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An Amazonian adventure: Walking the length of a very long river

By Ed Stafford, Special to CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Stafford: "CNN's commitment to following us has put a spring in our steps."
  • A navigation error meant an extra four-day trek in the jungle
  • They hope to reach the end of the Amazon in about 11 days
  • "We wash whenever we can ... bacteria are rife ... Hygiene is vital"
RELATED TOPICS
  • Amazon Rain Forest
  • Brazil
  • Peru

Editor's Note: Ed Stafford, 34, from Leicestershire, central England, has been walking the length Amazon River since April 2, 2008, to raise awareness of the region. He began his trek at the source of the river in Peru, encountering pit vipers, electric eels, anaconda, mosquitoes and scorpions. He was joined in July 2008 by Gadiel "Cho" Sanchez Rivera. The pair are due to reach the shores of the Atlantic on August 9. During his trek Ed has blogged using a laptop and a satellite internet link. You can follow his journey on the Walking the Amazon website. Here, he describes a typical day.

(CNN) -- With eleven days to go things are already beginning to change for Cho and I.

CNN and the media at home in the UK have spread the news about our 'little jungle walk' and the messages that are coming through to the website are just unbelievable.

If you've left one thank you so much - from Cho and me - we have been blown away.

CNN's commitment to following us has put a spring in our steps which is great as timings-wise we have our backs to the wall now.

We (I) made a navigation error a few days back misreading an electricity pylon as a road on Google Earth.

Video: Walking with the 'Amazon man'
Video: Walking the Amazon

With no road, we were back into the jungle for a rude extra four to five days which we're in the middle of now. Cut to ribbons by razor grass we made 8.6km today. A 5am start tomorrow should help us make up lost time.

This expedition is already largely a memory and so I deliberately enjoyed sipping my coffee gazing into the fire's flames last night.

Cho and I often don't speak - quite content in our own little worlds as the beans bubble and the smoke escapes. We're both becoming acutely aware that 'our little worlds' here in the jungle are very soon coming to an end.

The freedom of living in the jungle for two and a half years has been wonderful; you can roam where you want and as we wash in the stream at the end of a long days walking, quite often no-one sees you but the birds and the ants.

Read Ed Stafford's blog about an emotional encounter with locals

Life in London in a fortnight may take some slight adjusting to.

I think though that Cho's due for a bigger culture shock than me when we finish.

Although he's going back to Peru first to see his family, we have plans in place to bring him to the UK.

Two years ago he'd never seen an escalator, been out of the country, or flown on a plane.

Now he's launching himself into a new adventure in England. We'll stay in touch with our friends at CNN and hope that they follow Cho's tweets through the upcoming months at "JungleCho".

For me the excitement of being so close to achieving my dream is hard to contain.

Not much more than a week and it will be complete.

I quoted Muhammad Ali on my twitter account recently: "Don't count the days. Make the days count."

After two-and-a-half year's of walking that's easier said than done.

Part of complete coverage on
Introducing Ed and Cho
Ed Stafford has been walking the length of the Amazon River since April 2008.
Trials along the way
With eleven days to go things are already beginning to change for Cho and I.
Re-entering civilisation
Ed Stafford and and Gadiel "Cho" Sanchez Rivera finally enter civilization.
Video diary part 1
British adventurer Ed Stafford shares the medical issues he encounters while walking the Amazon.
Video diary part 2
British explorer Ed Stafford shares video from his journey of walking the Amazon.
Video diary part 3
The end is near for British explorer Ed Stafford on his two-year journey across the entire Amazon River.
Video diary part 4
British explorer Ed Stafford discusses the charities he's raising money for as he walks the length of the Amazon River.
Video diary part 5
British explorer Ed Stafford discusses the technology he uses to stay in touch and what he does for fun in the Amazon.
 
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