Wild Escapes is on BBC2 at 7pm on Friday 25th May.
What’s it about?
Anita Rani and former marine JJ Chalmers embark on a far more taxing version of Channel 4’s Travel Man, as they head to northern Italy’s Dolomite mountains for a three-day adventure.
In addition to taking a “cleansing” hay bath in an Alpine spa, the pair gamely tackle the highest mountain in the Dolomites, a stay in a mountain hut and “bottom padding” at an apple festival. Of the hay baths, Rani told Radio Times that she “smelt like [she]… was presenting Countryfile!”
“We didn’t have a translator so we had no idea what on earth was happening and it didn’t look like any spa I’ve ever been to before. It’s meant to open up your airways and be very good for rheumatism,” she adds.
When climbing, Rani admits that she had a couple of wobbles: “We had to be hooked in and every time you stop to think, you go, “Oh my God, what am I doing, clinging to the side of a mountain?””
“But then you forget about the fear and enjoy the beauty of it. I would highly recommend it.”
Rani and Chalmers are also compelling travelling companions, as equally game for mountaineering as they are for a glass of wine at the end of a long hike – and a stirring rendition of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart.