Three adventure-loving young Czechs are gearing up for the August Rickshaw Run, a 3,500 km adrenalin ride across India. Three people packed in a rickshaw with no set route, no back-up, and no way of knowing if they are going to make it to the finishing line. Close to 100 teams from around the world flock to India for the adventure every year and often come back for more. I asked Jakub Janča, one of the three Czechs involved, how it all came about.
Czech adventurer Dan Přibáň is well-known as the team leader of a number of expeditions using what was considered the world’s worst car – the Soviet-era Trabant. Where others would opt for all-terrain vehicles to travel some of the toughest areas on Earth, Přibáň and his colleagues chose the plastic Trabant for expeditions across Central Asia, Africa and South America. Last year, they returned from their most gruelling journey yet: Australia and South East Asia. A documentary about their adventure is now set to premiere in Czech cinemas.
The “Trabants across Australia and Southeast Asia” expedition appears set to start from Perth at the weekend after the authorities allowed the nine-member crew of Czechs, Poles, and Slovaks access to their vehicles. The cars, sometimes labelled the ‘world’s worst’, were once the apple of the eye of the East German car industry. The team made its name previously using the vehicles to travel across Africa and South America.
The new documentary The Old Man and the World explores the life of one of the greatest of Czech travellers, Miroslav Zikmund. The exploits of Zikmund (now almost 96) and his partner Jiří Hanzelka made them big stars in a period beginning in the late 1940s. The film is directed by Petr Horký, a traveller who has himself shot in around 80 countries around the world. Before we discussed the documentary, I asked Horký when his own wanderlust began.
Only days ago a Polish-Czech expedition set a new naval record – sailing The Selma – a steel yacht – to the Ross Sea off Antarctica and setting the record for the southernmost point ever reached by a similar vessel. They reached the latitude of 78 degrees 43 minutes south after roughly one month’s journey. Along the way, the crew had to navigate both stormy waters and ice.
A sailing boat with a Czech-Polish expedition left the port of Hobart, the Tasmanian capital, in the early hours of Thursday and set off for the Bay of Whales in Antarctica´s Ross Sea. It is the southernmost destination to be ever reached by a yacht, Jaroslav Žák told the Czech News Agency. Žák is a member of the Czech Antarctic Polar Fund in support of Antarctic research, whose co-founder Dušan Jamný is representing the Czech Republic in the expedition itself. The voyage to the Bay of Whales is expected to take about 100 days. In the past, the bay served as a launching spot for expeditions in Antarctica, including Roald Amundsen’s. Yachts are prevented from sailing far southwards by the frozen and stormy sea. It is an area where mainly icebreakers operate. The southernmost place ever reached by a yacht is the 77 degree and 51 minute latitude. Due to the ice cover, numerous icebergs and adverse weather, the Ross Sea is considered one of the least accessible in the world.
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