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Hainault explorer feels heat of jungle on Borneo expedition

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 January 2016

Daniel Bouskila, 35, and James Constantinou, 26, in Borneo. Picture: Daniel Bouskila

Daniel Bouskila, 35, and James Constantinou, 26, in Borneo. Picture: Daniel Bouskila

Archant

Explorers travelled to the other side of the world to find their way through a jungle and map out uncharted territory.

Daniel Bouskila, 35, with his fellow explorers in Borneo. Picture: Daniel BouskilaDaniel Bouskila, 35, with his fellow explorers in Borneo. Picture: Daniel Bouskila

Daniel Bouskila, 35, of Hind Close, Hainault, led a crew of adventurers through dense undergrowth on the island of Borneo in Asia, hacking his way through canopies of foliage and surviving on water they found while trekking.

The three men spent almost two weeks in the hot jungle using GPS and basic maps from more than 20 years ago to leave checkpoints across the area in the Indonesian and Malaysian side of the island.

“That’s the only map we could find – given to us by the MoD [Ministry of Defence] – it was the most up-to-date map available and a lot of the contours and terrain is covered up by the jungle,” said Daniel, an electrical engineer who also runs tours group Ascent Explorers.

“We just didn’t know what was under the canopies. It took us three days to get to our drop-off point.

Daniel Bouskila, 35, in Borneo. Picture: Daniel BouskilaDaniel Bouskila, 35, in Borneo. Picture: Daniel Bouskila

“We hacked our way down to locals who were able to drop us off in the middle of nowhere and we started our way – on the side of a hill. It was very hot, the humidity was nearly 100 per cent.”

The survivalist set up camps in the jungle to make it through the rain and thunder and to get some sleep.

“It was fantastic to witness but at the same time very scary,” he said.

Daniel spoke of the toll the extreme conditions had on the crew members’ bodies.

“Every day we had water in our skin – under the skin in our hands and feet.

“We were getting through six to seven litres of water a day, which we collected and purified with chemicals.”

The survival expert, who has been on expeditions climbing mountains and living on deserted islands, said his latest trip was “one of the most testing”.

“It was absolutely immense, it was such hard work,” he said.

“Whole platoons have got lost and died, this was real life survival.”


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