India: Episode One The Travel Show


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India: Episode One

70 years after independence, Rajan Datar travels to two very different corners of India. Both are borderlands and both are largely undiscovered by tourism.


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Now on BBC News, the Travel Show.

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Wow!

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That's just a taste of what's coming

up in the next half-hour,

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as we take a look back at some

of the best bits on what has been

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a truly memorable year.

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It's taken us to all four

corners of the world,

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we've met some amazing people

with some fantastic stories.

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But first, let's kick

off with these ones.

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In a moment we've got me fishing

for my lunch here in Finnish Lapland

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and then Rajan gets to be the first

member of the public to take

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a ride on Europe's tallest

and fastest rollercoaster.

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But first, back in January,

Henry travelled to Turkey to explore

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a massive underground city recently

found that is slowly revealing

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some fascinating stories

about the country's history.

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Wow, look at all of this.

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I find it hard to believe that

people were living on top

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of here and all of this was actually

hidden, so they had no

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idea this was here.

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That is insane!

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Wow, that ceiling is unique.

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What's all this?

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This is a monastry

and, according to the scientists,

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the monastery dates back

to the sixth century A.D.

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The winding tunnels and hidden

openings offered protection

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from attacking armies.

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Wow!

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Look at that!

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I've actually heard of this spot,

because all of the archaeologists

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were very excited about this.

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This is a church, an underground

cave church, dating back

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to the 12th century.

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Going forward there are plans

to turn sections of the cave network

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into an archaeological park with art

galleries and boutique hotels.

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Authorities hope to open it

to the public in 2018 when visitors

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can see the excavations

in their full glory.

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It's -13 degrees Celsius today

and guess what I've got lined up?

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It's a great way to keep warm.

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If you're cold, do that!

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Yeah.

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The real thrill here is actually

trying to catch fish with a rod.

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Can I have a go?

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Yep.

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There are fish below us,

swimming under one metre of ice.

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Well done!

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It's getting tougher now.

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Argh!

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There's layers under, so...

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Ah!

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See I did all the hard work and then

you did a little bit!

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I take the credit!

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Give me some reindeer hide!

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There's a real emphasis

on low-impact tourism here,

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which is playing a big part

in protecting this

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fragile Arctic ecosystem.

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You should admire my technique here.

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Multitasking.

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Yeah, multiple chances to get fish.

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Fishing isn't just done

for the tourists, it's a real fact

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of life for many of the people

who live here.

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With only a handful of shops around,

most fish still have to be

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caught rather than bought,

otherwise nobody eats.

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Did we get a fish?

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Look at that!

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It's a pike.

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It's a pike!

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And it's been messing up my net.

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So fish and potatoes on Monday,

potatoes and fish on Tuesday...

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Wednesday, maybe reindeer bits,

Thursday fish and potatoes.

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Good diet!

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PortAventura is a well-established

theme park, Spain's biggest in fact,

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and they get about 4 million

visitors here a year.

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But now they're building something

that they say will take it

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to a different level and will give

us one of the most amazing

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experiences in the world.

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I've come to Ferrari Land,

licensed by the famous car brand,

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just as the finishing touches

are being put to the site

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days before the launch.

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There are 11 rides here in total,

but one in particular

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is hogging the limelight

as the main attraction.

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A velocity accelerator

ride called Red Force.

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Two years in the making,

it's now Europe's and fastest

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ever rollercoaster.

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112 metres high at

a speed of 180km/h.

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That's nought to 180

in five seconds flat!

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Shall we go for it then?

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Yeah, let's go for it.

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Come on, let's do it.

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Just do it.

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Oh, we're going to get the best

views from the front.

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You feel the force

on your face as well.

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Right...right.

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There's a loose bolt there.

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Should that be...

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Oh, there's a loose bolt, is there?

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Hands up?

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Yep, thanks up.

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Eyes wide open.

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You don't want to miss it.

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OK, I'll try my best!

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I'll try my best.

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See if you can tell

the difference...

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Here we go!

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..between the seasoned coaster

and the rookie TV presenter.

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No, I knew you wouldn't be able to.

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Oh!

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What the hell?!

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You know, over the past year

we estimate The Travel Show team

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have clocked up over 60 countries,

travelled through 24 different time

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zones, countless times,

to give you some of the best stories

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from all over the world.

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And here are a couple where we met

some truly inspirational

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and remarkable people.

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In a moment we'll see Rajan report

from Gir National Park,

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in western India, where he went

on patrol with the real-life cat

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women who help to protect

the endangered Asiatic lion.

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But first, earlier this month

I headed to America to join disabled

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athletes from across the globe

who travelled to Maryland to take

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part in a championship that pushes

them to the limit and beyond.

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The Working Wounded Games has

adaptive athletes compete

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across a range of body building

and weightlifting challenges.

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Volunteers!

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Most para-sport is categorised

by ability, but the Working Wounded

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Games are different.

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By modifying rules for each

individual athlete, they encourage

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people with a range of capabilities

to compete together.

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Let's go!

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And one 18-year-old competitor

is getting a lot of attention.

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Tell me what you're trying to do.

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And it's mainly because

of your right hand?

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Nora has never been able

to complete a pull up.

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Unless she can now figure out a way,

she'll finish last in this round.

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This is going to be a real challenge

for her, physically and mentally.

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Go, go, go!

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Yeah!

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Two in a row!

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How many had she done?

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There's no let up.

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It's then on to the

rest of the workout.

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Yeah!

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You were crying, you had tears.

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Your coach was hugging you.

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Why were you so emotional?

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It's OK, take your time.

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Was that the first time you've

been able to do pullups?

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It's Norwegian power!

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Definitely.

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On average, the unarmed rangers

cover 25 kilometres a day and have

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to tackle than snakes,

leopards and poachers,

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as well as lions.

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If they did get agitated,

how would you be able

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to tell from the animal?

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How would you know if you are safe,

being this close to the animal?

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And it did get dangerous

for Jayshree early on in her career.

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Applications from women for these

posts have rocketed and the rangers

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are role models and trailblazers

in the region today.

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Look at that mouth!

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The good news is that from once

being in danger of extinction,

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numbers have climbed to over 500.

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The next much more welcome problem

is if the sanctuary is actually big

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enough for their growing population.

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Up next, a couple of films that put

my fellow presenters to the test.

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Back in September, Carmen

faced her fears and took

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on some of Japan's more

challenging traditional dishes.

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First, back in January we skipped

a hotel and arranged for Christa

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to spend the night in a draft

English church instead.

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Thankfully she survived,

but I'm not sure she'll be

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booking again next year.

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I am here for a spot

of champing - church camping.

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It's available at 12 historic

venues around the country.

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Beautiful, ancient sites that

are rarely, if ever,

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used as places of mass

worship any more.

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A very big hotel room.

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Money raised from letting champers

like me means the crumbling

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buildings are spared a slow

and inevitable decline.

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Somebody at the pub just told me

that tonight is supposed to be

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the coldest night of the year,

so that's good, as I head into my

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unheated church room for the night.

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I've got my air bed...

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Sleeping bag...

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I've just got into bed

and it's quite...

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I'm quite comfy, actually.

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Quite cosy, given how cold

it is and I can see my breath.

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I'm going to try to go to sleep now

and try and forget that I am

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entirely surrounded by graves.

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It is quite cold.

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I'm notably quite cold.

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I think there's jolly good reason

that champing is usually only

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done during the summer.

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Deciding to come champing

in the dead of winter

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was a really terrible idea.

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Wow, look at this octopus.

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This is Tsukiji in Tokyo.

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This is the world's

biggest fish market.

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The early morning tuna auctions

are the biggest attraction.

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But just the sheer range

of creatures here makes

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for fascinating browsing.

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This is all so fresh.

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I think I need

something with a kick.

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The outer market is

where you can try some

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of the more exotic flavours.

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This is fish fermented

with its own entrails in a salty

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liquid usually made from wheat,

miso and soy.

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Mmm!

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LAUGHS

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Very strong!

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It is really chewy,

really, very very strong.

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SPEAKS JAPANESE

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Carmen there taking on some

of Japan's more challenging tastes.

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So to finish off this

special look back at 2017,

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here's a run through of some

of my personal

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favourites of the year.

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And over the past 12 months we have

been so privileged to really see up

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close some amazing animals all over

the world, and meet the people

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who live and work alongside them.

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I can't think of a better way

to finish the programme

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than to share with you some

of those stories again.

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Wow, look at that!

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They are so cute!

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I'm amazed at how much banana

a little monkey like that can eat.

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HE LAUGHS

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That monkey must have eaten

at least ten bananas.

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They can eat more than ten.

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The villagers here believe

these monkeys are sacred.

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There are two types -

the cheeky mona, and the black

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and white colubus,

which is slightly more aloof.

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Harming either species is strictly

forbidden under local law,

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which means these villages have

become a sanctuary.

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In fact the monkeys here are loved

so much, that once they die

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they are given a proper burial.

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Here, the monkeys belong

to the gods, so the villagers have

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to stay with the monkeys peacefully

here.

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If we harm them or punish, we get

the same punishment from the gods.

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So we have to stay with them

peacefully, and that is why

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the monkeys are unique from other

parts of Ghana.

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What kind of patients do you have?

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We have all kinds of

illnesses, sicknesses,

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knife wounds, gunshot wounds.

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Some have diarrhoea,

constipation, cataracts,

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some have serious cancer, tumours.

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The most difficult case

are the victims of landmines.

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For this elephant, each day starts

with her prosthetic leg

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being fitted, so she can walk

out for breakfast.

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Adult females weigh just under

three tonnes on average.

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So the prosthetic is needed to give

vital relief to her other three legs

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which are under enormous pressure.

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How long did it take her to get used

to the prosthetic leg?

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Five to seven days.

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The focus here is working

with elephant owners

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in the community to help any animal

that needs medical attention.

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They also have a nursery section

and I am fortunate enough

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to be able to see...

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a newborn.

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How old a CAD?

In nine days.

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Nine days. -- how old is the baby?

It is humbling to see the connection

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the doctor has with these at animals

as she gave is the baby a checkup.

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It is amazing to see elephants like

these that would have otherwise died

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in the wild thrive here in the

hospital. Spending time with the

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doctor and learning the ins and outs

of what goes on here has been an

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amazing experience that I will not

forget any time soon.

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I am heading out to be desert

to experience something I am told

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you can only experience in Dubai.

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It is a new twist on traditional

Arabian falconry.

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I hear it will be

truly breathtaking.

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We will release Oberon

from the basket.

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So what's going to happen next is,

I've untied him, you'll see

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he is wearing a transmitter

on his tail, that is so I can

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find him if he flies away.

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Ready, guys?

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Five, four, three, two, one...

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Wow!

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Amazing.

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Well done.

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Did you want a go?

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Oh yeah, I'd love to.

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Oh, yes.

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Peter has helped to hand-rear

these birds from birth,

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and the bond of trust

between them is vital.

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It is clear that for him

the falcon's welfare is paramount

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and months of work goes

into training the birds to get them

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used to the sights and sounds

of the balloon and its passengers.

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If practised correctly,

these birds are in good shape.

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Essentially the bird

is not suffering?

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Absolutely.

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What more could you ask for?

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Unique experience,

and what a beautiful animal.

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That's it for our look back at 2017

here on the Travel Show.

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I have had such a great time seeing

even more of the world

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and being able to share that

with you guys, and I hope you have

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enjoyed not just following me

but the rest of the Travel Show team

0:22:150:22:18

too, as we explore

the world together.

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Please make sure you join us again

in 2018, but in the meantime,

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all that remains is for me

to say goodbye from here

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in Finnish Lapland, and join

the rest of the team,

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wherever they are in the world,

in wishing you a happy

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and healthy New Year.

0:22:340:22:37

Bye-bye.

0:22:370:22:41

Bye-bye.

0:22:410:22:42

70 years after independence Rajan Datar travels to two very different corners of India. Both are borderlands and both are largely undiscovered by tourism, one in the far west, the other in the other far east. In this two-part special he explores the diverse communities, histories and traditions that form the constantly-changing map of India. He begins his journey in the far western state of Gujarat, birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. There he visits a shipyard in the ancient port of Mandvi, that continues the state's centuries-old sea trading tradition, the basis for much of India's historic wealth. He then discovers the barren beauty of the Rann of Kutch or white desert, one of the largest salt deserts in the world, where the nomadic Kutchis fiercely cling to their unique identity and traditions. He takes a tour to the border with Pakistan, which has become a tourist spectacle in itself, before becoming one of the 20 million daily passengers crammed onto the country's national railway. Travelling south, he visits former principality Junagadh, that thanks to an eccentric and obstinate Nawab, found itself in the middle of an ongoing partition dispute with Pakistan, and finally catches up with the real Cat Women - the female guardians of the world's only Asiatic Lions, once threatened with extinction.