John Hemming

Lost city of fantasy

The new film The Lost City of Z is being advertised as based on the true story of one of Britain’s greatest explorers. It is about Lt-Col Percy Fawcett. Greatest explorer? Fawcett? He was a surveyor who never discovered anything, a nutter, a racist, and so incompetent that the only expedition he organised was a

The people who shun us

I have just spent a week in Amazonia with Sydney Possuelo, the man I regard as the world’s greatest explorer — well, at any rate, the greatest tropical explorer. Weatherbeaten, balding, with a neat salt-and-pepper beard, 65-year-old Sydney exudes vitality and charm. Although he has just had a triple heart bypass, he looks lean and