Man Hiking the Length of the Amazon River

Former British Army officer Ed Stafford is well on his way to becoming the first person to hike the entire length of the Amazon river, from its source to its mouth. He's been hiking for 612 days and hopes to complete the journey in August. In The Daily Mail, Mark Barrowcliffe writes:

The challenges he faces are monumental. So monumental, in fact, that Arctic explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has written to Ed to warn him that the stage in front of him - the deep Brazilian jungle - will be 'difficult'. You can take it that this is something of an understatement, given that it comes from a man who once sawed off his own fingers after they became frostbitten.[...]

His average day would kill most people. Up at dawn, he walks for around eight hours, until 3pm. At this stage of the journey he will be lucky to have covered 7km in that time. This is jungle, real jungle - and you pay for every step with willsapping swings of the machete.

It's like clearing the thickest hedge you could imagine for a whole working day. Only this hedge is filled with razor grass - which is pretty much as the name implies, grass that will cut exposed flesh to ribbons - huge thorns and spines on trees sharp enough to go straight through a carelessly placed hand, deadly snakes, poisonous spiders and foot-long centipedes so venomous that they can blister your skin with a touch. Oh, and the odd man-eating big cat. Specifically, jaguars.


Link via Radley Balko | Photo: The Daily Mail

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Now this is bloody amazing. I've always been fascinated by these sorts of physical feats, in the tradition of those famous explorers from years gone by. I hope he writes a book about this.

Someone like this is infinitely more fascinating and worthy than some fool who posts stupid videos of themselves online and become famous for it.
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