After 859 days, Former Soldier Completes 4,000-Mile Amazon Trek
After 859 days, thousands of miles and “50,000 mosquito bites,” Ed Stafford became the first man known to have walked the entire length of the Amazon River when the waves of the Atlantic Ocean lapped at his feet in northern Brazil on Monday.
“It’s unbelievable to be here!” Mr. Stafford told the Associated Press the moment he entered the sea. “It proves you can do anything—even if people say you cannot. I’ve proved that if you want something enough, you can do anything!”
There are at least six known expeditions along the course of the Amazon river, from its source high in the Peruvian Andes across Colombia and into Brazil before its waters are dumped into the ocean 4,200 miles (6,760 kilometers) away.
But those used boats to advance their travel. Mr. Stafford and a British friend began the walk on April 2, 2008, on the southern coast of Peru. Within three months, his pal left. Mr. Stafford carried on, walking bits of the route with hundreds of locals he met along the way.
Eventually, Peruvian forestry worker Gadiel “Cho” Sanchez Rivera, 31, decided to make the journey with Mr. Stafford to the Atlantic.
Stafford said his journey—which has cost $100,000 and is paid for by sponsoring companies and donations—has deepened his understanding of the Amazon, its role in protecting the globe against climate change and the complex forces that are leading to its destruction.
Ed watched YouTube, and dined on piranhas
He has lived off piranha fish he caught, rice and beans, and store-bought provisions found in local communities along the river.
To relax at night, Mr. Stafford said he has downloaded podcasts via Internet satellite phone by British comedian Ricky Gervais and episodes of the TV show “The Office.”
Messrs. Stafford and Rivera have encountered every conceivable danger, from 18-foot (5.5-meter) long caiman crocodiles, enormous anaconda snakes, illness, food shortages and the threat of drowning.
You can read Ed’s Walking the Amazon blog. Here is crossing the river Tocantins,