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Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. One Step at a Time. Paperback – August 28, 2012
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“[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."
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book, I could not put it down, plus I went back and went through it again. ThanksPublished 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
A big thumbs up to Ed Stafford; what a truly amazing achievement. A big thumbs down to his publisher, however. The text needs editing, perhaps even ghost writing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Ed Stafford walked 8,000 km from the Pacific Ocean to the High-Andes source of the Amazon, and then he followed the river through Peru, Colombia and Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Charles Bookman
Seriously nuts, this guy !!! Impressive feat that makes your own seem pretty lame. While there are undoubtedly long stretches of "dull moments" in the jungle, there... Read morePublished 2 months ago by J No
This is an incredible book and must read for those who like travelling in the unknown rainforest jungle, and I just could not put it down. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ujang Tinggi
Great book! I really admire the stamina and courage needed to do this! He goes into great detail about the experience. Highly recommended.Published 4 months ago by Tommy