Full Circle is another one of a series of documentary programmes in which Palin made unusual and interesting trips. The series documented a 10-month, 50,000 mile (80,000 km) trip taken by Palin and a film crew around the rim of the Pacific Ocean in 1995, beginning on the Diomede Islands between Alaska and Russia in the Bering Strait. In this trip Palin travelled through Russia, Japan, South Korea (the film crew was not allowed to travel very far in North Korea), China, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, United States, and Canada.
“This is the richest, longest, most ambitious and most exhausting of all the journeys. There was so much to do and so many different terrains, climates, foods and illnesses to experience that at one point it seemed like we were engaged on the ultimate new Olympic event – Full Circling.
Though at no time was it quite as relentlessly punishing as the heat and sandstorms of the Sahara, the sheer distance covered – 50,000 miles through 17 countries in ten months of filming was a huge test of stamina, and indeed human relations. One day after we’d got back I worked out with Nigel Meakin, the cameraman, how many meals we must have eaten together whilst travelling round the Rim. The answer was 876. A circumnavigation of the Pacific Rim is a trip no travel agent will ever offer you, so take the palinstravels version now, and feel insufferably smug.”
Michael Palin, 25th September 2002