After 639 days on the Road I am heading back to Australia. Unfortunately my father hasn’t done so well after a major operation, so I have decided to return home.
So after all this time on the road I discuss what I have learnt and give tips for anyone wishing to do the same. I also do two things in this video I would normally never do; I introduce a women I met in Havana and call out someone who made a comment on one of my videos. This is the last bit of filming I did in Havana.
I join Caye Caulker local Dianny for what she says is the best sailing and snorkeling tour in Caye Caulker. On the trip we visit 3 snorkeling locations; Shark Ray Alley, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Reef Channel.
On the tour we see Sharks, Rays and Turtles as well as numerous fish species and coral. Hol Chan Marine Reserve covers approximately 18 km² (4,448 acres) of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forest. Over 160 species of fish have been recorded in the reserve, along with forty types of coral, five species of sponge, two seagrasses, three species of sea turtle and three marine mammals: the Short-beaked Common Dolphin, Pantropical Spotted Dolphin and West Indian Manatee.
The tours goes from 10.30am till 4.30pm and snorkeling gear, lunch and drinks (rum punch at the end) Cost is $90 + $20 for park fees
I am currently in El Remate, a small Guatemalan village close to Tikal, one of the largest Mayan Ruins in Central America. I attended a fire ceremony on the 12/12/12, Mayan New Year at Tikal.
I have tried hard to find a Mayan Expert to explain what the end of Mayan era (baktun) means. I have realised no one really knows what the new era will bring.
Many people from around the world are now being drawn to Mayan sites in Central America. The general feeling I get from talking to people is that they feel the world is at a ecological tipping point, and many hold hope that the Mayan’s held some secret astrological knowledge that pinpoints december 21st as a time when things change for the better.
One thing is for certain, no where did the Mayan’s state December 21st will be the end of the world!
Overlander.tv is preparing for Mipcom 2012 and we are pleased to announce that we will be represented by French distributor Ananda Media
Below are our programs that will be available for distribution at Mipcom 2012:
The Way – Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain is one of the World’s most popular pilgrimages.
Filmmaker Mark Shea wished to explore the spiritual affect the Camino (Way of St James) has on pilgrims, by walking the French Way alone, and documenting his own personal experiences.
The resulting film is an honest and joyous portrayal of the transformative nature of this ancient practice.
A must see for anyone who has walked the Camino, or anyone who plans of partaking in this life changing experience in the future.
The ‘Meet a Local’ Travel Series featuring Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain and Vietnam
Video promo features shots from around Barcelona. In the video, Australian Filmmaker Mark Shea explains the ‘Meet a Local’ Travel Series concept.
“I want to tell you how this ‘Meet a Local’ concept works!” I arrive in a town, a stranger, I know no one. And in a limited amount of time I must find a local person willing to let me tell their story.
On a deeper level it’s my search for a common source of goodness in humanity. And my belief that wherever I go, a crazy Aussie in a huge hat, I will find good people. And it’s a huge buzz getting that story!”
Filming has been completed in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Ireland and all of Asia.
Music by Richard Tedesco of http://www.kanela.com.au/
Meet a Local Travel Series – East Coast Australia
Join Australian filmmaker Mark Shea as he travels the East Coast of Australia meeting local people and exploring their hometowns.
*Musician Wendy Rule in Melbourne,
*Paddle Steamers in Echuca,
*an Aboriginal Sacred Site called Mumbulla Mountain,
*the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra,
*a performing Drag Queen in Sydney,
*a Beachcombing Artist in Byron Bay,
*a Forest Dwelling Hippy in Nimbin,
*a Socialite Publisher on the Gold Coast,
*a Magician in Noosa,
*a visit to the World’s Largest Sand Island,
*an Irish Backpacker at Airlie Beach,
*the unique wildlife of Magnetic Island,
*Great Barrier Reef diving at Cairns
*living off the land at Cape Tribulation
Meet a Local Travel Series – Outback Australia
Explore Australia by meeting the locals and discovering the secrets of the Outback
From Aboriginal elders to friendly remote pubs, join filmmaker Mark Shea (The Overlander) as he explores the best Central Australia has to offer.
The journey starts in Cairns and travels across the Top End to Darwin, taking in activities such as Barramundi fishing and a cattle muster on horseback.
From Darwin the trip goes South towards Adelaide, stopping in unique locations such as Australia’s UFO capital Wycliffe and Coober Pedy, where the temperature is so intense, people have moved underground.
Meet a Local Travel Series – Tasmania
Travel Tasmania seeing it’s top destinations through the eyes of the locals.
*Rob Pennicott and his artist wife Michaye live an idyllic family life on Bruny Island. Surrounded by nature and a bountiful sea, Bruny appears to be paradise, but as Rob suggests, may not be for everyone. I also discuss the sad history of Truganini, the last full blooded Tasmanian Aborigine.
*In Hobart I interview Sudanese musician Ajak Kwai about her experience living in Tasmania.
*I take a flight to the South West Wilderness area of Tasmania, learning about Critchley Parker Junior, an ill fated explorer who hoped to form a new Jewish State in the region. I also interview Senator Bob Brown, leader of the world’s first Greens Political Party and feature archival footage from the seminal Franklin River campaign. I then investigate the Facial Tumor Disease effecting the wild Tasmanian Devil Population.
*I do a story on Port Arthur, an historic convict colony where I interview guide Laura Leeworthy, do their ghost tour and film a Ghost!!
*Fishing for Trout in Tasmania offers anglers some of the most remote Lake Fishing in the world. I interview Janice Spencer about the Land of 3,000 Lakes. Janice was the first female angler ever accepted for an Australian competition Fly Fishing Team.
*Tasmania has some of the biggest cold water surf breaks in the world. I visit Marrawah on the north west corner, a location renowned for it’s year round surf. I interview 16 yr old local Zak Grey.
*Cruising the winding roads of Tasmania on a Harley Davidson with Simon Richardson. Simon owns the Launceston Harley Davidson Dealership and believes Tasmania offers bikers great touring opportunities, with mountainous roads and free camping. I also visit Stanley, Tasmania’s Best Town. Simon rides a 1980 Shovelhead Harley Trike.
*For my last Tasmania story I visited Campbelltown’s sombre convict brick display and then interviewed an Irish Woman in the Town of National Park, near the Mt Field National Park. Trish Rawlins believes Tasmania is like Ireland before it lost all it’s trees.
Meet a Local Travel Series – Ireland
See the beauty and hospitality of Ireland, through the eyes of it’s people.
*In Dublin I interviewed Niamh Ni Mhir who works for Hostel World,a local IT business that rode the Celtic Tiger to become the biggest Hostel booking website online Niamh explains how Ireland has changed since my last visit, in the early 1990 s and also tells us what it is she likes about living in Dublin.
*I interview Kathleen Moran about the Kilkenny Craft Centre and how Kilkenny established itself as Ireland’s craft capital.
*In Belfast I interviewed Sean McKernan, a photographer who in 1983 set up a photo exhibition called Belfast Exposed, featuring a lot of images from the height of the troubles. Sean now runs an multifunction arts centre called BX Arts.Sean discusses how Belfast has changed since the 1997 ceasefire.
*On the Aran Islands I interviewed Teresa Millane, an old style (Sean Nos) singer.
*In Galway I interviewed actor Diarmuid de Faoite about the flourishing arts scene.
The small fishing Village of Dingle on the West Coast of Ireland is home to a friendly Dolphin called Fungi, who seems to prefer the company of humans to his own kind.
*In Doolin I interviewed Banjo player, Kevin Griffin about why Doolin has become the traditional music capital of Ireland.
*In Cork I try and trace my Irish ancestors (O’Shea), and look at the modern day immigration of Polish workers to Ireland.
*For my final Irish story, I visit Cahersiveen where there are some Stone Forts that may well been the home of my Shea ancestors.
Meet a Local Travel Series – New Zealand
Explore New Zealand’s top tourist destinations with the locals.
*In Auckland, I took a ‘favorite five’ tour with Dr Maya, checking out the Mt Eden lookout, the Parnell French Market, Mt Eden shopping village, Piha Beach and finally fish and chips at Mission Bay.
*The Bay of islands is a aquatic paradise made up of some 150 islands. I take to the water, going on a fishing trip and swimming with Dolphins. I also learn about Maori culture, getting an insight into why the Waitangi Heritage site is afraid of the scourge of Tourism, and what Maori Tattoos and the Hongi Greeting represent.
*Local gym owner Belinda Bennett takes me to a secret location, but insists on blindfolding me, handcuffing me and locking me in the boot of her car, in order to keep the spot under wraps. I interviewed Maori Masseuse Wiki about Maori healing techniques, such as romiromi massage and the use of healing plants like Kawakawa. I then visit Te Puia National Maori Carving School where I interview Cori Marsters about this ancient art.
*Film in Cuba Street, asking people what they liked about Wellington. Met some amazing people and as one person said, ‘There is always a secret doorway in Wellington’ where you may find a bar, an art gallery or musicians performing.
*I interview Maverick businessman, Peter Yealands who runs Yealands Estate, a 1,000 Hectare winery that has been hailed the most sustainable winery in the world. Yealands has introduced some innovative sustainable practices in their vineyard, such as grazing miniature ‘babydoll’ sheep, instead of using mowing equipment, and developing a biodegradable plastic bottle.
*Hitchhike from Nelson to Takaka, and then onto Abel Tasman National Park. I learn about how the hippies moved into the Takaka region in the 1970′s, and how even today the area is made up of lifestylers trying to live off the land.
*If Queenstown was a person, it would be a teenager! So the best way to appreciate Queenstown is to act like a teenager; do things for the first time, like skydiving or bungy, stay up and party all night, and then laze about in a spa the next day.
*I was in Christchurch on a Wednesday night and wanted to check out the nightlife.?I happened to find a venue that was running a Burlesque competition.?Being a bit cheeky, I thought what better way to explore a city founded on puritan religious values, than to feature tassles and lingerie.
Meet a Local Travel Series – Spain
Travel Spain and appreciate it’s amazing diversity by meeting the locals.
*In Sevilla I interview two flamenco dancers, Asa Danielson from Sweden, and Elena Moro Roman, an Australian of Spanish Background. Both have moved to Sevilla to practice flamenco. I also try to define the flamenco term ‘Duende’, with interpretative dance and poetry.
*Cuenca, a Unesco World Heritage site, has a rich and varied history. Best known for it’s Hanging Houses, Cuenca was founded as a Moorish fort, became a centre for religious orders, and more recently, became home for many artists. I interview Alberto Cuesta Senior about the joys of maintaining a garden and spoke with Antonio Perez about his Contemporary Art Museum.
*Benimaclet was a farming village on the outskirts of Valencia. As Valencia grows, one history replaces another. Alberto Cuesta, a scientist discusses the changes occurring in his Benimaclet neighborhood.
*Cave Dwellers (cuevas) of San Miguel Alto. In Granada I visit the Alhambra, a fine example of Moorish Architecture, which uses the aesthetically pleasing golden ratio in its dimensions. I then learn about cave living, interviewing such characters as Dr, Sun, who uses a solar cooking machine to prepare meals.
*What I like about Vigo is that it is not a tourist town. It is just a town where Spanish life carries on as it has for generations. I was a guest of the Ramallo family, and interviewed Fernando Ramallo, a linguistics professor, about the various languages spoken in Spain.
*The Basque people and their language may well be the oldest in europe, pre dating the Celts and the Romans. I investigate whether they know of the fountain of youth. Rebecca Ezquerro helps me on my search
*It is always interesting to hear what people have to say about their city. In Barcelona I interviewed Nick Musgrave, and englishman who moved from London to pursuit photography, and Pilar de la Pena Sanchez, who believes the streets of Barcelona act out like a movie.
*The theme for my Madrid video is follow your dream. I interview Marta Escauriaza about living her dream of running a restaurant, and Javier Icazuriaga about his recently established music recording business.
Meet a Local Travel Series – Vietnam
Explore unique Vietnam from the top to the bottom, meeting locals at top tourist destinations.
*Heritage listed Ha Long Bay is a major tourist attraction in Vietnam, and rightly so.The bay is home to over a thousand jungle clad limestone pillars, several of which are hollow and contain enormous caves.
*I next visit Cat Ba Island, the largest island in the bay. Half of Cat ba is National Park.I interview Tuan, a local cafe owner. He takes me for a tour of the island and we also visit a floating village, where people farm fish in small enclosures.
*Homestay with a Hill Tribe family. There are 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam.?Most are located in the remote highlands. The village of Ban Luc, where we stayed, was made up of an ethnic group called White Thai. It was a great experience to stay with a family in their traditional stilt house, with bamboo slate floor and palm leaf roof. To see how they cook, to wander the idyllic village and get a glimpse of rural life. We got to try local specialities like bamboo rice and a home made alcoholic beverage drank through bamboo straws. The community put on a song and dance show featuring traditional dance and instruments.
*Hanoi has a 1000 year history as a city. It has been invaded by the Chinese, French and Japanese. The French Colonial period in particular has had a noticeable influence on the aesthetics of the City. I visit a Bia Hoi Bar where I find relief from the constant rush and din. Lan, a student in International Relations, gives me a half day tour of Hanoi. We visit the flower market, watch people exercise around Hoan Kiem Lake, and visit Lan’s favorite restaurant, Hai Vuong Quan.
*Hue was the ancient imperial city of the Nguyen Dynasty. I visit the Citadel which once contained the forbidden city, and take a dragon boat tour along the Perfume River to view the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Tombs of the Emperors. I meet up with Nhi, a commerce student who takes me to Thanh Toan Bridge where we meet a fortune teller. Nhi discusses superstition in Vietnam and we both get our palms read.
*Hoi An was the most important trading port in South East Asia in the 16th and 17th Century. It traded items like silk, ceramics and spices with China, Japan, Europe, India, and even Arabia.Then due to certain changes, it sat dormant for 200 years, remaining unchanged, until recently discovered by tourists.I interviewed Eric Kappeler, a Swiss-born sculptor living in Hoi An.I also get to see a display of Cham dancing, and visit Marble Mountain, where sculptors have made a vision of hell in the subterranean caves.
*In Nha Trang I do a story on the positive impact tourists can have on local people. Mai Loc was a cyclo driver, a chance meeting with a Norwegian couple and their gift to Loc, of a small camera, lead to him changing careers and realising his talent as a photographer. Self taught, Loc’s photos have been exhibited around the world. I also visit Monkey Island where monkeys have been taught to ride bikes.
*The hill village of Dalat is a temperate tourist escape from the tropical heat of the rest of Vietnam. The most common tourist activity in Dalat is to take an Easy Rider guided motorcycle of the surrounding countryside. I take a tour and visit a silk worm farm, a waterfall, watch traditional weaving, and visit a rural blacksmith who offers me a homemade alcoholic brew made of rice and reptile animal parts! For lunch we visit a local diner where we learn how Pho, beef noodle soup, is prepared.
*I think the first thing that you notice about Ho Chi Minh City is the traffic, elbow to elbow, a constant drone of motorcycle motors and horns. In Saigon, I interviewed video artist, Tran Dan, asking him where he finds inspiration in such a bustling city.
I look for two things in a backpack, durability and design, and I have found Australian Company, Caribee come up spades in both areas. I recently got a new backpack, the Caribee Skymaster 80. I needed something that both had wheels and backpack straps. My previous pack was a Caribee purchased in 2003 and still going strong. But I needed to get some weight off my back, so needed something with wheels.
Caribee’s Skymaster Series are one of the most advanced wheeled travel packs currently available world wide.
Light weight, innovative, stylish and environmentally friendly, these packs are made from recycled polyester materials such as plastic bottles, containers, fabric off cuts and worn out garments. Using recycled materials lessens the need for oil, helps reduce waste in landfills and soil contamination than if virgin polyester was used.
The packs have a 3 year warranty for workmanship and materials.
Travel Blogger, Samuel Jeffery of http://nomadicsamuel.com/ interviews Traveling Filmmaker, Mark Shea of http://www.overlander, getting tips on how to make videos, how to interview people and what gear to use.
The first of what will be a series of interviews with people living the travel dream, traveling the world and making money as they do it! Travel Blogging –
I meet up with Samuel Jeffery of http://nomadicsamuel.com/, a Canadian currently teaching in South Korea, who over the last 11 months has built up his travel blog to where it earns anything from $2000 to $6000 USD a month. I ask him what his secrets are and he reveals some interesting tips.
I visit the Hongdae area which is one of Seoul’s best districts to go out in. Fellow Australian Jason explains to me that the dance moves the locals are doing, originated in Melbourne Australia and were spread around the world by online video. The original dance was called the ‘Melbourne Shuffle’.
An interesting TED TALK about how online video is driving innovation across several disciplines, including dance
I visit the Kikumasamune Sake Brewery and Museum in the famous Nada District of Kobe. Manager Sho Murata helps me explain how Sake is made using the traditional Kimoto method. The Kikumasamune Brewery has been making Sake since 1659.
For more information on Kikumasamune and how Sake is made visit http://www.kikumasamune.com/
AROUND THE WORLD TRAVEL VIDEO ADVENTURE