Later today, 34-year-old Ed Stafford will complete a 4,200 mile journey to become the first person to walk the entire length of the Amazon River. It has taken him two and a half years.
Ed Stafford is a former captain in the British army who decided to walk the length of the Amazon "because no one has done it before." He told the AP that he's "no eco-warrior," but is hoping to raise awareness of the deforestation taking place along the world's longest river. Other expeditions have successfully followed the river, but all of them used boats for at least some of the journey. Stafford began his trip in 2008 with a friend from home but the friend left after a few months. Later a Peruvian forestry worker joined Stafford and stayed along for the remainder of the walk.
Along the way, Stafford has seen huge anaconda snakes, had his gear and toes eaten by leafcutter ants, and suffered through illness. He caught and ate piranha and bought dry foods from villages in the jungle. The trip has cost about $100,000, which Stafford covered by taking on corporate sponsors and receiving donations. At night he would download episodes of The Office to his satellite phone. It's a remarkable feat, and some of the videos he's made are definitely worth watching. Learn how to properly smoke and eat a piranha, and see what a hungry anaconda looks like!
Here's Ed running into a massive anaconda:
And here's how you prepare a piranha for cooking:
And since nothing these days doesn't have a sponsor, here's a promotional video for an amazing jungle boot company:
[Image and video via Walking the Amazon]