Amazon Express Update: Into And Out Of Manaus


West Hansen and his merry band of paddlers are continuing their journey down the Amazon at a remarkable pace. The team is now knocking off the milage in large chunks and passing milestones on a regular basis. The latest of those came this past weekend when the team reached Manaus, one of the largest cities on the river. That location puts them about 1000 miles (1600 km) from their finish line where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean. That seems like a long way to paddle, but if they continue at their current pace, they should probably reach the end in the next couple of weeks.

Their stay in Manaus was a short one, as the intend to be back on the water today. But it gave them an opportunity to take a brief rest and restock some of their supplies. West has been paddling pretty much non-stop since mid-August and after covering more than 2500 miles, 500 of which were rough whitewater, he’s feeling the strains of the journey.

Reading the team’s updates I’m reminded of just how large the Amazon River truly is. I’ve been there myself and was in awe, but sometimes you forget the scope of this waterway. The video below puts it somewhat into perspective, as the boat that is seen here is actually an ocean-going cargo ship that managed to sail 1400 miles (2250 km) up stream. For a vessel of that size to go up the river that far, you know that it must be not only plenty wide but more importantly plenty deep.

The team isn’t quite in the homestretch just yet, but they are doing well. I think they’ll be wrapping up their epic expedition by early to mid-December. Stay tuned for more updates.

Kraig Becker