Since we launched our contest to win a blog trip to India with G Adventures the entries have been flooding in. We have really enjoyed reading them so in this final week of the contest will be sharing some of our favourites on this blog. There is still time to enter so if you fancy being our roving reporter simply email us with details of your own great adventure before 6pm Monday 14th November. Full details can be found here.
In today’s entry Susie Bearne has an unexpected encounter in South America.
The street was fairly empty save a crazy curly-haired man with a dog who was pestering us to photograph him. Ignoring him, me and my recently established Canadian friend from the hostel strolled past an art shop as the afternoon sun beat down on the historical suburb of Pelourinho in Salvador. The interesting artwork in the shop intrigued me enough to walk back a few paces and take a look. A gentleman who looked like he owned the store was sat in the corner. My friend Elsa, a fluent Portuguese speaker, whose family originates from Arroz in Portugal, struck up a conversation with him in her native language.
“Oh I don’t work here,” he replied, before adding that he was from England. Elsa looked towards me and told him that I was from the same country. I turned around and looked at him.
Sometimes with famous people, especially during more unexpected appearances, they don’t look recognisable, rather more familiar. This was one of those instances.
“Oh are you?” he asked, ever so politely. He held out his hand and introduced himself, “I’m Michael”, he said. He looked familiar. Michael, I thought. I introduced myself. We talked about travelling. I complained about the cost of Brazil compared to the other countries I had visited. He said he and the people he was travelling with were finding accommodation and food expensive. I asked him what he was doing in Brazil. And there the penny started to dangle. He was filming a documentary, covering four areas of Brazil, including the Amazon, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. The shop’s artist Michael Bel Borba walked down the stairs and talked to Michael and showed him some artwork. A TV crew with their cameras and recording equipment quickly followed down. After their brief conversation the crew filmed Michael with the artist outside his store. By now his full name and the actual incredibility of it all had dawned on me.
My God, it’s only Michael Palin, I said. Over and over again. I had to explain this well-travelled man to my Canadian friend who had watched me turn into a little ball of excitement. After a brief stint of filming, Palin came over and talked to us again and when asked, told us the documentary, Brazil with Michael Palin, will be aired around December 2012. I for one will be looking out for it and remembering the day I met the charming Mr Palin.