In My Hands Today…

Pole to Pole – Michael Palin

Having circumnavigated the globe from west to east in Around the World in 80 Days, Michael Palin proceeded to stretch even his endurance with his next journey, travelling due south from the North Pole, arriving five months later at the southernmost point of the globe, the South Pole.

The result is Pole to Pole, Palin’s account of his extraordinary journey between July and December 1991, passing through 17 countries from Greenland and the former Soviet Union in the north to Kenya, South Africa and Chile in the south.

From the frozen wastes of both poles, to the scorching heat of Africa, Pole to Pole is a travelogue of bizarre extremes. Palin revels in the surrealism of it all as he travels through a range of vastly different European and African communities undergoing massive social and political upheavals in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Palin’s shrewd observations are as ever interspersed with his eye for the weird and the comical, as he meets Santa Claus and Lenin, goes shopping for camels in Omdurman, and makes a final hectic dash to the South Pole via Chile. It’s all quite exhausting!

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