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They say that you can't eat olives right from the tree on account of the fact that they need to go through some form of process before you can eat them; they are right - olives straight from the tree taste like dog poo. Not that I have tasted dog poo you understand but I do have a reasonable sense of imagination.

Yesterday we went down to the river to try to catch catfish, a piece of chicken the size of my foot was chosen as bait and we sat back to wait. I asked how long the fish would be eating the chicken for before it got to the fish and was rather shocked to discover that it would be taken in one. Catfish can be 150lb and the size of me. We waited some more, then some more, it got dark apparently dusk and dawn are the best times to catch catfish. It got darker as we waited, after a bit more waiting we went and ate some chips with pie rather than fish. Apparently the key to fishing is patience, I expect I'll be good at it - sitting around doing nothing is something that I mastered during my degree.

This afternoon there wasn't much work to do as we were waiting for a delivery of materials that would be with us in "15 minutes" so I went down to the river with my knife and the aim to learn stuff. There was lot's of bamboo so after doing the obvious - making a spear and loosing it - I thought that I should do something a bit more practical so set about making some rope. To do this I took three bamboo leaves, weighed them down under a rock and wove them together, adding fresh leaves to the mix as they ran out. Soon enough I had a length about two feet long, would it be any good? The only way to find out was to subject it to a tension test; grabbing hold of either end of the rope I subjected it to a gentle tug and was pleased to find that I was now the proud owner of two ropes each a foot long. It seems that there was a weak spot in the design as the two lengths then held together just fine. Pleased with my success I thought it would be wise to put the rope to the test.

There was plenty of bamboo that had been cut down littering the bank and a river in front of me, it seemed the perfect opportunity to start developing the skills needed for jungle river crossings, there being quite a few of those in my future. I'm not a strong swimmer and am in fact still a bit scared of water so it was no little hesitation that I gathered up a big bundle of bamboo, made some more rope and tied the bamboo together with it. A quick test of the depth of the river with a length of bamboo revealed that whilst it was not deep the mud was  so soft as to make the depth somewhere over my head. There was also a lot of weeds, weeds that could grab hold of my leg and hold me under just like I was taught at school. It wasn't a happy bunny who flung the bamboo floatation device into the river and lowered himself in but it was a happy bunny who didn't sink into the mud and found the water to only come up to chest height, at this point I remembered that my foot was the same as the piece of chicken we used as bait yesterday. I opted to board the floatation device immediately so as to lift my feet from the floor as quickly as possible.  I wasn't that impressed with the floatation device; it sank. So I contented myself to swimming around in the shallows for a bit before dragging the bamboo.

Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 19:18 by Registered CommenterJam | Comments4 Comments

Reader Comments (4)

Lots of Catfish in the jungle!
As they are all but blind and use smell to find their food then I recommend you try out using a smelly bait - either a piece of meat that is past it's best, or something naturally smelly/oily
October 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPaddy
Best keep the feet clean then.

Thanks for the advice, have some smelly chicken pieces to use now so we are going again tonight.
October 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJam
"if you are too white, the fish don't bite..."
October 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSameold

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