Tag Archives: Papua New Guinea

Birds, wheelchairs and bamboo sticks

3 May

Benedict Allen’s first meeting with BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner was inauspicious. Ben Fogle! He said (or something like it), I’m a huge fan!

Despite this, Benedict and Frank became big friends, with Benedict sharing his stories of the birds of paradise in the untouched jungles of Papua New Guinea of the 1980s. Turns out, Frank is a massive fan of bird watching, and his dream was to see those very birds.

Benedict was a semi-retired solo-adventurer. After three decades of exploring, he lost a husky on the Arctic ice and felt his luck had finally run out. So back he went home and began to raise a family.

But Benedict was inspired by Frank’s dream to see the birds. Especially so as the journalist’s mobility was reliant on a wheelchair after being shot in Saudi Arabia by terrorists. And, no doubt, excited by the extreme challenge of taking a wheelchair user to a remote, humid forest decidedly not accessible. Continue reading