The Adventure Podcast
Episode 139: Leon McCarron, Wounded Tigris
Episode 139 of The Adventure Podcast features the return of award-winning writer, broadcaster and explorer, Leon McCarron. Leon is likely best known for his long distance expeditions; over the past decade he’s travelled over 50,000km on foot. Matt has spoken with Leon in a previous episode, however he's come back to talk about his new book which details his latest major expedition - in 2021, Leon journeyed the full length of the Tigris River, taking him through Turkey, Syria and Iraq. The river was the lifeblood of ancient Mesopotamia, and is now under serious threat. This episode is longer than normal, as there's so much to cover - from Leon’s personal views on modern day Iraq and why he chooses to live there, through to the intricate details of the journey and what he experienced and discovered on that river.
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154. Episode 154: From The Archives - Iain Miller01:31:05At the point at which this episode is published, Matt is on an expedition in Alaska directing a film for National Geographic. Instead of taking a break from weekly releases, we thought we’d share some of his favourite episodes from early on in the life of the podcast.Episode 154 is From The Archives and features Iain Miller. Iain is a sea kayaker and first-ascent sea stack climber. After twenty years sailing the world with the Merchant Navy, Iain made a home in western Donegal, and he has barely left since. Now, Iain's days are spent out in his kayak looking for unclimbed rock, and – in his own words – "Those moments in time that can't be replicated". This episode is a testament to the possibilities of a life of adventure close to home, but is also a deep reflection on the tolls of an institutionalised life that one feels trapped in, and how an eventual escape and reinvention can make all the difference.
153. Episode 153: From The Archives - Conrad Anker01:06:17At the point at which this episode is published, Matt is on an expedition in Alaska directing a film for National Geographic. Instead of taking a break from weekly releases, we thought we’d share some of his favourite episodes from early on in the life of the podcast.Episode 153 of The Adventure Podcast is From The Archives, and was originally released in April 2019. It features one of the world’s most accomplished mountaineers, Conrad Anker. When Matt first decided to start a podcast, he wrote five names down on a piece of paper as ‘end game’ guests, and Conrad was the first to be ticked off. There is much to be said about Conrad, but he is perhaps best known for his truly epic ascent of Meru with Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk. Only two days before recording this episode, three of Conrad's friends and mentees were tragically killed in an avalanche in the Canadian Rockies. In this episode, Conrad reflects honestly, openly and at points heartbreakingly, on a life in the mountains which provides him with untold joy and a sense of identity, whilst also struggling with survivor guilt and the death of friends that has happened ‘far too many times’.
152. Episode 152: From The Archives - Erling Kagge52:04At the point at which this episode is published, Matt is on an expedition in Alaska directing a film for National Geographic. Instead of taking a break from weekly releases, we thought we’d share some of his favourite episodes from early on in the life of the podcast.Episode 152 of The Adventure Podcast is From The Archives, and revisits Matt's conversation with Erling Kagge back in October 2019. Erling is an explorer, publisher and philosopher, who's feet have taken him from the ends of the Earth, to the sewers of Manhattan and across the world's oceans. His views on walking, silence and the philosophy of travel are still so relevant today, and will hopefully inspire you to lace up your boots and get out there.
151. Episode 151: From The Archives - George Monbiot01:07:36At the point at which this episode is published, Matt is on an expedition in Alaska directing a film for National Geographic. Instead of taking a break from weekly releases, we thought we’d share some of his favourite episodes from early on in the life of the podcast.Episode 151 of The Adventure Podcast is From The Archives, and revisits George Monbiot's first episode which was originally released as episode 9 back in 2019. George is an author and journalist who has views and opinions that can be very divisive. Whilst his early work was important journalistically, it was also full of unbelievable tales of adventure. In 1988, George bluffed his way into West Papua with forged travel documents. In this episode, Matt asked him one question, and George spent an hour answering with tales of rebels, of incredulous adventure through magical wilderness, and of a little-known story of dispossession and devastation.
150. Episode 150: Dr Rosa Vásquez Espinoza, Rediscovery58:12Episode 150 of The Adventure Podcast features Nat Geo explorer, biologist, and conservationist, Dr Rosa Vásquez Espinoza. Rosa is of Peruvian-Andean and Amazonian descent, and grew up learning about traditional medicine from her grandmother in their backyard’s "natural pharmacy". She now travels to the most extreme environments, from the Amazon Rainforest to Yellowstone’s acidic, boiling waters, to discover new antibiotics, stingless bees, and green chemistry tools. Rosa speaks passionately and intelligently about the importance of indigenous knowledge and involving local communities in scientific research. This episode is an insight into the incredibly exciting, varied and critical world of frontline field science. It's unlike any other episode we've done.
149. Episode 149: Vanessa Ruck, The Girl On A Bike01:00:22Episode 149 of The Adventure Podcast features motorcycle racer and 4x4 rally driver, Vanessa Ruck. Vanessa was a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, but in 2014 she was hit by a car. It left her with a series of life-changing injuries and long-term chronic pain. In this episode Matt talks to Vanessa about her recovery and the mindset that forged who she is today, and how she eventually became a motorcyclist competing in some of the world's toughest Enduro events. It’s a frank, real and humbling exposé on what it’s like to live with chronic pain and long-term injuries, but it's also an exhilarating insight into what it takes to ride motorcycles in extreme and harsh environments.
148. Episode 148: Sophie Pavelle, Forget Me Not01:03:22Episode 148 of The Adventure Podcast features adventurous zoologist, author and environmental campaigner, Sophie Pavelle. Sophie is known for putting a fresh twist on contemporary Natural History content. She's a first-class communicator, with a natural ability to break data-heavy, and often overwhelming science, into digestible truths. Matt and Sophie chat about her new book 'Forget Me Not', which recently won the People’s Book Prize for Non-Fiction, and took Sophie on a low-carbon journey across Britain in-search of ten rare native species threatened by climate change in the UK. They also discuss her work as a campaigner and activist, and delve deep into the benefits and challenges of beaver re-introduction.
147. Episode 147: Patty Upton, The Final Mile45:32Episode 147 of The Adventure Podcast features overlander, Patty Upton. Patty is on a mission to share and tell stories of her husband, Loren's, adventures. Together they embarked on a number of sensational overland journeys. In 1966 Patty and her husband Loren, on their 4th attempt, completed the first overland crossing of one of the world's most dangerous, remote and roadless border crossings - the Darien Gap in Panama. Ultimately this turned into a bigger global journey which took decades to complete. This episode shows what partnership, companionship and love can bring to an adventurous life. It's a tale of loyalty, commitment and bravery.
146. Episode 146: Leigh Timmis, The View From The Balcony01:08:35Episode 146 of The Adventure Podcast features endurance cyclist and adventurer, Leigh Timmis. Leigh holds the world record for the fastest cycle across Europe, breaking the previous record by an incredible eight days. He also recently set a new world record for the greatest distance cycled in seven days. As well as covering his background and early career, they discuss what motivated Leigh to set off on his bike in 2010 and travel 44,000 miles across 51 countries. He speaks openly and thoughtfully about his past struggles with mental health - what he was running away from, and if really, he was just carrying his problems around the world with him.