A jungle-loving gardener has said goodbye to Bovingdon to live in the Amazon rainforest.
Chris Taylor, whose home until he set off for South America last week was in Lancaster Drive, couldn’t resist the lure of the tropics and the buzz he gets from the Brazilian jungle.
And now he is basing himself in a cabin in the remote north-west of the country, and getting set for a life with challenges far removed from the tame tasks facing celebrities in the recent I’m A Celebrity TV series.
The 31-year-old, who previously lived in the Amazonian region for several years, found that life back in Blighty lacked a certain something.
“No amount of long walks in the countryside left me totally satisfied,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to it being hot – but more than ever I like the unknown. You always have to be vigilant. The environment is active.
“Here you can walk around blind and the worst that happens is you trip over.
“I wanted to see nature un-fettered. You can go to the park in Hemel but it’s heavily edited.”
The one-time Kings Langley School pupil, who dropped out during his GCSEs to work as a gardener in Portugal, is already an experienced jungle guide and will be leading tours again, helping jungle newbies avoid some of the pitfalls he has already survived
Just a fortnight after first arriving in Brazil in 2003, Chris found himself ‘tethered’ to a tribe.
The chief kept him a virtual prisoner and he was warned that if he left they would cut his throat – yet he soon escaped by fishing boat at night.
He said: “I thought: ‘This is it, I’m going to die here’ but I wouldn’t roll over.
“Watching the village fade upon the horizon, I can’t remember being that terrified. Any second they would know what I had done.”
For the rest of his days Chris lived in a lake cabin beside the merging Negro and Solomon rivers, where his attempts at fishing saw him catching deadly piranha. One local confessed himself astonished at the continuing survival of the ‘stupid white boy’.
Despite a maggot-infested foot, leaving him mostly unconscious for a week and demanding a witch-doctor’s expert attention, he recalls it as a ‘little slice of heaven’.
And the adventurer’s parents are happy to see him off on his travels again.
Dad Phill, 56, said: “He will continue to get the best out of every opportunity that comes his way.
“We intend to visit again as he is a great local guide”.