It is lunch time on 21 August 1974 and Daniel Carruthers is sitting at his desk beneath the National Museum London England
Daniel has been an archivist at the museum for over twenty years and he is bored out of his mind.
He has catalogued more books letters essays and journals than he cares to remember.
What Daniel needs is to get away from it all and recharge his batteries but his annual leave isn’t due until Christmas.
He sighs to himself as he sorts through a box of books on his desk.
Daniel is 35 years old and he has never had a steady girlfriend.
Like your typical librarian Danial wears thick glasses from years of reading in a dimly
He wears clothes that were fashionable a decade prior and his skin is pasty from working down in the basement.
As Daniel works he comes across a dusty old journal written by the explorer Sir Walter
The pages are fragile and yellowed with age but Daniel feels a wave of excitement as he starts to read.
As he reads Daniels heart begins to beat double time.He gets up from his chair walks to his office door and locks it.
Returning to his desk he reads ‘Journal entry 2nd July 1582’
‘Tomorrow i set sail in the search for the legendary El Dorado,does El Dorado exist or is it just a story from the ages’
‘Legend has it that king El Rey Dorado of the musica tribe of Colombia used to cover himself in gold dust and throw pieces of gold into an underground lake named Guatavita to appease the god’s.’
‘I aim to find that gold and bring it back to the queens England’
Daniel continues to read the journal until the end of his shift and then he does something that he has never done before.
He places the journal into his briefcase and heads upstairs with sweaty palms.
Taking museum property home is strictly forbidden.
Daniel tries to calm his nerves when he reaches the lobby.
He puts a smile on his face as he approaches the security guards says goodnight to them and walks out onto the street.
He cant wait to arrive home to read more of the journal.
When Daniel gets home he has a quick meal and a shower then settles down for the night
He pours himself a large whiskey lights a cigarette and starts to read and he soon becomes lost in the words.
He smokes cigarette after cigarette as his excitement grows and as he reads his mind becomes addled with the lust for gold.
Daniel Carruthers the mild mannered archivist is finally coming out of his shell.
And as he tries to settle down to sleep his mind is ticking over.
He has over six months of leave built up so maybe now the time is right to get out from the mundane.
And go on an adventure.
When Daniel arrives at work the next day he informs his boss that he is taking all of his leave effective from tomorrow.
His boss tells him that he has to give a months notice before taking any leave so get to work and follow proper procedure.
But Daniel is having none of that and without another word he picks up his briefcase and walks out the door.
The fever for gold has already taken away all of Daniels common sense.
Is he about to walk a very dangerous path.
Will he walk the yellow brick road?
Or walk the highway to hell?
Daniel spends the next week at home getting his passport and travel plans in order.
And reading Sir Walter Raleigh’s journal until it started to fall apart in his hands.
And ten days after he resigned from his job Daniel boards a flight to Bogata Colombia.
After the plane lands he catches a taxi to his motel room and gets a few hours sleep.
In the morning walks the streets going from market to market asking the locals about
He asks the same questions that have been asked for centuries ‘Where can i find the gold of El Dorado? Or is El Dorado just a myth or legend?’
Daniel thinks that he has been discreet but all of his questioning hasn’t gone unnoticed.
A local businessman named Miguel Escovado has been following Daniel as he mixes with the locals.
Because he to has had a fascination with the legend of El Dorado.
He taps Daniel on the shoulder and suggests that they talk.
So the two adventurers go to a canteena for a coffee and a chat.
Daniel is wary of this strangers motives but he listens as the man talks about El Dorado and where they might find it.
Daniel soon realises that will have to trust someone sooner or later so he takes the journal from his briefcase and puts it on the table.
Miguel picks up the journal and for for the next hour he reads non stop.
And Daniel and Miguel agree to become business partners.
With his local knowledge Miguel soon organises the supplies and a working party of ten villagers.
And a week later the expedition leaves Bogata in four old land rovers.
Destination EL Dorado.
Daniel and Miguel are in the lead land rover plotting the course.
Miguel is at the wheel while Daniel reads the journal.
They have no maps just a good feeling that they are heading in the right direction.
Two weeks later Daniel has this sinking feeling that they have been driving around in circles.
Fuel is running low and the morale among the guides is even lower.
Daniel realises that he has been on a fools errand searching for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
He looks over to Miguel and suggests that they turn back before it is too late.
But Miguel doesn’t want to give up so easily.
The fever for gold is flowing freely through his veins.
And after a brief discussion they agree to give it another month.
If they haven’t found El Dorado in that time then they will count their losses and head back home.
But fuel is really getting low so when they reach a fast flowing river they decide to make camp camp.
And in the morning they will travel by kayak to converse the fuel supplies.
The land rovers will be left behind guarded by four of the guides.
All of the camping gear and the kayaks are unloaded from the land rovers and camp is set up for the night.
As he sits by the camp fire eating rice and beans Daniel notices that the guides are looking uneasy and whispering amongst themselves.
Miguel tells Daniel that the guides are worried that they will upset their god if they remove any gold from the forest.
And the only way to appease them a sacrifice will have to be made.
When it finally sinks in what the guides are saying Miguel tries to alert Daniel to the danger but he is too late.
One of the guides fires his rifle and Miguel falls to the ground dead.
Daniel jumps to his feet in shock and slowly inches back in the direction of the turbulent river.
He knows that his only chance to survive is to make it into the water.
He is only ten feet from the water when the head guide walks towards him with a smirk on his face.
The guide is named Guido and he is one mean son of a bitch who would kill you without batting an eyelid.
He hols out the journal to Daniel and says ‘You show me the way to El Dorado and i will let you live’
Guido is only two foot away when Daniel lunges forward and turns back towards the river.
But Guido doesn’t let go of the journal and he and Daniel tussle on the edge then with a sound Daniel Guido and the journal disappear into the torrent below.
Will Daniel and Guido survive the fall and find El Dorado?
Or will they both drown and wind up in hell?
To find out the answers to these questions and more.
All you have to do is return and read Part Two