An armchair traveller to the festival of life

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The world is full of so many fantastic places that it would be difficult for anyone to personally visit each and every one of them.

That is one of the reasons why television is so important. It offers viewers the opportunity of being an armchair traveller and seeing the places that they would need to have a very big bank balance to be able to visit personally.

For me one of the most interesting countries of the world is Mexico – that place which produced the amazing Aztec civilization. A new three part documentary series starting this Sunday on BBC2 at eight o’clock – Mexico: Earth’s Festival of Life - features that country’s culture, wildlife and landscapes.

It is a magnificent country more than two thousand miles long. It is dominated by the Sierra Madre, a great chain of mountains. Mexico has an amazing variety of different lifeforms including the monarch butterfly, the orchid bee, the black bear and the quetzal bird.

The feathers of these birds were worth more than gold to the Aztec people.

The first episode of this series travels to the northeast of Mexico which is home of the black bears.

The documentary also features the group of people who have lived in these mountains and are famous for their long distance running.

For thousands of years many of the people living in Mexico’s mountains believed that the butterflies were the spirits of the dead.

When they appeared in winter it was at the same time that Mexico’s most spectacular festival took place – The Day of the Dead.

Beautiful photography, a lively soundtrack and lots of interesting information are all to be found in this excellent new series.

Ian K