In 2010, Stafford, a retired British army captain and worldwide expedition leader, became the first person to walk the entire length of the Amazon River. Accompanied for the majority of the trip by a Peruvian forestry worker nicknamed "Cho," Stafford trekked across mountains, through jungles, and always downriver. 4,000 miles and 860-days after he set out, the intrepid traveler raced into the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Here, Stafford recounts numerous details of his trip-from the nerve-wracking preparations to the extensive list of equipment and technical paraphernalia necessary for the expedition-as well as thrilling anecdotes from the trail. En route, Stafford and Cho navigated flood waters, stumbled upon Incan mummies in remote cemeteries, dealt with hostile natives, and endured the miserable "manta blanca (white coat)... of swarms of sand flies and mosquitoes." In addition to the countless traumas and triumphs of the physically demanding journey, Stafford holds forth on grander issues whose impact he witnessed firsthand, including drug-trafficking and deforestation and their effects on tribal communities. Fans of Jon Krakauer will revel in Stafford's environmentally-minded adventure. Photos.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"One of the boldest modern-day adventures ever taken."—Bear Gryllis, host of Discovery Channel's Man Vs. Wild
“[Walking the Amazon] stands elbow-to-elbow with adventure classics from Thesiger to Krakauer.”—Mark Adams, author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu
"All generations need heroes; it's lovely to have a real one for a change."—The Times (London)
“Totally, completely and utterly mad.”—Michael Palin, author and actor
"Vicariously joining this 860-day trek through extremely inhospitable terrain—made all the more challenging by hostile tribes, lethal animals, food scarcities, and extreme weather—has made for an exhilarating adventure."—National Geographic
A memoir of an astonishing trip walking "nine million-odd steps" for more than two years along the Amazon River's course from Peruvian headwaters to Brazilian mouth. In this book about becoming the first person to perambulate the Amazon's entire length, Stafford chronicles the countless obstacles he faced, including canoes of armed indigenous peoples, dehydration, sickness, lack of sleep (his insomnia caused "the hopeless despair of seeing the sun rise when I had still not managed to stop my brain racing") and overwhelming swarms of insects. In addition to the stories of his impressive adventures, the author explores his friendship with the longest lasting of his many walking companions, Gadiel "Cho" Sanchez Rivera. Along the way, Stafford wonders if trying to break a record is "selfish," and he acknowledges that those with lofty goals occasionally occupy an "insular bubble of blinkered determination." Not this author, however; faraway events and nightly reading impacted him as much as immediate concerns of hunger. Stafford's writing is lyrical and mostly engaging, and he offers numerous anecdotes about how to survive in the wild. On the verge of starvation, he and Cho found a tortoise, and the author's recounting of its preparation is as engrossing as the meat was nourishing. Though boredom threatened Stafford's appreciation of the unfamiliar, he was always able to recapture the joy of discovery. For him, "everything is relative and, when you've been walking for 639 days, a ten-day leg through unknown jungle that no one in the village could remember being walked in living history seemed nothing." A gripping celebration of physical and mental endurance.