Monday, 11 January 2010

First or last

What are the great firsts of exploration and adventure that are still waiting to be bagged? The worthy ones that is, not the first to cross the Atacama on a pogo-stick or the Atlantic on a lilo. Is there anything truly great that has yet to be done but is still within the realms of possibility? Who are the current Shackleton’s and Knox-Johnsons? Is there a corner of the earth still untrodden, un-photographed?

It seems that almost every week now I read in the press or online about another adventurous cyclist setting off around the world for years on end. They’re not the first and I won’t be either. I remember Ranulph Fiennes saying that the only thing that interested him in exploration was the possibility of being the first, the ground-breaker. Without that claim there would be no realistic possibility of attracting funds for the endeavour. However, there are still many, many adventurers willing to save their salary for years and years to finance their own voyages. We’re not reliant on some bizarre and unique method of travel or having to desperately prostrate ourselves in front of a newspaper editor in exchange for some column inches. We just like the look of the road and want to see for ourselves what’s at the end of it.

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