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Paddle to the Amazon: The Ultimate 12, 000 Mile Canoe Adventure Paperback – 1 Sep 1994

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Inc.; New edition edition (Sept. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771082568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771082566
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,091,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

It was crazy. It was unthinkable. It was the adventure of a lifetime.
When Don and Dana Starkell left Winnipeg in a tiny three-seater canoe, they had no idea of the dangers that lay ahead. Two years and 12,180 miles later, father and son had each paddled nearly twenty million strokes, slept on beaches, in jungles and fields, dined on tapir, shark, and heaps of roasted ants.
They encountered piranhas, wild pigs, and hungry alligators. They were arrested, shot at, taken for spies and drug smugglers, and set upon by pirates. They had lived through terrifying hurricanes, food poisoning, and near starvation. And at the same time they had set a record for a thrilling, unforgettable voyage of discovery and old-fashioned adventure.
"Courageous . . . Exciting and always immediate." -- The New York Times Book Review

"From the Paperback edition.


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I'm a keen kayaker so this book was a natural choice for me but I can only be in awe of his achievement in canoeing from Canada to the mouth of the Amazon via the Mississippi, eastern coast of Central America and through Venezuela to join the Amazon. He and his son come close to death on more than one occasion but even that doesn't deter them. An incredible adventure story.
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This is an amazing account of courage and commitment to a long term goal. What I find remarkable about Starkell's style of writing is that he is very forthright about stating any errors of judgement he made during this expedition (as he also was in 'Paddle to the Arctic'). The man is obviously able to laugh at himself. Another interesting aspect of this book is how the father and son relationship is affected during the journey. My only complaints are related to the graphics, the text itself warrants 5 stars. These concerns are; a) there should be more photographs, b) there should be only 1 photograph to a page (especially with a paperback), c) the maps should be much more detailed. Any books by Starkell have alot of practical value to people who do backcountry travel.
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It's actually 18 years since I read this--on a diving expedition in Belize--but I've never forgotten the sense of excitement it inspired in me. The journey that Don and his son embarked upon was mind-boggling in its ambition, and I remain in awe of the determination, courage and imagination they exhibited in seeing the journey to its close. I'd recommend this very highly indeed to anybody with a sense of adventure: whether you plan to get out and do amazing things yourself, or prefer to read about them from the comfort of a cozy chair at home. Time for me to get it off the shelf and re-read it, I think.
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By A Customer on 24 Jan. 1999
You may not like Don Starkell, but here is the type of guy that makes for good reading. His tunnel vision and pursuit of his goal is uncanny. Sometimes one wonders what he actually prepared for during the ten years that he spent getting ready for this world record trip. But,nevertheless, it's quite an exciting read. I wish there were more adventure books like this one out there.
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