Just outside Manaus we went on a trip to learn some jungle survival skills. “Very useful to know”, the guide told us. “In case you are in a plane crash and land in the jungle.” As if to emphasise his point, a large black vulture circled above his head as he was talking.
The first thing we needed to learn that day was how to cope with the rain or, in my case, how to wield a camera when covered by a functional but cumbersome rain cape. We walked along slippery paths into a jungle where all the animal life had sensibly taken shelter (or perhaps flight from a noisy group of British tourists!). In fact, all we saw that day was a tarantula and some giant red ants.
We got to try some drinks made from jungle plants. Then he passed around some grubs which he assured us were delicious (‘they taste of coconut’) and much prized by village children, but which I could not quite face trying.
It was quite a fun day out but I’m not sure how much I really learnt in the way of survival skills. Other than that if you are planning to be in a plane crash it is advisable to be armed with steel wool and a machete.