Program 284a: Diving Adventures; Instant Cities; Unconquered Amazon

Release Date: 05-31-2014

On Air Description

We're going to great depths this week on Travel with Rick Steves. 

A diving enthusiast highlights the underwater world, from the turquoise coasts of Central America to the cold jade waters of Puget Sound.

NPR's Steve Inskeep explains what Karachi, Pakistan showed him about the mega cities that are mushrooming around the world.

And author Scott Wallace describes his trek deep into the Amazon, and the quandary of efforts to protect the fierce Arrow people from contact with the outside world.

Find uncommon adventure, on Travel with Rick Steves.

Notes to Stations

This is a re-edit of a program which first aired April 21, 2012.


  • Travel writer Amanda Castleman, contributor to
  • NPR Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep, author of "Instant City" (Penguin)
  • Scott Wallace, author of "The Unconquered" (Crown)

Related Links

  • Amanda Castleman's website includes links to her Road Remedies travel blog updates. She also teaches online writing courses through the website. 
  • Amanda considers Anthony's Key Resort in Roatan, Honduras as one of the world's best scuba centers. 
  • The Bonneville Seabase is the location in Utah for snorkeling and scuba diving to view exotic salt water fish. 
  • Steve Inskeep's book, "Instant City:  Life and Death in Karachi," is now available in paperback from Penguin-Random House.
  • NPR has a bio of Steve Inskeep on its website, with links to audio features he filed in April 2014 from the US-Mexico border, and March 2014 from Syria.    
  • Steve Inskeep refers to Bill Bishop's book "The Big Sort," and the writings of the late Chicago columnist Mike Royko, when noting how geographic demographic changes are polarizing Americans. 
  • Scott Wallace's book about his Amazon expedition with Brazilian scientist Sydney Possuelo is called "The Unconquered."  (Crown).
  • Scott Wallace also wrote about the work of Sydney Possuelo for National Geographic. 
  • Scott Wallace's website includes more of his writings and photographs about uncontacted populations, and a short video about his book "The Unconquered."    

Incidental Music

  • Malang and Mohammed Akram Rohnawaz, "Drum Solo on the Zerbaghali," The Big Bang (collection) / Ellipsis Arts
  • Katia and Marielle Labeque, “‘Aquarium’ from 'Le Carnival des Animaux' (Saint-Saens),” Carnival! (collection) / The Rainforest Foundation-RCA Victor
  • Levitation, “More Than Ever People,” Café del Mar, vol. 5 (collection) / MCA
  • Lux, “Northern Lights,” Café Del Mar, vol. 7 (collection) / Musicrama-Koch
  • Nature Recording, vol. 8, “Songs of the Humpback Whale (et al),” Voices of the Sea / Nature Recordings
  • Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Erich Kunzel, conductor,  “‘Under the Sea,’ from ‘The Little Mermaid’,”  Sailing / Telarc
  • * Brian Melvin’s Nightfood,  “Bahama Mama,”   Global Voyage (collection) / Global Pacific
  • Sam Popat and Alexandre Scheffer, “Dil Mera,” Buddha-Bar VIII (collection) / George V Records
  • Shubha Mudgal, “The Awakening,”  Buddha-Bar VIII (collection) / George V Records
  • Instrumental intro to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, “Mustt, Mustt,” 10 Out of 10 (collection)  / RealWorld
  • Hen’s Tooth Discs, “Home Sweet Home,” Authentic Musical Box Arrangement-disc 2 / Hen’s Tooth Discs
  • * Sachal Studios Orchestra, “Samba de Verao,” Sachal Jazz / Republic Digital Distribution
  • Regional Vermelho E Branco, “Vale do Jovari,”  A Native American Odyssey:  Inuit to Inca (collection) / Putumayo
  • Bernie Kraus, “Amazon Days, Amazon Nights (SFX),” The Big Bang (collection) / Ellipsis Arts
  • Djavan, “Amazon Farewell,” Puzzle of Hearts / Columbia
  • Blue Chip Orchestra, “Tate-The Wind,” Red Sky Beat / Hearts of Space

Dated References

  • In his segment A open, Rick notes that the countries leading the list with the densest-populated metro areas are Bangladesh, India, China, Colombia and Pakistan. 
  • In segment B, Rick refers to Steve Inskeep’s book as "new" (published in October 2011).   (It is still his most recent book.)
  • At 25:12 Rick says he "was just in Istanbul," and compares the rapid growth of Phoenix, Arizona with the state’s "tumultuous politics."  Steve replies that he’s not surprised that Phoenix would be the center point for controversies over immigration politics in the US. 
  • Starting at 30:01, Steve mentions that the controls of properly functioning law and order are lacking in Karachi, and there are similar problems in other mega-cities, such as Mumbai, Nairobi, Cairo and Bogotá.  
  • At 33:35, Steve says "a lot of people in Pakistan despair over the state of their country right now," due to a "troubled political setting" there, in trying to build a democracy.  
  • At 40:47, Scott Wallace says there are 26 confirmed uncontacted tribes that remain in Brazil, another 14 or 15 in Peru, and possibly a few in Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, in the Indian Ocean, New Guinea, and the Congo.  He adds that the part of the Amazon his group visited has the highest percentage of uncontacted people anywhere on earth.
  • In response to Rick’s comment about the role of the Brazilian government in maintaining the protected status of certain tribes, Scott says at 55:10 that their record is "spotty."
  • In the Pgm 284 extra B, Rick poses a question to Steve Inskeep that the US government is severely reducing expenditures to reduce the domestic deficit.  Inskeep responds that civilian aid from the US "has been ramped up significantly" recently in Pakistan.                                                                          

Program Extras

More with Amanda Castleman - The Travel with Rick Steves studio is only a few blocks away from an underwater diving park off the shore of Puget Sound. Diver Amanda Castleman describes how the cold water Seattle-area diving community operates, and what they find in the chilly waters of the Pacific Northwest. (runs 1:31)

More with Steve Inskeep - Rick asks Steve Inskeep how the U.S. can use foreign aid to help shape security and stability in the developing world. Steve discusses civilian aid to Pakistan, as an attempt to influence outcomes in Karachi. (runs 3:25)