Wee-drinking Bear Grylls welcomes a very special guest tonight – the US President, gamely up for a hike in the Alaskan wilderness. They’ll be dining on salmon half-eaten by a bear (yum!) and climbing trees in search of berries.
BEAR GOES WILD WITH BARACK OBAMA Photo Gallery
He told me tales of how wonderful life was in the good old days: it all sounded a bit exaggerated to me and I felt it was a case of someone looking over his shoulder at youth departed. I vowed never to become like that and kept reminding myself: ‘These are the good old days.’ I wandered the market to look at the fly-blown food and all the junk laid out on sheets of coloured cloth and then had lunch in a quiet old colonial-style hotel, sitting on the terrace, cooled by a wooden fan clacking over my head. I felt a bit like Stanley searching for Livingstone. Sadly, I discovered that the Congo River itself, which I had wanted to see, was 100 miles to the south. Jimmy and I bought parrots in Freetown, the fourth engineer and one of the alchies bought sooty mangabey monkeys. The vendors swarmed onboard from their fleet of wooden bum boats when we anchored in the roads, clutching animals and all sorts of exotics to sell. Our parrots were West African greys; I named mine ‘Maurice’. He cost me 200 Rothmans. Maurice was noisy and vicious: he sat on the end of my bunk, where I had him restrained by a line tied to his leg; he squawked and bobbed and flapped his wings and defecated over my sheets and lunged at anyone who went near.
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