Herald Sun - Switched On - - Monday -

THIS is a truly as­ton­ish­ing and deeply trou­bling new episode of the on-go­ing ad­ven­tures of the ridicu­lous, but won­der­ful, Bear Grylls.

And if you have any in­ter­est in sharp­en­ing up your sur­vival skills in the hope of mak­ing it past Christ­mas, this is the show for you. Trust me . . .

For ex­am­ple, has it oc­curred to you that the thing to do when your crew – give or take cam­era op­er­a­tors, a soundrecordist and a make-up artist – dump you on a de­serted Pa­cific is­land is to search for thongs?

No, not those thongs. The rub­ber ones for your feet. Be­cause the pe­cu­liar prop­erty of foot thongs of which per­haps only Grylls is aware is that if you burn them, they send up dark smoke and make great sig­nal fires. Cool, huh?

‘‘ Ahoy Cap’n! I see smoke from burn­ing thongs on the hori­zon,’’ says the bloke way up the mast.

‘‘ We’ll steer a course around it, lad­die. It’s prob­a­bly that pe­cu­liar Bear Grylls chap­pie,’’ says the Cap’n. And in­deed it was.

Grylls’ is­land is a point­less lit­tle atoll off the coast of Panama on which our hero man­ages to col­lect rain­wa­ter us­ing a bit of rope and an old drink bot­tle and spear a large fish with a stick and the beak of a dead seag­ull. As you do. But that was the easy stuff.

It is later, af­ter Grylls has made a sta­ble raft from noth­ing much at all and set off for Panama, that the episode turns, um, pear-shaped.

Grylls checks out an­other atoll on the way. Here, he col­lects rain­wa­ter pol­luted with seag­ull poo. Nasty enough, he ex­plains, to make you ill should you drink it. But wa­ter, he de­cides, must be safely in­gested. How does he achieve this?

Here’s a clue: it in­volves that drink bot­tle, plas­tic tub­ing and an ori­fice sel­dom kissed by the sun. He drops his cargo pants and . . .

Shall we switch to Corners, dear? Man Vs Wild SBS One, 8.30pm


Won­der­ful: Bear Grylls

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