious about "what was around the corner."

In fact, Palin, 54, recalls that the greatest day of his life was when he got his first bicycle as a youngster. "I was able to go off on my own and be an independent traveler, cycling into the hills around where I lived and exploring places," the charming, good-natured Palin recalled. "I love the idea of exploring. I read books about explorers and places like the Amazon and the Nile. Those places were incredibly romantic, possibly because I was born and brought up in Sheffield (England). It's a sort of an ugly, industrial city. Great people there, but it's a place people generally wanted to get out of when I was young." Palin and his producer came up with the idea of exploring the Pacific Rim. "Most of the countries I haven't been to in the world tended to be grounded around the Pacific Rim, especially South America and Southeast Asia," he explains. "There was an entity to the Pacific Rim - a political entity and an economic entity. A lot of business is done between Europe and the Pacific Rim, yet most of the general public doesn't know much about it." On his "Full Circle" journey, Palin covered 50,000 miles over 245 days. He traveled through 18 countries and 89 cities, chatted with 300 people, traveled on 33 trains, 37 ships and 16 helicopters. (Next month, St. Martin's Press will publish Palin's lavish companion book to the series.) Palin and his crew of seven - all of whom had accompanied him on "Pole to Pole" - began "Full Circle" at Diomede, a tiny island in the middle of the Bering Strait. Before returning there the following year, they visited Russia, Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Borneo, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, the U. …

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