We pass on a few tips to make travelling with your bike less of a chore.
For English adventurer Benedict Allen, exploration is a personal business, best done by interacting with indigenous people, on their terms, alone and without backup.
What were the early influences and experiences that set you on the road to exploration? My father was a test pilot, and I used to watch him fly over our back garden as a little boy. One day he dipped the wing of a plane – it was a Vulcan Bomber – as a way of saying hello. I still remember the excitement – I was probably aged four or less. I think having a pioneer as a father made all the difference. It made it seem possible to do something a little bit different. By the age of ten I announced my decision to my parents. My mother was appalled: it was bad enough for her having to worry about my dad. Now I was going to follow suit! But I was a dreamer, a romantic, as well as mission-orientated like my dad. So I did my journeys in my own way, off to far corners of the world.
Were you ever drawn to climb Everest? I have never had an interest in Everest. I have an interest in mountaineers, or some of them, because I share at least some of their desire to push themselves, to reach into the unknown. But why today would someone climb Everest? It is not the most difficult place to climb or reach. Sadly, the name carries kudos; ascending it is about bragging rights. I’m more interested in a little old lady who has pushed herself to the limit in climbing a local hill. She has done it for herself. She needs no one to applaud her. Antarctica is probably the largest blank on the map. Did that ever appeal, especially given the rich British heritage of explorers there? Walking to the South Pole is not exploration, although it may well be an astounding athletic feat. The land itself enchants me, but very early on I decided to learn about the world through indigenous people, who see places like t he Amazon, or Arctic, or Borneo, as their home. As a resource, not a threat. And as the Antarctic has no indigenous people, I quickly specialised in places elsewhere.
Scott is seen as the quintessential British explorer, dying a ‘noble’ death, having failed