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BBC TwoEquator



Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 August 2006, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Programme 3: Latin America
Equator line across Latin America

  • The third and final programme in the series starts in the Galapagos Islands, where Simon goes swimming with sea-lions.

    The islands might look gorgeous, but Simon discovers there are concerns that the 100,000 tourists who visit each year are threatening the fragile ecosystem.

    Fishermen in the Galapagos also claim they are not being given a chance to earn a decent living on the island and have allegedly killed several giant Galapagos tortoises in protest.

    Simon plays cards with some fishermen and listens to their complaints.

  • Sunday, 17 September, 2006
  • 2000 BST on BBC Two

  • Heading east along the equator Simon arrives in Ecuador, where he travels in 4x4 vehicles along muddy roads and across a swollen river to reach the capital, Quito.

    Here Simon makes the difficult climb to the top of the volcano Pichincha.

  • Simon presses on to the Colombian border, passing through its most dangerous and lawless area, where government forces regularly battle guerrilla rebels.

    Mired in violence and at the centre of the global cocaine trade, Colombia is enduring the worst humanitarian crisis in the western hemisphere.

    Simon is escorted through the conflict zone by a Colombian Army colonel, before trekking through the jungle to discover the other face of Colombia: endangered animals and a remote Indian tribe with a sacred equatorial monument to the "centre of the world".

  • In Brazil, speedboats take Simon across vast untouched tracts of the Amazon rainforest to meet remote indigenous tribes, some of whom are now suffering from unemployment and alcoholism.

    Much of the rainforest in the equator zone in western Brazil is still pristine, and there are numerous tribes living in complete isolation. Several have never had contact with the outside world.

  • Simon then races east across Brazil to his final destination in time for the Pororoca wave: a tide that coincides with a full moon and sends a mini tsunami wave up the Amazon tributaries.

    Experienced surfers (and complete amateur Simon) have one chance to ride the tidal bore, but Simon and the boat crew forget the wave happens twice a day and their large boat is nearly tipped into the river late on their last night.

Producer/director: Steven Grandison
Series producer: Will Daws

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