Benedict Allen makes a living out of being what his publicity people call an ‘explorer’. Indeed, his publishers call him ‘one of the UK’s most daring explorers’, no less. He has edited The Faber Book of Explorers. He has made several television films about his exploring. His exploits as an explorer include trekking across the Mongolian steppe and the Gobi Desert, walking the length of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast with three camels, crossing the Amazon basin, traversing the mountainous spine of New Guinea, and so on.