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Series Six of Ben Fogle New Lives in The Wild

Periodista inglés Ben Fogle visita barrio La Ronda - Quito Ecuador

One of our favourite travel programmes on TV, Ben Fogle’s New Lives in the Wild, has started Season 6, in which Ben meets people who have turned their backs on the daily grind and have setup something new or wild somewhere new and wild! It’s a great insight into what people can do if they really want to do something different and get away from it all.

Ben begins his travels this season in the remote Wilderness Island, off Australia’s north-western cape, to meet Jim, who is pursuing his “Robinson Crusoe” dream. 

This series will include a woman who set up a farm on the edge of the Sahara, a hostel owner in the Guatemalan jungle, and a British couple who founded an Alpaca farm in Spain.

You can see the series on My5.

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Top 4 British Road Trip Films

I published a blog post a while ago with my favourite US Road Trip movies, but when it comes to listing British Road Trip films, that is far harder. But here’s my attempt:

4. Radio On (1979)

Shot in black and white by Wim Wenders’ assistant cameraman Martin Schäfer and featuring music from a number of new wave bands from the time, as well as established artists such as Kraftwerk, Devo and David Bowie. It is a journey through late seventies Britain by way of a road trip from London to Bristol, with Robert, a DJ (played by David Beames) attempting to investigate the suicide of his brother.

3. The Trip (2010)

The TV series with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. So desperate are we for good road trips that we had to accept this as a “film”, but it is excellent. Coogan and Brydon are hilarious, the countryside beautiful and the food looks delicious.

2. Coast to Coast (1987)

Two men, Ritchie Lee (Lenny Henry) and John Carloff (John Shea), team up to start a mobile soul disco by converting an old ice cream van for their work. Wonderful Motown soundtrack, some very funny bits and a great supporting cast from actors such as Peter Vaughan, Pete Postlethwaite and Cherie Lunghi.

1. Sightseers (2012)

A dark and very funny comedy where the ‘hero’ Chris, takes his girlfriend on a trip around the UK but a ‘dream caravan holiday’ does not turn out to be such a dream. Definitely black in its humour and a dark ending not to be forgotten.

31/10/17: And an honourable mention to Channel 4’s new series, The End of the F***ing World – a road trip by 2 disillusioned teenagers. Excellent viewing.

The Three Peaks Challenge

If this inspires you to combine your own road trip with some serious hiking, then you could consider the Three Peaks Challenge – in which case, we have some t-shirts which might complement your trip!

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Hiking the Jordan Trail: Full Episode Released by BackpackingTV

BackpackingTV have released the full episode of Eric Hanson’s trek along the 450 mile Jordan Trail, from their Epic Trails series of videos.

The trail crosses the country, connecting the length of Jordan from Um Qais in the north to Aqaba in the south, passing through inspiring landscapes and historical sites, including the ancient city of Petra.

You can see more information about the trail on The Jordan Trail website.

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Top 5 US Road Trip Movies

There are many road trip films set in the USA, but here is my top 5. Some of them may be less common than other similar lists – but that’s the idea, right, to learn about something new and alternative!

5. My Blueberry Nights (2007)

Wonderfully, slightly offbeat characters from Kar Wai Wong headed by an interesting combination of Jude Law and Norah Jones. The film takes in New York, Memphis, Nevada and well, it says a few things about broken hearts.

4. Sideways (2004)

Okay, I know this isn’t usually considered to be a ‘road trip’ in the normal sense, but they do go on drive around roads – they just happen to limit themselves to California. It’s a wonderful film, full of pathos, frustration, humour and of course wine. Paul Giamatti is brilliant.

3. America Unchained (2007)

This is Dave Gorman’s film of his book, and although I think the book is actually better (okay, yes, I read that first), the film still gives you a vision of some of the experiences he describes in the written version. It’s an account of how Gorman tries to drive across America without giving any money to “the man”, eating, sleeping and filling up with gas at independent stores and ‘Mom and Pop’ places. It’s full of Gorman’s insights and humour and gives you a different view of the US.

2. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Just a wonderful film of a non-conforming family, a VW van, a dodgy grandfather, a suicidal gay Proust-loving man and a little girl who wants to be Little Miss Sunshine. Made me laugh out loud so often. Just fantastic. If you have never watched this then rent it tonight.

1. Thelma and Louise (1991)

Maybe a bit predictable that this would be in the list but there’s a reason for that: and that’s because I think it is the architypal American Road Trip film. It has everything from the roads and the amazing American scenery of the mid-west, a great soundtrack that will stay with you, stunning performances from Sarandon and Davis (and a still young Brad Pitt) and plenty of plot to keep you engrossed. And of course a famous ending over the Grand Canyon. What more could you want from a road trip?