Monday, November 19, 2007

"Man vs. Wild" Recap & Review - "Sahara Desert"

Man vs. Wild – Season Premiere
Sahara Desert (Morocco)

Original Air Date: November 17, 2007

Tiffiny F. - TwoCents Staff Writer

Ah, how I’ve missed Bear Grylls and Man vs. Wild. The new season kicks off as we join Bear in one of the most extreme places on Earth: the Sahara Desert. Because of the extraordinary challenges this environment poses, Bear spends his first day with a Berber tribe learning the survival techniques they’ve honed over thousands of years. We see him kill a horned viper – one of the world’s deadliest snakes – then cook and eat it, help slaughter a goat for the tribe’s dinner, and then choke down a Berber delicacy: raw goat testicles. If you think that is gross, wait until the next day’s adventure.

Camels are the lifeblood of the desert. They store water in the fat of their humps, their meat is edible and because they are enormous animals, you can take a dead one, disembowel it, and use it as a shelter. I tell you this because it’s exactly what Bear does on Day 2 in the Sahara with the old dead camel gifted to him by the Berbers. And to increase the “oh my god, how disgusting” factor, Bear demonstrates how to open up each of the camel’s stomachs and get water from each, even squeezing it from partially digested food. After seeing this, I think I just became a vegetarian. It’s evening, so after a hearty meal of BBQ’d camel meat, Bear pees around the perimeter of his camel camp – to deter jackals – and settles in for the night, wrapped snugly in the skin of the dead animal.

The next day, it’s time for Bear to get the heck outta the Sahara. He traverses the salt pans, which is probably the most desolate place I’ve ever seen, and heads towards the foothills of the Atlas Mountains toward civilization. Demonstrating his insanely good rock climbing skills, he finds himself in a gorge where he can fill his water gourd (made from the skin of Day 1’s slaughtered goat) and get some much needed hydration and even some food, in the form of a small frog that he eats raw. After some precarious climbing back out of the gorge, he sees a Berber settlement in the distance, thus bringing this episode to a close.

Grade: B-minus, because there was entirely too much animal killing/skinning/disemboweling for my weak stomach.
Next week: Panama

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