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In this Globe Trekker history special, presenter Megan McCormick
travels to Colombia, Panama, Florida,
and The Bahamas
, to learn about the galleons, treasure, and pirates of the Caribbean. She follows the route of 17th century Spanish galleons on their voyages to bring back gold from the New World, and discovers the stories and legends about the golden age of piracy and its treasures. We take a look at the treasure at stake and what still remains from that extraordinary era.
In 1492 Christopher Columbus
quite literally put the Americas on the map. This milestone in history also sparked over 250 years of perilous treasure hunting and brutal competition with the English, the French, the Spanish, the Dutch and the Portuguese all vying for gold, silver and other riches. Galleons were sunk. Thousands were killed and up until the mid 1700s, it was the pirates who ruled the waves.
Megan's journey begins in Panama
where she visits the the Museo del Oro
(Gold Museum) in Bogota
- stashed with treasures from across the Americas, it's probably one Megan treks the most important gold museums in the world. She then explores the famous Camino Real
mule trail and traces the route the Spanish took to transport gold from Peru
to Panama City
on The Caribbean. In Cartagena she takes a tour of the forts and city walls built by the Spanish to protect their stolen gold, then takes a boat out to sea to visit the burial place of Sir Francis Drake
who died here in 1596. Drake was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe - a national hero in England, he was known as "El Dragon" to the Spanish.
Next stop is Port Royal
where Megan meets some interesting characters with a tale or two to tell about the life of pirates: Captain Morgan
, Mary Reid
, and Anne Bonny
. She can't resist sampling some typical pirate food and drink: boucan and "pirates poison" rum.
Then it's over to The Bahamas
where we learn about one of the most famous pirates of all, Blackbeard
. Megan ends her journey in Florida
with a spectacular scuba dive off the Florida Keys
where she witnesses the last remains of the famous Spanish galleon shipwrecks.Click here
for more information about this show.