4th November, at the Mermaid, Blackfriars. I'm speaking at the exciting annual fund-raising dinner in aid of Save The Rhino Trust with cricketer David Gower, natural history film-maker Vanessa Berlowitz, Sky News' Foreign Affairs Editor Sam Kiley and conservationist Charles Burrell.
Taking inspiration from the Japanese Pecha-Kucha speaking style, five diverse and inspirational individuals will address guests with their own personal take on the Sundowner theme. This exciting and fast pace format, sees our speakers take you on an emotional journey in just 7 minutes, as they talk alongside 20 slides, that show for 20 seconds.
On The Radio
This Fri 2nd October, on BBC Radio 4, 11:30, hear the first in the three-part radio series Two Men and a Mule – my trek with Inca ruin explorer Hugh Thomson, along with our heroic four legged friend. As the BBC put it:
"Accompanied by their trusty mule Washington, renowned explorers Hugh Thomson and Benedict Allen explore the mountains and rainforests of Peru looking for lost cities and traces of Inca civilisation. This arduous trek takes them down off the steep slopes of the Andean cloud-forest into the steamy jungle, down stone-laid Inca paths, across raging rivers and landslides as they trek to the last city of the Incas."
New Autumn Speaking Engagement
FAMILY TRAVEL SHOW, Olympia, London, weekend 31st Oct/ 1st Nov.
For the first time in the UK, there's an event totally dedicated to helping families discover their holiday and travel adventures together.
I'm speaking at 1pm on Sunday Nov 1st, see below:
Two Men and a Mule: On 16th May I'm leaving for a high altitude mule trek, along with adventurer/film director Hugh Thomson – he's also the distinguished author of The White Rock and Cochineal Red (about his ambitious and successful searches for lost settlements among the Inca ruins).
The mule promises to misbehave. Presently I'm trying to source a load of sticks and carrots...
Autumn Speaking Events
4-6th September 2015: Basecamp: Peak District
I'm joining the wonderful Base Camp Festival, giving a Masterclass on Sat 5th about the contents of my survival kit, and also that evening giving a talk – The Naked Explorer – on one of my ventures. Do come for a chat around the camp fire, hear tales of adventures from all sorts of enthusiasts – or simply dance under the stars, or practrise your outdoor skills with like-minded people. See: www.basecampfestival.co.uk
12th September 2015: Porlock Arts Festival, Somerset
As part of Explorer Night (the other adventurer that Sat evening being extraordinary motorcyclist Lois Pryce) I'll be talking on my LIFE ON THE EDGE.
I'm off with Hugh Thomson, the renowned adventurer and explorer of Peru, for a protracted hike with mules this May. It'll be quite high altitude, following the trail of the last Inca ruler as he retreated from the Spanish, and also joining a modern-day religious pilgrimage which has its origins in indigenous culture – and shows the Incas as a force and identity that still survives. The results of our endeavours will be a two part series for BBC Radio 4, to be broadcast in September. I feel the material will be engaging – and also has the merit of being the product of my first excursion for many a year. More ventures to follow, I hope...
It's no secret that a large part of my excuse for being hidden for these last few years is that I've been writing a novel on the Congo. In the same way that I hurl myself into an expedition, isolating myself from my culture for many months at a time, I've been isolated in the Congo of my imagination. At last – and not before time, you might say, I have now emerged blinking into the sunlight – not feeling triumphant, but more bewildered. As for whether the effort is worth these years spent – five or is it seven? – we shall soon see. It's now with my literary agent.
Adventure Travel Show
This Sunday 18th Jan at the Adventure Travel Show: at 12:45 Olympia, London.
To Hell And Out Again – details at www.adventureshow.com