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Amazon trek adventurer given award

A British explorer who became the first person to walk the entire length of the Amazon has been given the title European Adventurer of the Year.

Former Army officer Ed Stafford, 35, reached the mouth of the river in Brazil in August last year, 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.

Stafford, from Mowsley, Leicestershire, received the award at an event called the Wilderness Fair in Stockholm.

The jury for the award said he was being presented with it "for having completed one of the world's last great adventures".

It added: "His expedition ranged more than 6,700 kilometres from the Peruvian Andes across Colombia and into Brazil and gave an insight into the lives of the locals in an endangered rainforest."

Stafford said: "It means a lot that the expedition has been recognised in this way; in walking the length of the Amazon river I hoped to create an adventure so exciting it drew people into my unfolding story online, and into the Amazon itself. This award is for all those who followed my adventure online, and who sent messages of support and money for the charities."

The Adventurer of the Year was set up in 2005 in Sweden. European Adventurer of the Year was added to the awards last year and the first recipient was Italian climber Simone Moro.

It recognises a person for their outstanding performance in the concept of adventure.

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