Real travel reporting….
Great to see Simon Reeve on TV again reporting on the reality of Greece today …
I changed my mind about TV travel reportage recently, watching author Simon Reeve reporting on the Caribbean and describing the realities behind the sunkissed beaches, drug wars, abandoned bombs on the seabed, the ubiquitous, endemic poverty. And he doesn’t wear a blue shirt either.
Like Kapu?ci?ski, Reeve is coming from a different place than the traditional gentleman travellers of old. He brings the critical attitude of a younger generation, aware of environmental issues, the drug traffic between the Americas, the impact of development on local people. He finds his way into a top security prison in Honduras, talks to a remote indigenous tribe in Columbia about climate change, and finds hope for the economy in the marijuana crop in St Vincent. This too is magic journalism — material selected and tightly edited to produce the view he wants to convey.
I was interested to note that he sailed right past Mustique, the celebrity island which brings in a significant proportion of the income of St Vincent and the Grenadines. It wasn’t mentioned and wasn’t actually relevant to his project of finding out about the real people of the Caribbean. And I was reminded of my own visit there, to see a rich and generous chum. I found the luxury uncomfortable, being waited on by black servants even more so. But I enjoyed talking to them, once I had penetrated the Caribbean patois, and I was intrigued to hear about their local church. So I went to the little wooden island church one Sunday and swayed and sang along with them all ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’, ‘Hallelujah’, and realised that there I had found the most authentic experience on Mustique.