British Man Completes Walk Along Amazon River

Ed Stafford photographed by Keith Ducatel Exhaustion turned into jubilation for a former British Army captain on Monday as he became the first known man to walk the entire length of the more or less 4,200-mile long Amazon River.

Ed Stafford completed the 859-day trek on Monday when he reached the Atlantic Ocean in Northern Brazil, ending an adventure that tested his perseverance. “It proves you can do anything — even if people say you cannot. I’ve proved that if you want something enough, you can do anything,” said Stafford, who started the long and dangerous trek on April 2, 2008.

Along the way, Stafford said he encountered and survived everything the Amazon could offer, from 18-foot long caimans to food shortages, and to threats of being killed by uncooperative tribes. Stafford began the trek with a friend. However, the friend backed out after the first three months, but Stafford continued alone, except on occasions where hundreds of villagers would accompany him. He eventually met Peruvian Gadiel “Cho” Sanchez Rivera, who decided to finish the trek with him.

What’s next for Stafford? A long and deserved rest for over a year, then its back on the road less traveled, as the 34-year-old from Cambridgeshire plans to do a still undisclosed never-before-done trek by September 2011.