View to a thrill
20 March 2012 | SIBUSISO MKWANAZI
As people, we find inspiration in different ways.
For some, this might be a romantic poem, a 17th century painting or a piece of music.
British traveller and adventurer Ben Fogle, he gets a thrill every time he is perilously close to danger.
As a viewer, you know things are about to get very, very tough on Year Of Adventures when you see Fogle preparing for Australia’s largest challenge, the Augusta Anaconda, by ticking off the gruelling mile-and-a-half icy swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco Bay, competing in the Rat Race (an urban challenge that navigates through London’s streets) and kayaking off the coast of Wales in a race called The Bitches (so called because of the waves’ tendency to break up ships that are much bigger than his kayak).
What makes mortal beings like the rest of us come back for Fogle’s antics each week, is the unique travel element that the show presents.
The show sees him climbing trees in the US, visiting Iceland’s glaciers (and inevitably diving
into the water) and trying out Italy’s Via Ferrata, a mountain route equipped with fixed cables, stemples, ladders, and bridges.
There are countless travel shows that have hosts dressed in the fanciest garments that money can buy, and they only show us the typical tourist activities that each city offers.
They forget about the dirty, rough back roads, the real people who live there and how they keep themselves going.
Fogle has made it his mission to highlight exactly those areas.
As long as he can manage not to fall into a crevasse or freeze to death while swimming in icy water, the series will continue to show the rougher and somehow more exciting sides of his destinations.
Often, these are cities whose tourist brochures have remained the same for centuries.
There must be more to do in Cape Town than climb Table Mountain, or to go on a ride in a tram in San Francisco.
We all know a Ben Fogle, that one friend/colleague/family member who cannot stay put for a minute and has to spend absolutely every weekend traversing the closest and roughest terrain their GPS points them to.
It does not mater how dangerous it may be for them to even attempt it, they will not rest until they conquer it. And to be honest, after seeing an episode of Year Of
Adventures, it makes you feel like you are not living life to the fullest.
Fogle is also the first to admit that doing just that does not have to be mountain-climbing or kayaking, but it has to be something that gets you out of your comfort zone.
When was the last time you did that?
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