Around 400 armchair adventurers recently gathered at Leicester Square's Vue cinema to hear a diverse bunch of explorers share tales of their travel epics around the globe. This Night of Adventure included a pensioner who ran around the world, extreme base-jumper, crazy kayaker and an ex-soldier who walked the length of the Amazon.
Rather than being allowed to ramble on about their exploits, each speaker was limited to just 20 slides, each of which scrolled forward automatically every 20 seconds. In most cases this format worked very well with the speakers whetting appetites and leaving the audience wanting to hear more.
The first to take up this presentation challenge was Oli Broom who cycled 25,000 from Lords Cricket ground, London, to Brisbane Cricket ground, Australia to see the ashes. He made it in one piece and went on to watch England win the series. This was followed by Bonita Norris, the youngest British woman to climb Everest and then a succession of speakers ranging from professional explorers to the those who just head off in search of excitement. Highlights included Tristan Gooley, the 'Natural Navigator' and his infectious enthusiasm for travel using only nature's sign posts, and Rosie Swale-Pope who at 57 embarked on a mammoth five year adventure to run around the world. Absolutely unbelievable and she left audience and fellow-explorers alike in awe of her determination.
The final speaker, Ed Stafford, is the first known person to walk the length of the Amazon river. His talk was a little different to the others in that he was totally honest about both physical and mental stresses of travelling alone through inhospitable territory.
The event was organised by Alastair Humphreys in aid of Hope & Homes for Children. Alastair, whose adventures include a four year cycle ride around the world, chose to talk about a recent trip to Iceland where he followed a river from its source to the sea. It was a good illustration of the fact that you don't have to commit to year long feats of endurance to experience adventure.
A list of all the speakers can be seen here.