Keen for more

2013-10-26 00:00

“I’VE seen the dark side and the light side of the Amazon people. And it is this memory that I take with me from my near-death experience when I was shot in the Amazon.”

Almost a year after he was shot and left for dead, Amazon adventurer Davey du Plessis has recovered and is ready to tackle a new adventure in February.

“I’m not going to say what it is in case I change my mind, but yes, I’m ready to go again,” he said.

Du Plessis was in Pietermaritzburg this week to speak to pupils at Cordwalles Preparatory School about his expedition.

A Michaelhouse old boy, Du Plessis had the young Cordwalles boys in awe of his adventure, with many of them later interrogating him. Du Plessis was invited by his cousin, Jack Spence, a pupil at Cordwalles.

On July 1, 2012, Du Plessis had set off on a 6 400 km source-to-sea expedition down the Amazon. Two months and a third of the way through, he was attacked and left in the jungle to die.

He was saved by locals and now tells the tale of his ordeal.

Now 25, Du Plessis has also just written a book called Choosing To Live, which details his adventure and will to survive.

Capturing the young boys’ minds with vivid details of how he was shot, Du Plessis said while he was shot at four times, he sustained 24 gunshot wounds.

“I think my attackers were drug dealers. When I saw them, I begged and pleaded with them to please leave me alone. It was like my life meant nothing to them. They didn’t even take my stuff.

“I was shot with a shotgun and those bullets are almost like marbles. One shot has like 10 different marbles that hit you. It knocked me off the kayak. It was a Saturday and by the time I got to the hospital it was Sunday. A bullet is still embedded in my heart and is not posing any danger,” said Du Plessis.

It was those moments after he was shot that he will carry with him forever. “I have seen the dark side and the light side of the Amazon people. They were there to help me, yet they are so poor. As I went from village to village, I met different people who have so little but gave so much,” said Du Plessis.


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