A few weeks back I posted a story about Ed Stafford, a former British Army officer, who is in the middle of one of the most amazing expeditions I have ever heard of. Ed is 454 days into his expedition to walk across the Amazon Rainforest. (Yes, the entire rainforest!) If everything goes as planned, he expects to reach the mouth of the Amazon River, along the coast of Brazil, sometime next year.
The Walking the Amazon website is a great source of information about they journey, and definitely the best place to start when getting up to speed with what Ed and his team have been up to sine he set out in April of last year. But to get the real flavor of the expedition you need to be following the @amazonwalkers Twitter feed.
When I first learned about this crazy trek, I immediately became a “follower” of the Twitter feed, and it has been a fascinating ride ever since. I find myself waiting for Ed’s updates, direct from the Amazon, each day, so I can find out what he’s up to next. For instance, in today’s “tweets” I learned that around July 7th he will have to wander away from the Amazon River to make a long crossing through the jungle itself. Ed doesn’t say why he has to leave the river, but I suspect he is moving around large flooded areas or swamplands and sticking closer to higher ground.
His subsequent tweets give us an idea of what he and his guide are in for. Ed says:
“It will be 350 km and an estimated two full months until we hit the main river again. Dangers increase with distance from the river.”
His next tweet explains more:
“The river is our evacuation route and our safety net. The river provides population to re-supply from. http://short.to/i1gy“
And if that wasn’t scary enough, here were the next two tweets:
“We’ve calculated we can afford to carry enough food – rice, noodles, farine & sardines – to give each man 1,100 calories a day for a month.”
“We can’t physically carry any more food than that and will supplement it with fresh fish, nuts and fruits that we can find in the forest.”
He follows it up with yet more details, including the fact that if they can’t find a community to trade with, or become sustainable on their own, then they will go hungry. He also points out that as the move deeper into the jungle, they’ll be facing the larger, scarier Amazon creatures, and indigenous people that seldom see outsiders at all, each of which are a real threat to Ed and his crew. If they get injured in any way, extraction is a very difficult process.
This is real adventure happening on a daily basis. An expedition that we can follow as it unfolds thanks to the use of modern technology, and a good enough reason in and of itself to sign-up for Twitter. Really amazing stuff to follow, with some great insights, and humorous thoughts mixed in as well.
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