Ed Stafford, 34, from Mowsley in Leicestershire is celebrating becoming the first person known to have walked the length of the Amazon River, through South America, from the source to the sea.
He set out on his journey on 2 April 2008 from Camana on the Pacific coast of Peru, and finished at the mouth of the Amazon River on the Atlantic coast of Brazil on 9 August 2010, having walked around 6,000 miles in 859 days.
Ed said, "It's been two and a half years of slogging through the Amazon and to finally get here is just the most phenomenal feeling. When we flopped into the ocean and Cho and I were hugging each other, we were just absolutely overcome with happiness."
Ed travelled with fellow adventurer Luke Collyer for the first three months. Since then Ed has walked with hundreds of local guides. Gadiel "Cho" Sanchez Rivera has become a long-term guide and friend who was equally determined to finish the trek.
Ed said that Cho had become like his brother in the 24 months they have spent together. "Pretty much his skills complement mine, he's got everything I'm rubbish at. I owe Cho a hell of a lot and he's probably half the reason I'm here now."
One of the main aims of the trek was to allow people a glimpse into the world of the Amazon Rainforest, highlighting its wonders and the complex problems that arise from deforestation. Ed has also been attempting to raise money for five charities.
Ed was only allowed to move forward on foot. Where the river was too wide for swimming, he has used hand-paddled craft to directly cross the water but not to advance further. River flooding added about 2,000 miles to the expedition.
After leaving the Army in 2002, Ed gained experience of the rainforest environment leading conservation jungle expeditions and working as an expedition consultant for the BBC. Before setting out he topped up his survival expertise with ex-SAS men.
Ed experienced mixed receptions from the indigenous communities encountered along the way. In Peru he was falsely accused of murder, abduction and stealing body parts, but was treated with "genuine kindness" by many Brazilian people.
One of Ed's most challenging moments of the trip was when he and Cho were taken hostage at gunpoint by Asheninka Indians due to a misunderstanding about their passes to walk through indigenous community territory. Luckily an understanding was reached.
Ed has endured thousands of bites and stings from various insects, been forced to remove fluid from a swollen elbow, and had Cho remove a burrowing botfly from his head, suffocating it with superglue and prising it out with a tree spine.
Despite a few setbacks, Ed never regretted his decision to set out: "I love the challenge of knowing how many people said I would die and that it was impossible. I knew it wasn't." He claims he has been told he will die 104 times during the trip.
Ed continued: "Every time it gets tough and we have our backs to the wall it just re-invigorates this determination to show people that you can achieve things that are beyond what many think is possible."
Ed avoided killing big animals due to conservation concerns, but along the way was offered armadillo, spider monkey and tortoise, and has eaten approximately 15 piranhas a day. The only thing he's not keen on eating is brussels sprouts!
Ed said: "Our staple is rice and beans, and whenever we can we supplement that with fish and often the fish is piranhas because they're really easy to catch - you just stick of bit of meat on the end and they bite immediately."
The expedition's major sponsor pulled out in early 2009 which left Ed relying largely on the kindness of others. His mother even offered to sell her house to keep him going: "Very lucky to have such a lovely mum. But I'd never let her do it - crazy woman."
Ed had to cope with limited communication with family back in Leicestershire. "The sat phone is pricey and I have limited bandwidth on my mobile internet unit but I chat to Mum by email and my sister Janie ever so often too. They are used to me being away.
"I'm completely at home in the jungle but it doesn't stop me yearning for a match up at Stoneygate, a pint in the pub in Hallaton, or going down to Welford Rd to watch the Tigers. Leicestershire is God's country - a magnificent unsung part of England."
Ed kept the rest of the world up to date via weekly blogs and videos on his website walkingtheamazon.com. He is grateful for the dedicated followers who have sent him encouraging messages throughout the highs and lows of his expedition.
Ed is already planning his next adventure, set to deploy in September 2011, but won't give anything away: "The problem is this kind of industry is based on ideas and so I have to keep that pretty close to my chest at this stage."