BRAZIL – After 859 days and 4200 miles, one man accomplished an incredible feat!
The Amazon river is one of the marvels of South America and it is the second longest river in the world – slightly shorter than the Nile river. The river houses bounties of fauna and flora – some harmless and some dangerous. The thought of walking the entire stretch of river would seem crazy – unless you’re Ed Stafford.
“It’s unbelievable to be here!” Stafford told The Associated Press the moment he entered the sea in northern Brazil. “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!”
Stafford’s incredible journey took him 2 1/2 years to complete. The British man endured “50,000 mosquito bites,” found nourishment in piranhas and stared danger in the eyes in the form of deadly snakes. His journey was the result of two desires – to do the unthinkable as he became the first man to walk the entire length of the Amazon and to raise awareness of destruction to the Amazon rain forest.
“The crux of it is, if this wasn’t a selfish, boy’s-own adventure, I don’t think it would have worked,” the 34-year-old former British Army told the AP. “I am simply doing it because no one has done it before.”
There have been six documented expeditions along the course of the Amazon river, but they all used boats to advance their travel. Stafford traversed the river from its source high in the Peruvian Andes across Colombia and into Brazil before its water are dumped into the Atlantic Ocean entirely by foot.
Stafford began the journey on April 2, 2008 with a British friend. His partner in crime bailed within three months, but Stafford carried on. Eventually, Peruvian forestry worker Gadiel “Cho” Sanchez Rivera, 31, decided to make the journey with Stafford. The British adventurer said that the journey cost him $100,000 – funded by sponsoring companies and donations.