Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Interview with Ripley Davenport



I've just done an interesting Skype interview with Ripley Davenport, the 39-year old explorer on his way tomorrow to Mongolia. He's attempting to cross the steppe country on foot, towing his food and equipment in a cart. Ripley's expedition is particularly interesting to me because I've wanted for some time to incorporate raising money and support for a charity on an expedition, something done more often on European and British expeditions, in my experience, than by Americans. On his first attempt at this trek, just a month ago, Ripley's cart broke down, and he (an Englishman living in Denmark with his wife and two children) returned home to make repairs; his cart is ready to go, and he climbs onto a plane for Ulan Bator tomorrow. I'll be digitizing the sound recording I made of the interview in a few days, and I'll post it here. Interesting stories about camels that helped him cross Namibia some time ago, mirages, and a full Coke can he found in the middle of one of the world's truly 'trackless' deserts. For the moment, you can find out about Ripley's expedition here: his expedition profile is pasted below:


Ripley Davenport is a renowned explorer, adventurer, humanitarian, and
inspirational speaker and best known for his demanding expeditions to the
isolated areas of the world, notably accomplished solo and unassisted without
any machine or animal but on foot by hauling or carrying all his equipment.
He avoids the worn tourist paths, and eminent landmarks, favouring instead to
position himself unaided in potentially hostile environments. Without any film
crew, Ripley can continue to pioneer the filming of his genuine experiences
authentically in unforgiving surroundings as his journey develops.

In 2001, he completed a solo and unsupported snowshoe/ski of the Kungsleden
Trail in Northern Sweden from Abisko to Hemavan, via Kebnekaise, in 32 days.
In 1999, he spent several weeks in the company of the Air Tuareg of Niger. The
purpose was to learn about desert living and their culture.
In 1998, Ripley completed a solo trek across the Karakum Desert in 21 days.
Then in the same year, Ripley successfully crossed the Namib Desert, solo and
unassisted, with two camels in 82 days.

Since then Ripley has been fixated with desert exploration and adventure and
he intends on traversing across many of the worlds most isolated deserts.

The list doesn't stop here. Ripley has completed several other expeditions in
addition to raising thousands of pounds for childrens' charities.

He has recently joined the i2P - impossible2Possible team as an Inspirational
Ambassador and remains loyal and dedicated in supporting numerous children's
charities.

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