On April 2nd 2008, Ed Stafford an ex-army captain set off on what he thought would would be a year long hike along the Amazon. 859 days later Ed has now completed his epic hike from source to sea, along with his travelling companion Cho. Cho was only meant to be Ed’s guide for 5 days at the beginning, not an inseparable companion over the 2 years.
Far from being a “boys-own adventure” Eds reasoning for his Amazon hike was “I am simply doing it because no-one has done it before.” he told AP.
The hike was prolonged by floods that forced Ed and Cho to walk a route that was 2,000 miles longer than the 4,000-mile length of the Amazon, which is exceeded only by Africa’s Nile as the world’s longest river. Which presumably will be Ed’s next task, as Ed also told AP that he has another adventure planned for September 2011.
The long journey Ed has taken is reported to have cost almost £63,000 and has been paid for by sponsor companies and donations by those who care about saving the Amazon. Ed described how it 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. Along his journey Ed talked in his blog posts of the vast expanses of open space where there was once forest and is now nothing, including areas where he expected there to be civilisation but it has been moved away because of this deforestation.
Ed and Cho have faced all manner of danger during the hike across the Amazon, from sheer drops to anaconda snakes and caiman’s to illness, food shortages and let’s not forget Ed was accused twice of murder by local tribes (who Ed believes took a dislike to him as they had never seen a white man).
Another problem Ed faced every step of his amazing Amazon hike was mosquito bites, some “50,000” of them in total. Seems like Ed could have done with some mosquito repellent and a mosquito headnet or two. Though of course when Ed’s back in the UK walking his primary problem is likely to be midge bites.
At the time of publication of this post Ed’s website “walkingthemamazon” is down due to a huge amount of traffic. However, Ed also has his own personal website with a copy of most of the blog posts he made daily whilst on his hike.
You can also read more about this amazing hike on the BBC News website.