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How to be a travel writer


Redmond O'Hanlon Writer
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20- to 30-feet long, the largest snake in the world. A constrictor, though, but living in the river. Only dangerous when its tail is anchored, because it only has that. So all those Indiana Jones pictures, all the movies, people wrestling with anacondas, and Charlie Brewer's got one, you know, really big anacondas, they're helpless as long as someone out of shot is holding the tail up. The minute he lets go and it gets hold of anything, you move fast.

The anaconda is the very, very worst. And once it get into your imagination, it's horrible. Because on the Siapa, these dark brown waters... the Rio Negro you can see into, full of tannins. But you just don't know what's there. And lots, you've got to remember, lots and lots of vegetation floating down. Lots of things look like the top of an anaconda's head, and to know it's no bigger than a rat, but behind it is 30 feet and it's that thick. They're not very sensitive, probably. No good sort of pleading for yourself.

British author Redmond O’Hanlon writes about his journeys into some of the wildest places in the world. His travels have taken him into the jungles of the Congo and the Amazon, he has faced some of the toughest tribes alive today, and has sailed in the hurricane season on a trawler in the North Atlantic. In all of this, he explores the extremes of human existence with passion, wit and erudition.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: Rio Negra, Rio Siapa, Charles Brewer-Carias

Duration: 1 minute, 27 seconds

Date story recorded: July - September 2008

Date story went live: 11 August 2009