Expedition and Wilderness Medicine
Dangers of kayaking the Amazon

Lucy Dickinson has just returned from accompanying Helen Skelton and the BBC team as Helen kayaked 2,010 miles down the Amazon. Here are her thoughts upon her return.

” I’ve just had my first experience of TV expedition work escorting Helen Skelton from Blue Peter kayaking down the Amazon. I still can’t quite believe I got the opportunity to have such an amazing trip. So how did it compare to the other expedition work I’ve done? Well it’s still just you and your box of tricks in the middle of nowhere improvising and trying to manage the risks. It’s still having an adventure and seeing a beautiful part of the earth. It’s still meeting new people from different parts of the world and learning different ways of life that put some perspective on the way we live our lives here. It’s still being inspired by interesting people doing exceptional things.

For a change, this trip was no physical challenge for me, in fact it was a challenge to sit still for 6 weeks! It was new having people thriving on the little dramas “because they make good TV”. It was exciting watching the BBC team doing a live broadcast from a sand bank in the middle of the Amazon knowing that people in the UK were watching it back in the UK as it was happening. It is not my idea of fun being in front of a camera and I constantly thought back to that conversation I had in London with Eric, the producer, about how I agreed to be on film only in exceptional circumstances if absolutely necessary. The reality was far from this and I can only hope that when the Blue Peter specials and the Sport Relief programme come out this week that I won’t cringe at the appearance of my “character” as they refer to you. As with most expeditions I’ve done it was a great pleasure and a privilege to work with a team of very lovely, interesting and fun people and have an exciting diversion to day to day General Practice.

…..If they ever ask me to do another trip with them I’ll jump at the chance.”

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