Sir Ranulph Fiennes comes from something of a dynasty. Himself a baronet, which he inherited from his father, he is cousins to actors Joseph and Ralph Fiennes and is distantly related to the royal family.
However, far from resting on his laurels, Fiennes has made a name for himself as one of the world’s most successful British adventurers, completing his famous transglobe expedition in 1982.
‘We only had two deaths on the entire expedition. We had quite a lot of severe injuries, one bloke broke his leg in 88 places in one break and there was frost bite and so on but, basically speaking, for what it was, which was a great number of expeditions all joined one onto the other, it was very lucky indeed.’
Sitting in his Peruvian-style chair, with rows upon rows of books lining the entire wall behind him, and his arms crossed, Fiennes commands attention. He does not boast or gloat of his staggering feats achieved, but merely gives an honest account of the experiences he has been fortunate enough to have and the perils he has had to face along the way.
‘Your skin is rubbing because of this huge weight and you get things like crotch rot, which becomes very painful as you walk. And then the sun is eating away at any bits that are exposed. Your mouth and your nose will be heavily blistered, quickly, within at least a week or so and you’re out there for three months.’