Famed World Traveler, Michael Palin, Explores Brazil

Airdate: 
Monday, June 9, 2014 - 8:00pm

Michael Palin is back for more travel adventures on KUED.  This time he explores Brazil, where he travels from the lost world of Amazonia to the buzzing metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, meeting the people and visiting the places that shape this South American nation. His journey begins on KUED Monday and Tuesday, June 9 and 10 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. 

Michael Palin’s Brazilian odyssey begins in the northeast, where modern Brazil was born. He starts in the city of Sao Luis before traveling down the coast to Recife and Salvador, dropping in on the vaqueros — Brazilian cowboys — who work on vast cattle ranches. His travels also take him south to the stunning coastal lagoons of the Lencois Maranhenses national park. In Salvador, he learns to drum with the famous Olodum School and has a lesson in cooking Bahian-style, before finding out what lies behind the beguiling moves of capoeira dancers.

Palin next travels on several rivers through the very heart of Amazonia. He meets the Yanomami tribe and talks to their spokesperson about the threats to their way of life. He visits the magnificent Manaus Opera House and samples some exotic Amazonian foods in Belem at the mouth of the Amazon. Traveling southward to the upper reaches of the Xingu River, Palin is welcomed to the Wauja tribe, one of the most colorful of all the Brazilian indigenous peoples. This leg of his journey ends in the capital, Brasilia, where he meets with rock star and political activist Dinho Ouro Preto.

On the road to Rio, Palin visits the source of Brazil’s great mineral wealth — the state of Minas Gerais and its giant mines. He meets some ordinary Brazilians dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the state. Then he’s off to Rio de Janeiro, host of the next Olympics and World Cup. Rio has always been a party town, but it’s also blighted by drugs and gang violence. Palin learns how the authorities are hoping to bring the favelas back into the city. He also learns how to celebrate a goal like a Brazilian radio commentator and books a room in one of the city’s famous “love hotels!"

On the final leg of his journey, Palin starts in the picture-perfect town of Parati, where he meets with Prince João de Bragança, heir to the defunct throne of Brazil. In Embraer and Sao Paolo, Palin meets some of Brazil’s successful politicians, heads of business, and TV soap stars, who all have mixed opinions on Brazil’s future. After experiencing the beauty and serenity of the vast wetlands of the Pantanal, Palin ends his journey at the magnificent Iguazu Falls.