Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Briton completes epic Amazon walk

Ed Stafford celebrates arriving to Crispim beach in Marapanim in Brazil's Para state
Ed Stafford celebrates arriving to Crispim beach in Marapanim in Brazil's Para state
Ed Stafford has completed a record-breaking 4,000-mile trek along the Amazon
Former soldier Ed Stafford on his Amazon trek

A British adventurer became the first person to walk the entire length of the Amazon after a gruelling 4,000-mile trek lasting nearly two-and-a-half years.

Former Army officer Ed Stafford, 34, reached the mouth of the river in Brazil 859 days after setting off from its source high in the mountains of Peru.

Along the way he encountered venomous snakes, electric eels and piranhas, as well as being wrongly accused of murder and chased by tribesmen armed with machetes, shotguns and bows and arrows.

The final leg of the expedition proved one of the most challenging, with Mr Stafford collapsing at the side of the road a few hours before reaching his final destination.

But he made it to the Maruda beach on Brazil's northern coast, accompanied by Peruvian forestry worker Gadiel "Cho" Sanchez Rivera, 31, who joined him five months into his journey.

The ex-soldier wrote on Twitter: "Job done. 28 months and Cho and I have finished walking the Amazon. I always knew it was possible."

Mr Stafford, from Mowsley, Leicestershire, started his jungle quest at the summit of Mount Mismi in Peru on April 2 2008.

He suffered an estimated 50,000 mosquito bites and hundreds of wasp stings before completing his trek today.

The adventurer used the trip to raise money for charity and to educate schoolchildren from around the globe about the Amazon.

Mr Stafford's original travelling companion, fellow Briton Luke Collyer, left three months into the expedition after the pair fell out.

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