Michael Palin’s Hemingway Adventure

Published on 30th October 2017 by

A 1997 BBC series which records Michael Palin as he visits many of the sites which American novelist and journalist Ernest Hemingway had also once been, during the course of filming Palin visits places in Spain, Italy, Cuba, France, Africa, and various places in America including Chicago and Idaho, visiting them chronologically in an attempt to chart Hemingway’s exciting life.

Episode 1

Palin visits Pamplona in Spain where he watches a bull fight and interviews a professional matador, then on to Africa where he visits Maasai tribe to watch a circumcision and concludes the episode by catching a glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Episode 2

The second episode Palin spends some time in Chicago before going to Hemingway’s birthplace Oak Park, visits the authors first home and visits a shooting range. He then moves on to Michigan where Hemingway learned to fish and attempts to catch some fish himself. Next stop is Italy where Hemingway was shot in the first world war and allegedly buried a ten pound note in the ground, Palin buries his book after failing to find the ten pound note. He finishes the episode in Hemingway’s favourite city, Paris.

Episode 3

In episode three Palin heads to Florida Keys and witnesses a Hemingway lookalike contest at a restaurant, he also visits a man who had boxed with Hemingway. From there he travels to Uganda in Africa to visit the site where Palin’s plane crashed, after the event global newspapers incorrectly reported that Hemingway and his wife had died in the incident. He concludes the episode in Venice, Italy.

Episode 4

In the final episode Palin heads to Cuba where he visits Hemingway’s former home and the hotel room that he often stayed in, Palin makes many attempts to interview Fidel Castro but fails and after giving up flies back to America to follow the last stretch of Hemingway’s life. He becomes a cowboy at a ranch in Montana and the concludes the series by visiting Hemingway’s grave in Idaho.


Following the trip Palin wrote a book about the journey and some of his experiences on the way, the book also contains photography by Basil Pao the still photographer who was part of Palin’s team. It is available to purchase in paperback, hardcover, kindle and audio formats.

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