Intrepid Journeys

8:30pm Tuesday, July 3 on TV One

TV ONE’s favourite travel series, Intrepid Journeys dispatches another eager bunch of travellers out into the world-less-travelled.

Intrepid Journeys presenters have struggled with steep mountain climbs, crocodile infested waters, angry wild animals and more. But in tonight’s season finale, it’s learning to salsa dance that seems to present former All Black captain Buck Shelford with the greatest challenge on his trip to Cuba.

Shelford begins his adventure in Cuba’s capital, Havana – the city of cars, bars and cigars. He then travels to Trinidad – once the hub of the sugar trade, before moving on to Santiago de Cuba, where locals still practice the African slave religion Santeria.

But despite some of the challenges of his Intrepid Journey, Shelford says he feels privileged to have been able to travel to Cuba while its 85-year-old leader Fidel Castro is still alive.

Shelford’s Intrepid Journey sees him reflecting on his days travelling with the All Blacks. “Back then it was all flash suitcases and five star hotels, this time around it’s a backpack and cheap local homestays,” he says.

8:30pm Tuesday, June 26 on TV One

TV ONE’s favourite travel series, Intrepid Journeys, returns to dispatch another eager bunch of travellers out into the world-less-travelled.

Tonight, psychologist and author Dr Pamela Stephenson-Connolly takes an Intrepid Journey to Papua New Guinea, much to the jealousy of her husband, comedian Billy Connolly.

The New Zealand-born former Not the Nine O’Clock News star initially had no qualms about spending 12 days in the wilds of Papua New Guinea, but later confessed to having a few anxieties about her health. Having once suffered from dengue fever, the keen traveller shows off a rather large and well-stocked first aid kit she has taken with her on her journey.

Stephenson-Connolly’s Intrepid Journey begins at Mt Hagen with the annual Sing-Sing cultural festival. There, she samples the controversial local Betel Nut to see what affect it will have on her.

She visits a former World War II Japanese airbase then heads to Palambei, where she gets special permission from the local chief to enter the usually men-only Spirit House – the most important place in the village.

But Stephenson-Connolly has mixed feelings when she emerges from the Spirit House and is subjected to the reaction from the local women.

8:30pm Tuesday, June 19 on TV One

TV ONE’s favourite travel series, Intrepid Journeys, returns to dispatch another eager bunch of travellers out into the world-less-travelled.

Comic actor and writer Oscar Kightley admits he was an unlikely candidate for Intrepid Journeys because he had never even slept in a tent in New Zealand – “the most intrepid thing I do at home is walk to the dairy”, he says.

But in tonight’s voyage to Burma (or Myanmar), Oscar observes the longest military dictatorship in the world and manages to use his cheeky charm to minimise the more athletic activities required of him.

He begins his Intrepid Journey in Yangon, then travels to Golden Rock, one of the most sacred sites in the country. Oscar avoids a four-hour hike by jumping on the back of a crowded truck for the trip, and then gets the locals to carry him up the mountain on a stretcher chariot.

But Oscar’s trip is not without its challenges. He conquers a fear of motorbikes he has had since being involved in a crash, and is moved by the plight of small children sleeping in the streets. Oscar meets a 10-year-old boy who works hard running his own street stall, which makes him very reflective about his life in New Zealand, and his journey there from being born in Samoa.

8:30pm Tuesday, June 5 on TV One

TV ONE’s favourite travel series, Intrepid Journeys, returns to dispatch another eager bunch of travellers out into the world-less-travelled in a new season.

Tonight, when singer Annie Crummer sets off on her Intrepid Journey to Peru in South America, she is determined “not to be a whinger.”

Crummer begins her journey in Peru’s capital Lima, where she attends the festival for the city’s 477th birthday. She then travels on to Peurto Maldonado where she camps out in the Amazon jungle, before travelling to the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco, and then attempts a challenging mountain trek at Ollantaytambo.

The animal lover puts on a brave face while eating roast whole guinea pig with a local family; she controls her fear of spiders when she sees both a tarantula and a scorpion spider in the Amazon rain forest; and she doesn’t freak out too much at a close encounter with a baby piranha.

Annie even sets out on a challenging three-day mountain hike and overcomes a battle with terrible altitude sickness, the dramatic effects of being 4500 metres above sea level.

This Intrepid Journey stretches Annie to the outer limits of her strength and endurance. But aspects of Peruvian life and culture fondly remind Crummer of her Rarotongan and Tahitian roots – “The people remind me of me and my family”, she says.

Missed Intrepid Journeys? Full episodes are available online. Go to www.tvnz.co.nz and click ‘on demand’.

8:30pm Tuesday, May 29 on TV One

TV ONE’s favourite travel series, Intrepid Journeys, returns to dispatch another eager bunch of travelers out into the world-less-travelled in a new season.

Tonight, former Warriors captain Steve Price attempts a 12-day hike in Nepal, a year on from the major ankle surgery that ended his league career.

Price begins his Intrepid Journey in Kathmandu, where he attends a local cultural festival and goes to the top of the Monkey Temple – the highest point in the city.

Along the way he lends a hand to locals with cooking and chores, shows off his balls skills with children, and talks about New Zealand legend Sir Edmund Hillary, who is well known for his Mt Everest climb and for his work in Nepal.

As Price starts to feel the shortage of breath that comes with high altitude he wonders how he is going to cope on his big trek, which will involve up to 11 hours of hiking a day, with a 20 kilogram backpack, at altitudes of up to 4,200 metres.

During his 12-day hike, he shows the focus and determination of his professional sportsman days. “There’s no use sitting at the bottom of the hill talking about how hard the hill is going to be. You’ve just got to do it, because it’s not going to go away.”

Missed Intrepid Journeys? Full episodes are available online. Go to www.tvnz.co.nz and click ‘on demand’.

8:30pm Tuesday, May 22 on TV One

Announcing the departure of another series of boundry-pushing armchair travel adventures, Intrepid Journeys.

This much loved award-winning series takes well-known New Zealanders on the road less travelled and in the process reveals more about our travellers than they probably knew themselves.

Tonight, whilst attempting to climb a volcano, battle leeches and cope with recent back surgery, international supermodel Rachel Hunter has a tense moment with an angry orangutan, and is moved to tears by stories of loss in the Boxing Day tsunami when she visits Sumatra in her Intrepid Journey.

Sumatra is in the north western islands of the Indonesian archipelago, and Hunter’s Intrepid Journey begins in the capital Medan. She then passes through Lake Toba to the village of Dokan, where she stays in a local homestay and sleeps the night on the floor along with an extended family of 35.

Hunter is in a reflective mood on her Intrepid Journey, and talks frankly about where she is at in her life and career. She expresses an interest in returning to live in New Zealand and confesses to having often felt “socially inept,” which she thinks is the reason for her deep love of animals.

Hunter admits that her Intrepid Journey took her “a world away from the life I know.”

Missed Intrepid Journeys? Full episodes are available online. Go to www.tvnz.co.nz and click ‘on demand’.

8:30pm Thursday, March 3 on TV One

Former All Black legend Frank Bunce finds himself in the middle of civil unrest on his Intrepid Journey to Egypt this week on TV ONE.

Having enjoyed privileged travel in his sporting days, the opportunity to spend time in a foreign country and be immersed in a new culture was a dream come true, but Bunce’s travels brought him face-to-face with the poverty, fear and frustration that fuelled the recent uprising in Cairo. While the bloody protests were shocking and confronting, Bunce still says it was an honour to spend time in Egypt and to be there for such an historic time of change.

For your chance to win an Intrepid ‘Iconic China’ adventure for two go to www.tvnz.co.nz/intrepid.

Missed an episode of Intrepid Journeys? Full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button.

Former All Black legend Frank Bunce finds himself in the middle of civil unrest on his Intrepid Journey to Egypt tonight on One.

Having enjoyed privileged travel in his sporting days, the opportunity to spend time in a foreign country and be immersed in a new culture was a dream come true, but Bunce’s travels brought him face-to-face with the poverty, fear and frustration that fuelled the recent uprising in Cairo.

While the bloody protests were shocking and confronting, Bunce still says it was an honour to spend time in Egypt and to be there for such an historic time of change.

8:30pm Thursday, February 17 on TV One

Another well-known Kiwi sets sail tonight in TV ONE’s favourite travel series Intrepid Journeys.

Actress Keisha Castle-Hughes happily agrees camping in New Zealand makes her nervous so it was a brave move signing on for an Intrepid Journey going on safari in Kenya and Tanzania.

The Whale Rider star slept amongst leopards, lions and hyenas with only thin nylon for protection. She lived to tell the tale but was certainly glad to see a particular building at the end of her journey. “My favourite word of the day: Hotel,” she chuckles.

Missed an episode of Intrepid Journeys? Full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button

8:30pm Thursday, February 10 on TV One

TV ONE’s award-winning travel series Intrepid Journeys sees one third of the MasterChef New Zealand judging panel, Simon Gault, shipped off for another out-of-this world travel experience this week.

Celebrity chef Simon Gault has a nose for finding good nosh but while tackling his Intrepid Journey to Iran and Northern Turkey Gault did make an attempt to keep out of the kitchen: “Doing an Intrepid Journey, to me, is about discovering new things, but by default I end up migrating to food again. I can’t help it unfortunately for my waistline,” he chuckles.

Gault’s trip coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, pronounced as ‘Ramazan’ locally, where the faithful do not eat or drink during daylight hours. For a lover of food the practice is at best curious and at worst torture.

“Ramadan to me is just crazy. I don’t get it. But it’s a completely different culture and I fully respect what they’re doing. It’s something that I would struggle to deal with,” he admits.

Surviving on the Turkish daily diet of kebabs meant the food was not the highlight of the trip but while Gault was trying to digest the local staple he did go hunting for one of the world’s true delicacies – fresh caviar from the Caspian Sea.

The Caspian Sea is actually the world’s largest inland lake stretching from Iran to Russia and caviar is the roe of the Sturgeon that live in its waters. “It tastes of the sea. Sort of pops in your mouth,” Gault says of the famed fish eggs.

Iranian caviar is supposedly the best in the world but it is almost impossible to get fresh as it is a lucrative export trade tightly controlled by the government. However that news did not put Gault off what turned into a 14 day treasure hunt to find some.

Travelling through Iran was a culture shock for Gault – from email and mobile phones not working – and alcohol being illegal – through to women being forced to cover their head with a scarf and body from neck to knee in a loose shift called a hijab.

It’s against local custom for women to spend time in the company of men they are not related to unless chaperoned by a male relative and while men go out to socialise, women tend to stay at home. “I find that hard. Like, if we did that in New Zealand we’d all be single, for sure. I’m in their country and I don’t really want to comment on their rules. But the people are fantastic. Incredibly friendly. They’re a nice bunch of people,” says Gault.

Despite the cultural differences, Iran did get under Gault’s skin. “I would come back in ten to fifteen years to see whether the girls are still wearing headscarfs, whether you can actually buy a Steinlager. I’m hoping so.”

Missed an episode of Intrepid Journeys ? Full episodes are available online. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘Ondemand’ button