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07 October 2006


Comedienne, writer and psychologist Pamela Stephenson earlier this year sailed a yacht round the islands of Indonesia searching for traces of her great, great grandfather, a British Master Mariner known as Salty Sam.  In 1821, as Captain of the Rosalie, he set off planning to trade along the old Spice Route in Indonesia, India and Malaysia, but he never returned from his voyage.  To find out what happened, Pamela sailed through seas infested with modern day pirates and faced many hazards from tropical storms to fishermen with dynamite.

In Zambia the skills of the local guides make a safari something to remember.  Manda Chisanga was one of the winners of Guide Of The Year at a recent awards ceremony and explains what makes a good guide by sharing some useful skills, like being able to tell when a pride of lions twenty yards away is looking a bit annoyed. 

North Korea is one of the most secretive countries in the world, with few visitors, especially westerners.  It is however in desperate need of foreign investment and in recent years has opened its doors to some 'labour intensive' work from Europe.  The field of animation where thousands of individual frames need to be drawn has benefited from it.  Guy Delisle a French animator travelled to the capital Pyongyang to supervise the drawing of cartoons and talks about his experiences in a country where the Iron Curtain still exists. 

Presented by Peter Curran

Pyongyang, North Korea - Statue Kim Il Sung 1

Photo:  Pyongyang, North Korea - Statue Kim Il Sung 1

This week's guests: 

Pamela Stephenson's great, great grandfather Samuel Stephenson was a sailor from Rotherhithe. In 1821 he set off to Java (now in Indonesia) aboard his sailing ship the Rosalie.  He somehow lost his ship and was killed either by pirates or by mutineers.  A survivor told the tale which made its way into some accounts in marine papers but the details of the loss were never really clear.  Sam's son later on set off for the Far East to reclaim the 80,000 Dutch florins supposed to have been lost.  But he failed and settled in New Zealand where a couple of generations later Pamela was born.

Pamela's interest in this part of her family's history came when she was approached in Malta by a woman who claimed to be a descendant of the survivor.  After some research, Pamela herself a keen sailor decided to find out more.  She got a crew together and recorded her adventures in a forth coming TV series entitled Murder or Mutiny accompanied by a book by the same name.

Murder or Mutiny
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 1841882704

A four part TV series entitled Murder or Mutiny will be broadcast on Sky One in the autumn.  It follows Pamela Stephenson and her international crew as they set sail for the Indonesian archipelago to retrace the last, fateful voyage taken by Salty Sam.

Manda Chisanga is the joint winner of the Paul Morrison Guides Award 2006.  Manda spent his formative years following his grandfather, a construction-worker, as he travelled round Zambia. Manda developed an interest in his country and went on to complete his training to become a guide.  Manda has spent most of his guiding career in the southern area of Luangwa National Park, where he welcomes the tourists either at the airport or at the main camp in the park.  His speciality is as a walking guide.  There are a few camps within the park and the groups spend a couple of nights at each camp.

The Paul Morrison Guides Award 2006
This year, Wanderlust magazine launched the Paul Morrison Award to recognise the unsung heroes of the travel world - tour guides.  Paul Morrison who died in December 2004 was the co-founder and former publisher of the magazine. 

Zambia Tourism

The Bushcamp Company

Guy Delisle is a cartoonist and lives in France.  He travelled to North Korea and stayed in its capital Pyongyang on a work visa for a French film animation company which had subcontracted individual frames of cartoons.  He has recounted his experience in his graphic novel Pyongyang: Journey in North Korea.

Pyongyang: Journey in North Korea
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
ISBN: 0224079905

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Sandi ToksvigSandi Toksvig:
The daughter of a foreign correspondent, Sandi has been travelling all her life more info

John McCarthy John McCarthy is a widely travelled journalist and presenter with a particular interest in the Middle East.
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