It’s been far too long since we checked in on the Walking the Amazon expedition. You may recall, this is the unbelievably ambitious project in which British adventurer Ed Stafford, along with his companion Cho Sanchez Rivera, are attempting to walk the entire length of the Amazon River, something that has never been accomplished before. When they’ve finished this herculean task, they’ll have covered more than 4000 miles through thick, oppressive jungle, often referred to as The Green Hell.
Ed and Cho have recently reached the Brazilian city of Manaus, which is the largest city along the Amazon. With more than 1.8 million people, this is a town where they can rest, recuperate, and resupply before returning to the wild. Considering the long days and weeks the pair have spent slogging through the rainforest, it had to have been quite a shock to see an actual large, thriving metropolis for the first time in months. Most of the other settlements they’ve come across while trekking have been mostly very small villages, although there are occasionally towns of decent size along the river.
According to their most recent blog post, Manaus was indeed a bit overwhelming. Ed writes:
Cho and I wanted a place to recover and rest before our last push to the Atlantic – but Manaus isn’t that place for us. The prices are over double that outside the city limits and the industrial sprawl (now electronics assembly) is dirty and hectic.
Because of this, he and Cho have hopped a bus to another near by town, which is smaller and much slower paced. They’ll spend some time there repairing their rubber boats, used to ford streams and rivers, while they regain their strength and prepare to make the final push towards the Atlantic Ocean, which is roughly 900 miles away yet.
At this point, Ed has spent 667 days on this journey, having begun on April 2nd, 2008. I know that the original plan was to end sometime early this year, but the boys have been running a bit behind schedule, and the journey ahead of them will not be an easy one. I suspect they’ll be out on the trail for awhile yet.
As I’ve said before, this expedition continually boggles my mind. It’s such a massive undertaking, it’s hard to not be impressed with the sense of exploration and adventure. I hope the last long leg of the journey goes well for both Ed and Cho.
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