PDF Around the World in 80 Days by Michael Palin
PDF Around the World in 80 Days Preface to the new edition
Little did I imagine, as I was turned away from the doors of the Reform Club in London after completing my circumnavigation of the globe back in December 1988, that far from being an endto my travelling career, this was just the beginning. Around The World In Eighty Days was tobecome around the world in twenty years.I had intended to stop once we reached the unyielding doors of the Reform Club and returnto a normal life – slapping people with fish, running over Kevin Kline in a steamroller andsinging the Lumberjack Song in German to selected audiences. The attempt to circle the world inless than three months without ever leaving its surface had, I felt, offered me enough adventureto last a lifetime.But something had happened on all those long sea trips, on battered cargo boats and creaking container ships, on heaving Indian trains and racing dog sleds in the Rockies. Though Ihad travelled with a course of painful injections and bag full of pills and potions, nothing hadprotected me against the overpowering, aching desire to do the whole thing again. It was as if adoor had been opened through which I could see a big beckoning world. I could see North Polesand South Poles and Equators and Tropics and rapids and volcanoes and it was all much moreexciting than slapping people with fish. The success of Around The World In Eighty Days, and avery tolerant wife and family, made it possible for me to walk through this door and discovernew people, new places, and experience sights and sounds beyond my wildest expectations.Twenty years on, I and my crew, many of whom had accompanied me on that first journey,have been to every continent in the world, travelled hundreds and thousands of miles acrossevery terrain from ice and snow to burning desert, and regurgitated it all in seven books andtelevision series.So I must thank my lucky stars, and Clem Vallance and the BBC in particular, for creatingfor me a role I never expected, that of a sort of tour guide to the world. I also have to thank thosewho so selflessly agreed to let our camera peer into their lives, for, as I’ve learnt in all my series,it’s the people you meet who make the programmes work.Bearing that in mind we decided that the best way to celebrate twenty years of travellingwould be some sort of a reunion. The choice was easier than I’d expected. Looking back over theyears no single experience has remained more powerfully in my memory than our dhow journeyfrom Dubai to Bombay. It was the first time I realised quite how much the success or failure ofour series depended on those with whom we were travelling, in this case a crew of eighteenIndian fishermen from a small village north of Bombay. Despite their assurances of getting us toBombay in six days, we shared the boat with them for a week. We slept on deck, sacks ofpistachio nuts beneath us, we learnt to use a toilet which was nothing more than a box suspendedover the stern of the ship, we gratefully ate the curries they produced from nowhere and we triednot to think about the lack of life-jackets, or the fate of the captain’s brother whose dhow andentire crew had perished in a storm the year before….
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