Who Goes Out in the Midday Sun?
His plan was to travel the land between the mouths of the Orinoco and Amazon rivers; he would depend on local guides and learn their techniques for survival in the jungle. Wiser heads in the Royal Geographic Society advised against a solo expedition, but Allen was young (23), fit and optimistic. He was severely tested by various Indian tribes (early on, he had to wrestle and kill a pig barehanded); he made cultural blunders, but generally redeemed himself. His route, mainly by river in a dugout canoe, took him through the dangerous gold mining country of northwest Brazil, and here he ran into trouble. Two prospectors suborned his Indian companions and threatened him. With a dog he had picked up along the way, Allen fledat nightto the canoe and paddled down the river. Three days later, the canoe smashed in rapids, and Allen was left with only his survival belt and the dogwithout maps, and some 75100 miles of cross-jungle walking to reach a road. That journey, which took 30 days, is one of the most harrowing tales of survival in the literature of travel. Photos. (May 30)