Ed Stafford became the first man to walk the length of the Amazon river in South America from the source to the sea. He walked for:
He started on 2nd April 2008 and finished in August 2010. No-one had ever done what he attempted.
Ed is a firm believer in three principles that have guided him through many remote expeditions: ‘self-reliance’, ‘positive thinking’ and ‘humour in the face of adversity’.
Ed, 34, from England, has led remote expeditions all over the world. He started running expeditions after retiring from the British Army as a captain in 2002. Whilst not leading trips Ed worked alongside the United Nations in Afghanistan assisting with the first ever presidential elections advising on security, planning and logistics. Prior to this journey Ed was in production with the BBC on their conservation series ‘Lost Land of the Jaguar’.
“Like Livingstone and Scott before him, Stafford has completely bought into the stiff-upper-lip masochistic absurdity of his endeavor, and he’s proud of it.” Men’s Journal, June 2009
Ed’s passion lies in pushing himself to achieve feats that others may not believe are possible. He is inspired by explorers such as Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Borge Ousland and Mike Horn – all of whom have accomplished outstanding feats of human endeavor. Ed intends to use his expeditions to educate about environmental issues, whilst inspiring people to throw off the shackles of convention and believe that they can achieve their dreams.
“If he achieves his aim, it will be a stupendous achievement, right up there with Hillary’s ascent of Everest and the conquerors of the poles.” Daily Mail, December 2009
Cho joined Ed in August 2008 – five months into the expedition. He was born in Pucallpa, Peru although he normally lives further up-river in Satipo where Ed met him. When they started Cho was only walking with Ed for 5 days – he now says it is his mission as much as Ed´s to walk to the mouth of the Amazon. Cho is normally a forestry worker and is very used to living with and negotiating with indigenous peoples.
One of the most commendable things about Cho is that he knows that he’s only ever going to be 5 months short of completing the whole expedition but he is as determined as ever – despite this truth – to accompany Ed to Belem.
Keith is an outstanding expedition photographer that is the official photographer to Walking the Amazon. He has photographed people and expeditions all over the world and an example of his work can be viewed at www.keithducatel.com.
Keith presented Ed’s National Geographic talk on Regent St, London in July 2009 and interviewed Ed via satellite video link from the Amazon. Keith intends to return to take more shots of the expedition in August 2010.
Marle is an artist by nature. She is a former teacher who dedicates her free time to help the helpless… “That`s how I met Ed” she says, “as soon as I saw how crazy he was, I felt extremely comfortable, that`s why I decided to help him during his stay in Peru.”
I’m a telecommunication engineer, I always liked to talk to foreigners and get to know about different cultures. Because of this I met Marle online some years ago and we became good friends.She has been telling me about Ed’s expedition since he was in Peru. At the beginning I thought it was too crazy but now he is about to enter Brazil!! It was a pleasure to be invited to be part of this team. At the end of his journey we will all celebrate in Brazil close to the sea!!
Oswaldo, 24, from Cusco was Ed’s origional guide and walked with Ed up until Pichari. He has now returned home to his family.
Alfonso Ampuero Dongo and Andreas Ampuero Dongo are Asheninka brothers who live in Nuevo Pozo on the River Ucayali. They set out for a couple of days and ended up walking with Ed for 46 days.
Raul is from Nuevo Dos de Mayo in the Lower Ucayali. He is ex-military and has worked in Brazil for many years and speaks Portuguese. He is also accustomed to working with Westerners and guided a biologist for several years whilst she was conducting transects in the forest around his village. Raul walked with Ed from Orellana to Nauta.
Baruga joined Ed and Cho in Pebas, Peru and intended to walk just up until the Colombian border. Baruga is a very astute person however and Ed wanted him to continue through Columbia too as he has experience of working in Colombia and his ex-wife is in fact Colombian. Baruga has a new wife and two kids in Pebas, Peru and holds both Peruvian and Colombian citizenship. He is a forestry worker (logger) and would like to build a jungle lodge for eco-tourists in the area surrounding Pebas.
Jorge is a forestry machine operator who is also ex-military. He’s from Iquitos but has lived in various locations along the River Ucayali. He’s 50 years old but can walk through the jungle at an enviable pace. Jorge walked with Ed from Orellana to Nauta.