WITH just two knives for cutting and a baby pig for company, Xavier Rosset sat solo on an uninhabited Pacific island for 300 lonely days.

Xavier Rosset
Resourceful ... Xavier Rosset said spending 300 lonely days
on an uninhabited Pacific island was "hard, very hard"
/ Blog
Source: No Source

But unlike Robinson Crusoe, the young Swiss adventurer made a choice to isolate himself totally, surviving on food and shelter got by his own hand to challenge the modern way of life.

"It was hard, yes, very hard," Mr Rosset said, freshly arrived back in Europe after ending his 10-month stint in Tonga.

His island of choice was Tofua, a 64-square-kilometre volcanic isle home to nothing except "some pigs, lots of coconuts, a lake and tropical forest".

His luggage consisted of just a Swiss army knife, machete and a video camera to record his adventure for a documentary to be aired later this year.

The mission was to try to relearn the natural survival skills which urban men have long forgotten, but Mr Rosset said it was far from easy.

"At the beginning I had to try hard to survive," the former professional snowboarder said.

"I had to find the food and water, build shelter, learn how to fish, everything."

Last September, just 10 days in, he had a realisation that he was all alone and would be for many months to come.

"That was very hard, without my family, my girlfriend, my friends. There was a lot of loneliness."

But he was kept busy just trying to survive.

Over the next two months he lost nearly all the 18kg of body fat he had stockpiled before starting his adventure.

He wasn't able to hold his weight steady until he discovered how to trap and kill wild pigs, in the process making his only "friend", a tiny piglet.

"I couldn't eat it because there wasn't enough meat so I took it with me and she stayed with me for three months," he said.

"She was exactly like a dog. She was a very good friend for me but I didn't talk to her like (Tom Hanks) talked to the volleyball in the movie Castaway."

It wasn't until eight months into the stay that Mr Rosset says he felt at peace on the island.

In a blog recording from this time, the explorer said: "I'm spending the most part of the day doing nothing, looking at the big ocean or the butterfly who has come to say hello to me."

"I even have enough food. I can say now and now only that I am feeling (at) home."

Being truly home in Switzerland has been the biggest high however, and there's no plan to go bush again anytime soon.


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Date: 16 Jul 2009 | Author: mesmerX | Category: News | Views: 2337

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