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Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. One Step at a Time. Paperback – August 28, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the boldest modern-day adventures ever taken." -Bear Gryllis, host of Discovery Channel's Man Vs. Wild

“[Walking the Amazon] stands elbow-to-elbow with adventure classics from Thesiger to Krakauer.” -Mark Adams, author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu



"All generations need heroes; it's lovely to have a real one for a change." -The Times (London)

“Totally, completely and utterly mad.”  - Michael Palin, author and actor

"Vicariously joining this 860-day trek through extremely inhospitable terrain—made all the more challenging by hostile tribes, lethal animals, food scarcities, and extreme weather—has made for an exhilarating adventure."
-National Geographic

About the Author

Ed Stafford is the current European Adventurer of the Year; he was also finalist for the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2010, and he is a Guinness World Record holder for his feat (feet?!). Ed Started running worldwide expeditions after retiring from the British army as a captain in 2002. When not leading trips, he worked alongside the United Nations in Afghanistan assisting with the running of their first-ever presidential elections. Prior to this journey, Ed was in production with the BBC on its conversation series Lost Land of the Jaguar. In August 2010, he became the first man to walk the length of the Amazon River, accompanied by forestry worker Gadiel “Cho” Sanchez Rivera, for all but four months of the twenty-eight-month journey. Ed is planning future projects and he travels the world speaking about his adventures. To follow Ed, visit his website: edstafford.org.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452298261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452298262
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ed Stafford walked every inch of the Amazon River from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic in a bit over two years and four months. He had electronic communication with many folk and organizations on this trip and important, worthwhile reasons for the walk.

Often when I read an exciting book, I long to copy such adventures.

With GPS, Ed and a guide, Cho, kept within a reasonable distance of the Amazon River's banks, even during flood times--and even when the trek included hiking through mud-brown opaque water up to their necks, in areas where caimans (crocodile cousins) and piranha's lurked. Sometime they faced hostile, armed indigenous Indians and even more frustrating, uncooperative visa granting officials. And big snakes and constant ants and other biting bugs. Plus the need to carry heavy packs with their food and other supplies.

Would I want to try this trip? I will NEVER willingly enter water that's not crystal-clear enough to see completely to the bottom and know what's lurking there.

I admire Ed Stafford but he has no worries about ME challenging his record as the first white person to walk the entire Amazon River.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ed Stafford's journey was an amazing one. Spending two years walking the length of the Amazon River is a testament to his will and determination. I started the book with great interest and enjoyed the story of the journey. However, Stafford is not a writer. It is not that he isn't a talented writer, he is not and he all but acknowledges that fact. Stafford's ability to write is equivalent to a high school freshman. His grammar is so bad that at times I was unable to figure out what the sentence was supposed to mean. Of course, there were words and phrases that UK citizens would understand. That is not what I am talking about. There are sentences that can only be called sentences if one stretches the meaning of the word.

This critique is not just snobbery. Yes, there is snobbery, but it is not JUST snobbery. I enjoy a well-written sentence, and I'm distracted by badly written ones. It is clear that Stafford wrote the book on his own, and he should be commended for that. Anyone who has tried to write anything should know how difficult and painful the process can be. At least walking the Amazon meant there would be an end to the journey, and it was outside work. Writing is just a grind that stops when you run out of time. I don't fault Stafford. The publisher, however, should have at least had an editor work with him. Better yet would have been a ghostwriter. Someone who could push Stafford to think harder and deeper about what the experience meant and means as well as about his reflections (or lack thereof) at the time. Stafford does this to some degree. He is also candid in some areas, especially about why he wanted to make the trip. Yet, he could have gone deeper into his relationship with Luke, with Peruvians, Cho, and others.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have the UK hardback edition, but that is not listed here so I am posting this review to the Kindle edition as it would appear there anyway if I could post it to the hardback. There are some color pictures in the hardback version, but the story is what matters here so don't let that put you off if you love your Kindle.

Because the Leicester Mercury had featured an article about myself and my Amazon reviews in November 2007, I was asked to contribute a recommendation to a Christmas gifts feature in the run-up to Christmas 2008. I bought the paper to see who else was featured and recognized some genuine established celebrities as well as some people who I'd never heard of, among them Ed Stafford. I was amused to find that I was not the only Amazonian featured, but I could immediately see that his adventure was much tougher than anything I could ever have contemplated doing. Still, I was interested in his adventure and I knew then that there was likely to be a book at the end of it and that I wanted to read and review it.

It is clear from the book that while the author had done a fair bit of preparation for his adventure, and notwithstanding his previous outdoor work experiences including four years in service with the British army, he was ill-prepared in many ways for what lay in store. It seems like a miracle that he got through it.

Ed began his adventure on the coast of Peru, so he walked from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic. This may seem odd, but if you look at a map, you'll see that the recognized source of the Amazon is relatively close to the Pacific. I say relatively, but it still took Ed and his companions nearly a month to reach the source.
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Format: Paperback
Many months ago i saw some video of this man's journey on foot along the entire length of the amazon river and i knew i wanted to read the book. He does a good job of immersing the reader inside the jungle treks; along swollen river banks and slogging through chest high water cutting vines and bushes in order to have a space for their bodies. I really felt like i was on those trails and desperately looking for high ground in order to camp. His descriptions of the bugs which included ants and mosquitoes was so good that i found myself unconsciously scratching.

I also enjoyed reading about the frequent and endless hassles and delays with the political system and obtaining visas and permits. The degree to which most of the indigenous tribes were in absolute terror at seeing him believing him to be either from the oil company (which is rapidly using up the rainforest with the complicity of the government) or believing some of the fright stories told about white people (they will steal your organs) was surprising.

I liked how Stafford wrote about his deep genuine admiration and warmth towards a lot of his native guides especially Cho who walked with him for most of the trip till the very end.

I was surprised that Stafford was not fluent in Spanish before he left on this trip.

I gave the book 4 stars because it got too repetitive towards the end or maybe it was just because i was tired of taking the trip and carrying a 38 kg. backpack.
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