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Ed completes his Amazon trek.

A BRITISH adventurer has become the first person to walk the entire length of the Amazon after a gruelling 4,000-mile trek lasting nearly two-and-a-half years.

Former Army officer Ed Stafford, aged 34, reached the mouth of the river in Brazil 859 days after setting off from its source high in the mountains of Peru.

Along the way he encountered venomous snakes, electric eels and piranhas, as well as being wrongly accused of murder and chased by tribesmen armed with machetes, shotguns and bows and arrows.

The final leg of the expedition proved one of the most challenging, with Mr Stafford collapsing at the side of the road a few hours before reaching his final destination.

But he made it to the Maruda beach on Brazil's northern coast, accompanied by Peruvian forestry worker Gadiel "Cho" Sanchez Rivera, aged 31, who joined him five months into his journey.

The ex-soldier wrote on Twitter: "Job done. 28 months and Cho and I have finished walking the Amazon. I always knew it was possible."

Mr Stafford, from Mowsley, Leicestershire, started his jungle quest at the summit of Mount Mismi, in Peru, on April 2, 2008.

He suffered an estimated 50,000 mosquito bites and hundreds of wasp stings before completing his trek yesterday. The adventurer used the trip to raise money for charity and to educate schoolchildren from around the globe about the Amazon.


End: Ed Stafford shakes hands with Gadiel Sanchez Rivera as they arrive to Marapanim in Brazil's Para state. Inset, Ed in the jungle.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 10, 2010
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