Strange encounters of the Mek kind

Since I’ve spent the day writing about TV shows and doing scripts for Locked Up Abroad, I thought I should update the blog on where I got to on the ‘Adventures of Mark and Olly – Living with the Mek’. This is a show I did for Discovery Channel and Travel Channel a couple of years ago. I’ve documented the journey we took to find the Mek tribe in the mountains of West Papua so far in the blog and this is the next instalment.

Sam, Olly, Toby and Mark

Day three and we’d made precious little headway in the appallingly hot, steep and sticky conditions. We were averaging about a mile a day but despite this and the fact that we were heading deeper into Mek territory, with threats of attacks from warriors and witches, we seemed to be pretty happy in this picture.  The left to right is myself, the series producer; Olly Steeds the explorer; Associate Producer, Toby Paton and Olly’s fellow explorer, Mark Anstice.

First encounter with the Mek

First encounter with the Mek

After a hard days march we came to our first Mek village. It was called Tohamak and after the appropriate show of strength the villagers let us in.

Olly shakes hands and offers tobacco

Olly shakes hands and offers tobacco

Things seemed to be going well until the village chief asked Olly and Mark  for $800 to kill a pig for a welcome feast.

Tohamak Mek Elders

Tohamak Mek Elders

We politely declined and spent an awkward night camped in the village before moving on early the following day deeper into the jungle.

The village chief

The village chief

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