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Lake Titicaca - Manchester, Bolivia - Malaysia

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 14 April 2012

John McCarthy meets the former debutante Meriel Larken who fell in love with Peru and rescued and restored a Victorian steam ship on Lake Titicaca. He is also joined by Chris Smith and Liz Peel who went by canoe through the Bolivian jungle in search of the village of Manchester; and Kung Fu expert Nick Hurst explains why he set off to Malaysia and China to spend time with his grandmaster Sugong.

Producer: Margaret Collins.

  • Meriel Larken

    is a former Chairwoman of ‘The Anglo Peruvian Society,’ and was formerly Administrator of the Cusichaca Archaeological Project near Machu Picchu. Meriel is also the Director and Founder of The Yavari Project.
    In the seventies Meriel backpacked round South America falling in love with Peru. She returned years later to rescue and restore a Victorian steamship called Yavari that had lain abandoned on Lake Titicaca. She has written about her experience in a new book entitled The Ship, the Lady and the Lake.

    The Ship, the Lady and the Lake
    Publisher: Bene Factum Publishing Ltd
    ISBN-10: 1903071429
    ISBN-13: 978-1903071427

    Find out more about Meriel Larken
  • Chris Smith and Liz Peel

    are photographers and keen motorbikers who, whilst looking for a route around the less-travelled northern edge of Lake Titicaca, saw on an old map a place named Manchester deep in the Bolivian Amazon. After a couple of years research they found themselves paddling along the Rio Manuripi, in an overloaded canoe, eating piranha every day with no guides and no real idea if Manchester really existed. They did eventually find it, a small, football loving village of sixty people.

    See Chris and Liz discuss the journey
  • Nick Hurst

    discovered Kung Fu in his twenties; ten years later he had become a black belt training with his Master in London. Throughout his training Nick had been overseen by a portrait of Sugong, his master’s master. Eventually, intrigued by this legendary character, Nick set off for Malaysia to meet the grand master himself. Nick stayed three years travelling the Far East with Sugong. He wrote about his journey in a book called Sugong – The Life of a Shaolin Grandmaster.

    Sugong – The Life of a Shaolin Grandmaster
    Publisher: Sportsbooks
    ISBN-10: 1907524215
    ISBN-13: 978-1907524219

    Find out more about Nick Hurst



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