Proving that September’s not all about going back to school, the Pilot team drop in on Nevada’s Burning Man Festival, stand well back from some festive wrestling at the Fiesta of San Miguel in Bolivia, join some of the world’s shyest tribes at Papua New Guinea’s Goroka Show and finish up on top of the world down under on New Zealand’s wondrous Fox Glacier.
If you’re looking for the bizarre look no further than the Black Rock Desert from late September to early October when it hosts the Burning Man Festival that began in the 1980s as a beach party in San Francisco. Justine Shapiro finds that years later it may be bigger but it’s still true to its hippy roots, attracting colourful people and crazy antics.
Bolivia is famous for its spiritedness; Ian Wright arrives in Uncia on 29 September for the Fiesta of San Miguel and a real taste of Bolivian abandon. Having taken in the colourful procession of dancers, he heads to a nearby village to catch a decidedly dangerous looking traditional ‘Tinku’ fight in which the whole village takes part (even mums!) and finds that there’s no point in crying over spilt blood – it’s seen as an offering to mother earth and ensures a good harvest.
Papua New Guinea is home to some of the world’s most reclusive tribes so what better way to meet them and their traditions than a visit to the bi-annual festival, the Goroka Show? Jonathan Atherton joins the biggest party in the Eastern Highlands Province and meets some of the colourfully clad tribesmen.
Feel a little dicey when it’s icy? Ian Wright experiences the dramatic beauty of the Fox Glacier on the South Island of New Zealand from the safety of a helicopter then rustles up the courage to climb it with a guide. Despite the difficulties of negotiating the glacier, it’s well worth the effort as Ian is plunged into a white wonderland of awesome views.
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