I've spent much of today re-watching my favourite travel and adventure documentaries, in search of some inspiration for my own trip. As a big fan of the genre, I've grown up loving everything from Michael Palin's endearing supported-trips to Benedict Allen's eschewing of any crew, and from Werner Herzog's beautifully mad portrayals of peoples and cultures to the even more obscure expeditions that have only been shot on amateur cameras.
Undoubtedly though, my favourite documentary of all time is Cannibals and Crampons. For those of you that don't know it, it charts the expedition of two ex-army officers as they try to climb the south face of Mt Mandala in New Guinea. One is the adventurer Mark Anstice, and the second is explorer Bruce Parry, who went on to greater fame in the BBC shows 'Tribe' and 'Amazon.' Why's it so great? Well it's just a proper, proper adventure. They set off into deepest Indonesia, without permits, any form of support or any real knowledge of what might face them - just armed with the little research it was possible for them to do (given the lack of exploration of the area) 90kg packs of gear each and a heck of a lot of spirit. They film it themselves, and trek through the jungle for months before finally climbing the mountain (without any ropes.) They face, and overcomes things you wouldn't even dare to imagine, and to me they embody what true expeditioning is all about. It's very, very different from my trip obviously, but I hope I can draw some inspiration from their remarkable achievement.
So that's my favourite, a hard choice to make in such a exciting genre. What's your favourite? Anyone agree with my choice?