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Sunday 20 April  
Espen Fadnes jumps in Kyrgyzstan, 2004

Earth Beat - The Extra Mile

On air: 11 May 2012 3:00 (Photo: Espen Fadnes)

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Earth Beat, 11 May 2012. We bring you stories from people who've gone above and beyond the basics, in one case, putting themselves through backbreaking hard work. Hear why, from people whose appreciation of this planet has led them to go the extra mile.

Comment on this show or listen to previous shows.

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Espen Fadnes
Espen Fadnes
Is it a bird, is it a plane? - listen in new player

Some of us dream of flying through the sky Superman-style, but not many actually put on a pair of wings and try because we’d probably die. Espen Fadnes is one of a rare breed of base jumpers that go the extra mile to experience the world in a way most of us can't imagine.

After meticulous planning he climbs a mountain, puts on his gear - including wing suit and parachute - and steps off the top into the air, the world whizzing past him at 200 kmph, he's not dropping, he's soaring, like a jet plane. View photos.

Listen to him share his high adrenaline experiences and enlighten us on the joy of flying.


Rao Jodha Desert Park as seen from the top of Mehrangarh Fort
Rao Jodha Desert Park as seen from the top of Mehrangarh Fort
Taming a 'mad' Mexican weed in India’s desert - listen in new player

The Marwar desert in India's Rajasthan region isn't exactly what you'd call a hospitable environment.

It's rocky and bare and has suffered years of erosion, and until recently was overrun with a rampant shrub - Prosopis juliflora - which locals call 'the mad one', because it's almost impossible to get rid of.

But that didn’t prevent botanist Pradip Krishen from trying to wipe it out to create Rao Jodha Desert Park - a feat that wasn't exactly straightforward. Seven years after he started he has almost succeeded. View photos.


Brandon McClain digitally capturing for the Nature Valley Trail View platform
Brandon McClain digitally capturing for the Nature Valley Trail View platform
Hardcore hiking from the comfort of home - listen in new player

Sometimes going the extra mile involves rolling up those sleeves, toughing it out, and trekking off into the unknown. And sometimes you can do it with the click of a mouse. It’s now possible to hike some of America’s most spectacular national parks without even leaving the comfort of your own home. View photos.

Nature Valley Trail View is a project set up by a company called Nature Valley to bring the beauty of the great outdoors, indoors. A team of hikers photographed 300 miles of trails, then put it all online for the public to enjoy. Leslie Sims tells host Marnie Chesterton how it works.

Sample one of Nature Valley Trail View's best panoramic visuals - Osprey Falls.


The Ridge Runner, an all-season ride through the forest, built entirely by hand
The Ridge Runner, an all-season ride through the forest, built entirely by hand
At one with the trees - listen in new player

The Niagara Escarpment is an outdoor playground for the 6.6 million people who live in Toronto and its suburbs. It’s also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

So when you run a resort that’s always looking for new things to offer its visitors, how do you satisfy both of those things? You install a great deal of it by hand to keep the landscape intact. View photos.

Dan Skelton is the president of Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, and he talks to Marnie about lugging all the parts for the Ridge Runner ride up a very steep mountain.


A glass of Westvleteren beer, one of only seven Trappist beers in the world
A glass of Westvleteren beer, one of only seven Trappist beers in the world
Going the distance for the best beer in the world - listen in new player

Westvleteren beer is widely considered – by experts and amateurs alike – to be one of the best beers in the world.

It’s made at The Abbey of Saint Sixtus monastery in Westvleteren, northwestern Belgium, and isn’t for sale anywhere.

To get some, you have to get on a list, and go there to pick it up.

Earth Beat producer Anik See follows a fan of the beer – who drives a roundtrip of more than 500 km – to get some of the stuff. View photos.


  • Espen Fadnes<br>&copy; Espen Fadnes - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Espen Fadnes (right)<br>&copy; Espen Fadnes - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Espen Fadnes (centre)<br>&copy; Espen Fadnes - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Rao Jodha Desert Park - early days when the park was full of Prosopis juliflora<br>&copy; Pradip Krishen  - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Euphorbia in flower<br>&copy; Pradip Krishen  - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Hardy lithophyte<br>&copy; Pradip Krishen  - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Jasw Thada, September 2009<br>&copy; Pradip Krishen  - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Rock plants in the Gully, 2010<br>&copy; Pradip Krishen  - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Gully in the rains, 2010<br>&copy; Pradip Krishen  - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • The park in the rains, 2011<br>&copy; Pradip Krishen  - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Master cameraman, Brandon McClain, digitally captured and documented all three national parks for the Nature Valley Trail View platform using a 360-degree backpack camera<br>&copy; Mat Bisher/McCann Erickson - http://www.naturevalleytrailview.com/
  • Master cameraman, Brandon McClain, digitally captured and documented all three national parks for the Nature Valley Trail View platform using a 360-degree backpack camera<br>&copy; Mat Bisher/McCann Erickson - http://www.naturevalleytrailview.com/
  • Master cameraman, Brandon McClain, digitally captured and documented all three national parks for the Nature Valley Trail View platform using a 360-degree backpack camera<br>&copy; Mat Bisher/McCann Erickson - http://www.naturevalleytrailview.com/
  • The Ridge Runner, an all-season ride through the forest, built entirely by hand<br>&copy; Blue Mountain - http://www.bluemountain.ca/
  • The Ridge Runner, an all-season ride through the forest, built entirely by hand<br>&copy; Blue Mountain - http://www.bluemountain.ca/
  • The Ridge Runner, an all-season ride through the forest, built entirely by hand<br>&copy; Blue Mountain - http://www.bluemountain.ca/
  • Jerome van Broekhuizen, making the 500 km round trip to pick up 2 cases of Westvleteren beer<br>&copy; RNW/Anik See - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Cases of Westvleteren beer at the Sint Sixtus monastery, waiting to be distributed to customers via a limited, reservation-only system. The beer is not for commercial sale anywhere other than on the monastery’s property<br>&copy; RNW/Anik See - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Jerome loading one of the two cases of Westvleteren beer he was lucky enough to be able to reserve<br>&copy; RNW/Anik See - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • A glass of Westvleteren beer, largely considered to be one of the best in the world<br>&copy; RNW/Anik See - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Jerome enjoying a glass of Westvleteren beer, after a long drive to get it.<br>&copy; RNW/Anik See - http://www.rnw.nl/english

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