Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. The Impossible Task. The Incredible Journey Paperback – 7 Jun 2012
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"Walking from the Pacific, over the Andes and along the entire length of the Amazon to the Atlantic is truly extraordinary ... To do all this in more than 800 continuous days with just a backpack puts Stafford's endeavour in the top league of expeditions past and present." (Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE)
"Is this Britain's most intrepid explorer since Scott of the Antarctic?" (The Daily Mail)
"All generations need heroes; it's lovely to have a real one for a change." (Antonia Senior The Times)
"Ed Stafford is the real deal." (The Times)
'Walking from the Pacific, over the Andes and along the entire length of the Amazon to the Atlantic is truly extraordinary ... To do all this puts Stafford's endeavour in the top league of expeditions past and present' - Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBESee all Product description
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I have become a big fan of Eds exploits, he has taken the survival medium to a new level. He manages to do this with humility and respect and comes across as a very likeable character. In a world where we are bombarded with survival programmes carefully scripted and presented by ex special forces 'He Men' Ed Stafford manages to show them all the way, without ever looking like he's showing off.
What a guy.
It's obvious that Stafford's single-minded determination to complete the expedition led to him being a somewhat difficult companion to some of his travelling partners (most of whom didn't last very long) and he doesn't hold back in owning up to that. A few of them seem to be given slightly short shrift (some - even who presumably play an important role in helping Stafford - enter and exit the narrative with little fanfare) and there is little background detail on the places he visits either, but that's just not what the book's about. It's a rollicking read.
I love the visceral descriptions of every day jungle trekking, the fact that he doesn't sugar coat every meeting with the locals into some sort of wonderful spiritual experience as some writers do. What he does do is take the reader from one's comfy armchair and transports oneself into the Amazon, through mountain passes, swamps, rivers, backbreaking hacking through undergrowth, close encounters with venomous beasts and pain, with moments of pure joy.
Ed Stafford never loses his sense of humour, never loses sight of the end goal and what makes him tick, and it makes for a great read.