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Page last updated at 10:21 GMT, Tuesday, 3 August 2010 11:21 UK
Ed Stafford to complete world first Amazon walk
Ed Stafford in the Amazon
Ed Stafford expects to finish his Amazon River trek after 859 days of walking

A Leicestershire man is just days away from completing the longest jungle trek in history, following the entire length of the Amazon River.

Ed Stafford from Mowsley began his walk on 2 April 2008 at the source of the river in Peru and is expected to reach the Atlantic shore on 9 August 2010.

He will be the first person to successfully walk the 4,000 mile route.

The 34-year-old said, "Everyone told me it was impossible, and it made me want to prove them wrong."

During his time walking the Amazon Ed has been wrongly accused of murder, faced imprisonment, endured stings from hundreds of wasps, dodged venomous snakes and had concrete forced into his mouth by hostile tribes people.

Ed Stafford in the Amazon
Ed has suffered two scorpion stings
Got through two pairs of wellies, three pairs of boots and four pairs of Crocs
Lost 7kg in body weight
Eaten 15 piranhas a day (but been bitten by none)
Carried 40kg in his pack
Removed 42 ticks from his skin in one sitting
Been told he will die 104 times

Ed's current walking companion Gadiel 'Cho' Sanchez Rivera initially joined the expedition in August 2008 to "help this crazy man through a very dangerous area with drugs traffickers and hostile tribes".

However the pair are now firm friends and they are equally set on completing the whole trip together.

The World's leading explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes described Ed's trek as "truly extraordinary".

"No-one has ever done this before and the pundits considered the route impossible.

"If the distance wasn't challenge enough, the dense forest, biting insects, snakes, bogs, wilderness and uncertainty of what lay ahead would daunt the staunchest explorer.

"To do all this in more than 800 continuous days with just a backpack puts Stafford's endeavour in the top league of expeditions past and present," said Sir Ranulph.

When he reaches the shores of the Atlantic, after 859 days, Ed will actually have walked 6,000 miles in total due to being forced further inland than intended by flooding.

Find out more about Ed Stafford's adventure in our image gallery

In pictures: Walking the Amazon
09 Aug 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
Two years into the Amazon jungle
13 Apr 10 |  Nature & Outdoors



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