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Nick Knowles In South America | Preview (Channel 5)

Intrepid Nick Knowles sets off on another ambitious adventure for Channel 5, this time to South America.

From the self-styled ‘end of the world’ in Chile, Nick treks to the astonishing Torres del Paine National Park, considered by some to be the eighth wonder of the world. From the lake district, he visits a Chilean archipelago in the Pacific and its largest island Chiloe, home of witches, and finally traverses the Andes to end his South American odyssey in Argentina.

Crossing the Strait of Magellan, he watches baby penguins hatching, then travels north, kayaks under the great Grey Glacier, hydro boards in a fast-flowing river under the Osorno volcano and climbs a ‘Very Big Rock’ in Torres del Paine.

All this and culture too – Nick learns Chile’s joyful/mournful dance, la cueca, digs in dung for worms at an eco-hotel, herds bulls, is taught to tango and uncovers the scandalous story about the fate of Eva Peron’s body

Nick opens the series clinging by his fingernails 100 feet up on a rock. This is the ‘baby slopes’ of the magnificent Andes Mountains, providing an exhilarating start to his South American adventure.

Crossing the Strait of Magellan (named after the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand) to tiny, barren Magdalena Island, Nick comes face to face with 40,000 breeding pairs of Magellan penguins.

Southern Patagonia has long been a magnet for explorers. As well as Magellan, whose voyage was the first to circumnavigate the world. Three hundred years later Charles Darwin came here on the HMS Beagle, changing the way we viewed the world. Nick visits full-sized replicas of both (surprisingly small) ships.

The Kaweskas are an indigenous people known for their profound connection to the ocean. Nick learns their style of weaving as they explain how their forebears lived extraordinary seafaring lifestyles.

Chile is one of the windiest places in the world, and Nick is blown away by a factory producing near carbon-neutral hydrogen-based fuel, using wind energy. It’s the first of its kind in the world, and Nick is the first person to have his car filled with the e-fuel it produces.

A humbling encounter with a courageous French cyclist encourages Nick to take stock. Dimitri Poffé cycled 11,000 miles from Mexico to the tip of South America, through the grueling Andes mountains to raise awareness for incurable Huntington’s disease, which he lives with, but which is also rife in this part of South America.

In the heart of this stunning landscape, Nick finds the world’s first geodesic dome eco-hotel. Powered by renewable energy, plastic is banned on site and even the sewage is treated sustainably, and Nick gets stuck in, digging in dung for worms.

Finally, on the icy and ominous Grey Lake, Nick kayaks out to get a closer look at the awe-inspiring Grey Glacier but with the risk of it carving at any moment, Nick soon learns it’s wise to keep a safe distance.

Nick Knowles In South America begins Friday 7th June at 7pm on Channel 5.


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