Darley Newman must feel right at home touring all around the world.
Since growing up in Myrtle Beach from age 4, she found her saddle as creator, host and producer of the multi-award-winning “Equitrekking” series for five seasons on PBS. Her fourth season of “Travels with Darley” will premiere at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29 on ETV across South Carolina (www.scetv.org), including WHMC-TV 23 of Conway and WITV-TV 7 of Charleston.
The escapes start with “West Virginia Adventures,” then move on to “France’s Western Front,” in respective parts, Oct. 6 and 13; “Missouri’s Route 66 &✔ St. Louis” Oct. 20; “Tokyo, Japan” Oct. 27; and “Martinique Caribbean Culture” Nov. 3.
Speaking by phone Sept. 8 from her residence in Bethesda, Md. – after filming segments in New Mexico, and bicycling in the Santa Fe National Forest – for a future show, Newman said the debut of this package of episodes works out ideally because “fall is a great time to visit West Virginia,” where “we did our whitewater rafting.” Martinique, on the other hand, might be a trip better saved for winter, she said, especially after this hurricane season.
Newman found the episodes filmed in France “really special and really different,” for the wealth of knowledge from World War I she brought home. Touring 100-year-old battlefields “where U.S. troops fought and really helped the French people and world so much,” she said likes to see how keeping that history alive for generations “resonates today.”
With every place Newman explores, she credits the hosts and guides for the enriching memories, who only add to any of her own beginning research done beforehand.
“I’m not really teaching you,” she said, thinking of all her introductions to viewers. “The people on camera are giving us the information.”
Newman said her traveling crew of four – including Greg Barna, an Emmy-winning photographer – make up a creative family formed from the 35 episodes filmed for “Equitrekking.” Touring some sites on horseback has continued in this series begun in 2014, and with other means of sightseeing, such as biking and boating, through which “you’re in a different mode of seeing a place.”
Pedaling “a fair amount” for this season of “Travels with Darley” – giving her 24 half-hour shows so far (www.travelswithdarley.com) – and bringing up the joys of riding two wheels on previous episodes through parts of Little Rock, Ark., and Belgium, Newman said it’s “more interactive and fun, … and it all plays into making you more aware of your surroundings.”
“I love noticing the birds when I’m traveling,” she said. “They sound different everywhere.”
Birds took a backseat for a bit in West Virginia, though, for Newman also got muddy tackling terrain on a Polaris RZR off-road tour at Snowshoe Mountain Resort. One means of sightseeing she said has yet to try: stand-up paddleboarding.
For every profile of a locale, Newman said she goes in “with some type of vision,” yet “it always changes.”
Sharing a peek of her New Mexico trip for the next season planned to air in mid-winter, a visit arranged through email for a Benedictine monastery, which entailed eating at a table across from monks adhering to a vow of silence, generated some pleasant surprises, including behind-the-scenes walking access on site with a host who was free to talk.
“I never expected to meet a talking monk there,” Newman said, “so he created a segment for our show.”
As more episodes come to mind down the road, Newman said seeing giraffes roaming in Botswana left an unforgettable impression for inspiration to scout for other ways to see amazing wildlife in other corners of the Earth.
“It would be interesting to see more big cats,” Newman said. “We need to go back to Africa.”
If you watch
WHAT: “Travels with Darley,” in fourth season
WITH: Darley Newman, who grew up in Myrtle Beach from age 4
WHEN: 7 p.m. Fridays, Sept. 29 through Nov. 3
WHERE: ETV across South Carolina – including WHMC-TV 23 of Conway and WITV-TV 7 of Charleston.
EPISODES: “West Virginia Adventures” Sept. 29; “France’s Western Front,” in respective parts, Oct. 6 and 13; “Missouri’s Route 66 & St. Louis” Oct. 20; “Tokyo, Japan” Oct. 27; and “Martinique Caribbean Culture” Nov. 3.
OTHER VIEWING OPTIONS FOR THIS SEASON:
<bullet>9:30 p.m. Tuesdays on ETV’s South Carolina Channel, starting Oct. 3 (www.scetv.org).
<bullet>9:30 p.m. Thursdays on UNC-TV’s UNC-Explorer Channel, starting Oct. 12 (www.unctv.org).