I had imagined Bolivia to be a land of rocky landscapes - but no, there is a large area of Amazon rainforest too, full of tapirs, jaguars and monkeys.
Schoolteacher Simon Chapman, a jungle enthusiast (the book is dedicated to 'Carolyn, who understands my frog tree dreams') sets out on a journey inspired by a (mythical?) giant ape which lives there. He is also keen to recreate the journey of the 1920s explorer who claimed to have found the beast.
Here he describes a journey on foot and with collapsible dinghy through unchartered territory. Where the thick vegetation stops the GPS working, where snakes, flies and fungus beset them, and where differences of personality cause problems between the group. And where it's all too easy to get lost...
Well written account; I'm giving it *3 because as a female reader it's a bit blokey and not exactly my 'thing', but for afficionados of true-life adventure I would recommend it.
on 14 November 2001
Im not a particular fan of adventure books, nor am I particular adventurous myself- my back garden is probably the furthest Ive treked with a tent. But still reading this book made me want to pack my bags and head straight out of my garden in to the jungles of Bolivia. It is truly brilliant, funny and vivid piece of writing, from an unknown author who Im sure will become a household name in travel literature!
Plus- he used to teach me!
on 11 December 2007
I bought this book mistakenly thinking it was about the Yeti - Ok I didn't read the blurb carefully enough!
What it is about a journey through the Bolivian jungle searching for a rumoured undiscovered large breed of ape or monkey with a group of disparate characters I'm not sure I'd trust to get me across town never mind through an inhospitable jungle.
The author, Simon, a hapless, likeable schoolteacher, his travelling companion Julian with whom he seems to have little in common, Charlie who is so stoned half the time its amazing he doesn't come a real cropper and various Bolivian guides and porters non of whome have actually been to the Madidi before.
Yet the descriptions of their journey and the wildlife they come across bring the jungle environment alive and make me wish I was there suffering rotten feet, insect bites and fish that try to burrow up a mans willy.
Well written and throughly enjoyable.