Intrepid Journeys

8:30pm Thursday, February 3 on TV One

TV ONE’s favourite travel series, Intrepid Journeys, dispatches another eager traveller out into the world-less-travelled this week.

From actor Keisha Castle-Hughes in Tanzania to chef Simon Gault in Iran, musician Lynda Topp in Tajikistan to former All Black Frank Bunce in the desert and Actor Renato Bartolomei on the tundra in Mongolia. Well off the beaten track is where these much-loved New Zealander’s experience local customs, curious culinary delights plus some very rickety transport options and rustic accommodation.

In this week’s episode, one half of the much-loved Topp Twins, Lynda Topp, journeys the rough and remote Pamir Highway in Tajikistan up to heights of 4,655 metres, stopping in villages still using ox to pull their ploughs.

She experiences music so ancient it is on the verge of extinction, and plays the spoons with a group of old musicians whose home-crafted instruments and style of playing are in danger of vanishing, despite being thousands of years old.

Former All Black Frank Bunce has spoken of the atmosphere in the Egyptian capital Cairo, where he is currently shooting his episode of TV One’s Intrepid Journeys.

Bunce described the situation in the city as volatile but said that while his crew was involved in a few very minor incidents, the Egyptian people were generally apologetic.

“It’s a pretty volatile situation over here. There’s a lot of screaming and shouting and as soon as they saw cameras they ran over and were screaming down the lens. But the worst thing is the amount of people that made it a little bit dicey and a bit scary,” Bunce told the Herald. 

Bunce said that one of the cameramen traveling with him was kicked while his director was attacked by a small child.

“There’s a huge military presence on the street. There’s 30, 40, 50 tanks and armoured cars and there’s a whole pile of military out and there were helicopters flying around last night.

“But there’s no problem with the military, they’re just part of the people and for the people. It’s the police they have a problem with.” 

The former All Black said that a lot of the locals helped both him and the crew out when it got a little rough.

“When the guys were getting kicked and pushed a lot of the same group came back and protected our group and sort of ushered us away a little bit … and were telling us to calm down. There were a lot of apologies afterward and patting on the head and hugging.”

Source: Herald

8:30pm Thursday, January 20 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 this week.

From actor Keisha Castle-Hughes in Tanzania to chef Simon Gault in Iran, weather personality Tamati Coffey in Oman and musician Lynda Topp in Tajikistan, former All Black Frank Bunce in the desert and Actor Renato Bartolomei on the tundra in Mongolia. Well off the beaten track is where these much-loved New Zealander’s experience local customs, curious culinary delights plus some very rickety transport options and rustic accommodation.

In the first episode, television weatherman Tamati Coffey braves a night under the open skies of the desert surrounded by 100 camels in Oman. The camels behave themselves but the giant ants and bugs are not so easily corralled. Apparently, they have to be seen to be believed but Coffey colourfully describes the ants as needing three fingers to squash and delivering a good explosion.

What can we expect from TV One in 2011?  Well, it appears as though the experiment of 2010 has been done away with and the edginess has gone and it’s returned to solid 25-54 programming.

Check out the trailers below.  Unfortunately, the kiwi shows don’t have trailers on YouTube, yet (nudge, nudge, wink, wink @TV2Boy!).

New Shows

Enlightened

Body of Proof

Episodes

Harry’s Law

Offspring

Winners and Losers

Tangle

Suspect Behaviour

Spicks and Specks 

New Local Shows
North – The sequel to Marcus Lush’s highly acclaimed South
Masterchef Masterclasses
Nothing Trivial – from the creators of Go Girls
Do or Die – confronting Kiwi’s with bad health habits
Politicians at Work
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers
Family Feud

Returning Shows
Packed to the Rafters
Undercover Boss
Criminal Minds
Castle
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

Returning Local Shows 
One News
Close Up
Sunday
Intrepid Journeys
The Investigator
Beyond the Darklands
Fair Go
Animal Rescue
Coastwatch
Piha Rescue
Real Life
Real Crime 

7:30pm Friday, September 25 on TV One

Sharp-tongued Dancing With The Stars judge Brendan Cole figured he had picked the prime Intrepid Journey from the global bunch when he signed on for two weeks in Vanuatu (tonight at 7.30pm on TV ONE).

Little did he know he would end up in some of the most primitive villages on the planet, sleeping on basic platforms, hunting his food, and attempting to turn woody tree roots into palatable side dishes.

Constantly on the move, Cole says Vanuatu was far more intrepid than he expected and there was a lot to see. After 18 hours on a cargo boat going no where near the flashy tourist resorts he was dreaming of, Cole washed up on isolated islands where tourists rarely tread. In one village, he was the first white person to visit in two years.

The locals are entirely self-sufficient – they have learnt to grow and harvest all they need to survive. He says the circumstances were extremely basic: “No running water, no electricity in a lot of places, and a lack of things that I take for granted.”

Staying with them meant Cole had to help seek and dispatch dinner, which included delicacies like bat. While he found it hard to stomach majority of the food, he found it was mandatory to acquire a taste for kava and the nightly celebrations that go with it.

7:30pm Friday, September 18 on TV One

Songstress Anika Moa couldn’t pack her favourite guitar on her Intrepid Journey to Mexico and Guatemala, but she managed to find one almost as soon as she was off the plane (tonight at 7.30pm on TV ONE). After meeting a couple of Mariachi Bands she soon had a spirited version of La Cucaracha down pat.

With plenty of travel experience, Moa figured she’d be able to cope with everything Mexico and Guatemala could throw at her, but her friends and family weren’t so comfortable with the idea. “I’ve done quite a lot of travelling, I’ve had ten years being a musician, but I am excited about being in Mexico – just because I don’t know much about it,” she explains.

“When I told my family that I was going to Mexico, my best friend Justin said, ‘Oh you’re not even going to be able to handle it because you might have to use a long drop, or you know, there might not be toilet paper, or something’ so he didn’t have much confidence in me. My mum was scared that I’d either be forced to be a drug smuggler, or get caught in the gang wars, and she was terrified for me.”

Her loved ones didn’t have anything to worry about, although the local transport didn’t make Moa feel 100 per cent safe. “The buses originate from America, they’re old school buses,” she reveals. “When they’ve finished with them they chuck them to their poor cousins in Guatemala. Apparently there’s one bus crash a week.”

Moa says her travels weren’t exactly blessed – she battled with over 40-degree heat most days – but she meet up with a local Sharman and received a blessing. Moa found a connection with the culture, and was thrilled with what the traditional ceremony did for her. She explains: “Apparently, in the Shaman culture they used to believe in the spiritual world and the real world, and they basically believe that everything is alive. That rocks, and trees, and Elvis Presley, and everything was alive.”

There were a few other aspects of the culture she thoroughly enjoyed – the music of the Mariachi bands and the tequila. “The Mariachi people are so proud, when they have the uniform they stand up tall like they’re just having so much fun,” says Moa, “that’s because their music comes from their hearts, and it reminds me of Maori music”.

Moa says she was fortunate to be travelling during the Easter Festivals and got to see some pretty spectacular celebrations. She also invited herself to a local wedding, and spent some time in villages where she had to help catch and dispatch her meals.

She was also confronted by seeing those who work in the Guatemalan rubbish tips. “I think I might have nightmares about it for a really long time. It just made me think, ‘what have I got to moan about, what have I got to complain about in my life?’.” Her trip certainly gave her a new perspective on how to make the most of life. “Value our country, value our family and just get on with it, really love each other,” she says.

Also still to come in this series is Dancing With The Stars judge, Brendan Cole, who hot-foots it to Vanuatu where he finds the facilities and hygiene not at all to his liking.

7:30pm Friday, September 11 on TV One

Judy Bailey was a polished professional in her 30-year career in front of the cameras, but when signing on for an Intrepid Journey to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, it was the thought of being back on screen that unnerved her most.

“We newsreaders hide behind a performance so that you’re not really yourself, but when you do a trip like this, it’s all you. And for a shy person, that’s quite demanding,” Bailey explains.

Tonight, Intrepid Journeys (at 7.30pm on TV ONE) follows Bailey on her South American adventure, travelling massive miles overland, and trekking in the hottest weather Brazil had seen in 32 years – all adding to the challenge. “To think I even thought of taking make-up on the trip,” laughs Bailey.

However, she soon forgot her nerves and the two week trip saw her enjoying a spirited local football game; working hard as a ranch-hand; and spending time in the slums of Rio de Janeiro.

“Behind the infamy for drugs, guns, and crime, the slums are just places where poor people are getting on with their lives. There is that real division between wealth and poverty – it’s so stark in Rio. You’ve got these amazing five star hotels right next-door to a Favela, the local slum.”

Experiencing the culture and traditions of three countries meant there wasn’t a lot of time for sitting down. Bailey admits to trampling on a lovely man who volunteered to tango with her in Buenos Aires, and when a helpful Brazilian offered to teach her an ancient fighting dance called Capoeira, she wasn’t about to turn him down.

“It’s what the slaves brought with them from Africa. On the plantations, Capoeira was banned. To befuddle the plantation owners, the slaves were to turn their martial arts into a dance, and that is where Capoeira came from,” she explains.

Between dances, eight-hour bus rides, or treks in the jungle, Bailey didn’t really get a chance to catch her breath, but that was part of what had her sold on South America, she says.

“One of the things I’ve really loved about the places I visited on this trip is that vibrancy and passion for life – that zest for life that people seem to have, and they’re not afraid to show it. I think we could learn a lot from this lovely Latin, free-wheeling spirit.”

Watch Intrepid Journeys tonight and follow Bailey as she takes in the famous Iguazu Falls and lives life as a ‘Gaucho’ cowgirl on a Uruguayan ranch, as well as getting up close and personal with a fly blown sheep. Somewhere along the way, she even settles a long-standing Argentina-Uruguay Beef Controversy.

Also still to come in this series: Musician Anika Moa invites herself to a Guatemalan wedding; and Dancing With The Stars judge, Brendan Cole, hot-foots it to Vanuatu where he finds the facilities and hygiene not at all to his liking.

7:30pm Friday, August 21 on TV One

While Rugby League legend Ruben Wiki may have travelled before, getting the chance to travel Intrepid style was a whole new experience right from the starting whistle (tonight at 7.30pm on TV ONE).

On tonight’s Intrepid Journeys, Wiki tackles Laos head-on. His first impression was overwhelmingly positive. “I went to the bank to change currency over to Kip. I ended up walking out of the bank with 1,000,000 Kip. I felt like a millionaire,” he laughs. But it didn’t take long for things to get very real for Wiki.

“A little girl comes up to me and wants me to buy bugs on a stick for 1000kp. My first reaction was hell no. But a local Laos insisted I try and he would pay,” says Wiki who was brought up to believe one should never turn down generous hospitality.

The local transport provided some thrills for Wiki, but thankfully no spills. “I was really excited I got the opportunity to ride one of the biggest beasts known to man. There is a special bond between the man and elephant, which I think is pretty awesome.”

He says astounded at the locals ability to manage such an amazing animal. “These guys have their own special language with the elephants.”

Other forms of transport weren’t so kind as the highly primed athlete, discovered size isn’t always an advantage – especially when attempting to fish local style. “I got on one of the skinny boats they use to fish and I don’t think it’s made for 100kg Kiwi boys,” he laughs. “I had to stand up and get my balance right. It looked easy for the locals,” says Wiki, conceding an unscheduled dip in the Mekong River was a dent in the pride, but great fun all the same.

Home was always close at heart for Wiki during his two week trip with plenty of mobile phone calls home to the whanau. Out of the country for ANZAC Day, he decided to honour the event all the same, placing a wreath in the Mekong: “I did a haka as well as a sign of respect, then our minute silence to remember the ones we lost.”

While their were plenty of highlights to his trip, it literally ended with a bang, as he gave a helping hand to those cleaning up the most bombed place on earth. Although it is decades in Laos since the explosives rained from the sky, there are still plenty left on the ground, and clearing landmines is a very serious and dangerous business.

“We got to the landmine area and I was pretty nervous,” admits Wiki – and for good reason. “We came across a bombie, which are miniature bombs that start in a cluster which is a bigger bomb filled with little bombies. I end up helping one of the ladies to look for bombies with a metal detector. We found about 12 certain spots where there might be active bombies and I got to detonate a few.”

Wiki says it was “Unreal,” summing up the whole trip in one word.

Also travelling this series is: Judy Bailey, who ends up working as a farm-hand on her journey through Argentina and Brazil; Musician Anika Moa invites herself to a Guatemalan wedding; and Dancing With The Stars judge, Brendan Cole, hot-foots it to Vanuatu where he finds the facilities and hygiene not at all to his liking.

7:30pm Friday, August 14 on TV One

The opportunity to travel to Rwanda for Intrepid Journeys was the chance to fulfil a life-time dream and see some amazing animals for comedian Rhys Darby.

More used to pulling crowds as ‘Murray’, the man managing formerly New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo, Flight Of The Conchords, Darby decided to leave ‘Murray’ in New York and tackle the Rwandan jungle, on tonight’s episode of Intrepid Journeys, at 7pm on TV ONE.

He says, “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always dreamed about going to Africa and going on a safari. It’s a dream come true. Two down, one to go: animals in Africa; become a movie star; go to outer space.”

Admitting he was a little scared to be travelling to a country that has the kind of reputation that means tourists don’t flock to it, he says he’s glad he took the risk. “It’s been the most uplifting experience I’ve ever had.”

He explains: “I wanted to do an Intrepid Journey because I’ve been privileged over the last few years, and I wanted to do something that would be challenging and eye-opening. Throwing caution to the wind.”

From seeing mountain gorillas in the wild, to living alongside traditional villagers, Rwanda was a revelation.

Darby was fortunate to have a jungle guide who was very in tune with the mountain gorillas, and an unexpected bonus was the opportunity to learn to hang out with a large family of gorillas took his African experience to a whole new level, he says.

“I’ve seen gorillas in zoos through the glass and that was amazing. But this is different,” he explains, “this is in part of their environment, being with them in the wild. It’s amazing.”

Dealing with jet lag was one of the issues Darby struggled with, which also led to some interesting experiences. “I had a lot of trouble sleeping. Five minutes at a time, I’d wake up, shift to another position, have a dream, wake up again, switch positions, all through the night,” reveals Darby. “I felt like I was channel surfing. Very vivid dreams, jumping across huts, getting speared, playing with Lego. Weird.”

Another surprise for Darby was village life, something he expected to be culturally varied, but was also spiced with a potent delight called ‘banana beer’, incredibly welcoming and also quiet in a very good way.

“There’s no service for cell phones and it feels good,” says Darby. “No one can get hold of me, I can’t get hold of anyone, and it’s almost like living in a dream – back in time.”

Also travelling this series is: Judy Bailey, who ends up working as a farm-hand on her journey through Argentina and Brazil; musician Anika Moa invites herself to a Guatemalan wedding; Dancing With The Stars judge, Brendan Cole, hot-foots it to Vanuatu where he finds the facilities and hygiene not at all to his liking; and rugby league legend Ruben Wiki volunteers himself for landmine destruction duty in Laos.

Friday 7 August, 7.30pm

Tonight, Intrepid Journeys follows netball hotshot Temepara George as she discovers India is full of sights, sounds and tastes that pack a hell of a punch (at 7.30pm on TV ONE).

While jumping onboard a plane is second nature to busy pro netballer, that didn’t stop the butterflies in the stomach that came when she jetted off to Northern India. “When I’m travelling with the team I don’t have to worry about catching a taxi or getting my bag. We usually have a manager that looks after all that kind of stuff so this was all about me and how I’d survive by myself, without my team there to help me,” she confesses.

With a teenage daughter and 10-year-old son, the odd bit of dancing, and 56 tests for the Silver Ferns in seven different countries; taking time to just travel and explore the world hasn’t been part of the game plan for George. When she was offered the chance to explore Darjeeling and Sikkim, it was an opportunity she was ready to grasp with both hands.

“I didn’t know anything about India apart from the Indians are very religious and the curry’s pretty good,” she explains. “I was really excited about actually getting to live with the locals, seeing their culture, and the things that they do.”

George’s trip was packed with new experiences, from braving India’s packed trains, to learning how to cook chapatti, the Darjeeling region provided a colourful backdrop for a George’s first real international adventure. Her travels also included an intriguing meeting with a ‘Witch Doctor’, and the chance to camp near the holy lake of Khecheopalri. She says both experiences had a huge effect on her and left her feeling much more spiritual. “I feel a real sense of achievement – having a lot of first time experiences has opened my eyes to wanting to discover a lot more things in different countries.”

With the netball season fast approaching, George had the unique challenge of trying to maintain her fitness while on her journey. She started each day with a strenuous routine, no easy feat on top of a rigorous travel schedule, and when dealing with a bout of traveller’s ills.

“I actually think it’s part of the journey and being in the intrepid kind of lifestyle,” she says. Although when faced with an eight hour trek while nursing a bad tummy, she admitted even this pro sportswoman had to dig really deep. “I knew it would be interesting to see how I would go, physically, emotionally.”

It is those sentiments that most aptly sum up her whole experience in India. There were some bigger hurdles than she expected in the physical department, but she says the emotional gain far outweighed illness, the rigours of trying to keep up her training, and the hard graft of trekking at altitude. “I had such a good time, it definitely exceeded the expectations that I had of it. I got to see Mt Everest which is kind of special to all Kiwis. Back home the first thing I think of is the monasteries and the temples I visited and the peacefulness that it brings and the feeling like there are no worries in the world.”

The new season of Intrepid Journeys also sees comedian Rhys Darby talking to the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda’s jungle; Judy Bailey ends up working as a farm-hand on her journey through Argentina and Brazil; musician Anika Moa invites herself to a Guatemalan wedding; Dancing With The Stars judge, Brendan Cole, hot-foots it to Vanuatu where he finds the facilities and hygiene not at all to his liking; and rugby league legend Ruben Wiki volunteers himself for landmine destruction duty in Laos.