Ascent of the Amazon: the final chapter
£2,900 raised
29% of £10k goal
24 contributors
130 Days running

After traversing inhospitable terrain and crossing hundreds of rivers for over 4,500 kilometres, in 2021 I begin the climb out of the Amazon basin, my home for the last 4 years. Humanity needs to protect this critical region, and to do so we need to understand it better. My immersive journey has given me a wealth of experience of the flora, fauna and people who live along the course of the Amazon river. I financed the expedition by selling my home and everything I own, but the money has now run out, and I need your help to cover the final section from Pucallpa Peru to the source of the mightiest river on earth, high in the snow-capped Andes mountains.

"Our lessons come from the journey, not the destination"

~ Don Williams

Flooded forestOver four years ago, after working in the construction industry for 25 years, I took the life-changing decision to sell my apartment and practically everything I owned, to try to become the first person to traverse the length of the mighty Amazon river from sea to source on foot and by swimming across all the rivers including the Amazon river itself (several times!). It would be a challenge of monumental proportions, beginning at the mouth of the Amazon and making an uphill, upstream traverse of some of the most inhospitable terrain on earth, followed finally by a precipitous descent to the Pacific coast. There would be significant logistical challenges along the three or more year, 6,400 km trail, and I raised what I hoped would be enough money to complete the task.

Jungle Camp "We are here by the grace of trees & forests. They make our atmosphere, clean our water, & sustain the cycles of life that permit us" (Richard Powers)

 

Both man and nature have conspired to throw considerable obstacles in the way of the expedition, including over seven months of Covid-19 lock-down. However, in 2018 I became the first person to ascend the Brazilian Amazon on foot, and I am now over half way across the Peruvian Amazon and heading toward the Andes. Hard-won experience has prepared me mentally for the tough challenge still ahead, and physically I am fit.

As well as sharing this adventure on the AOTA website, i also use satellite tracking data set at intervals of between 10 and 30 minutes when moving forward as a digital record  of the journey.

  I cover the ground in consecutive stages, stopping at the end of a stage or stages when resupplying or for other logistical purposes. The course can be seen on the AOTA site, together with my blogs, photos and other educational information including the very popular A to Z of Amazon animals page.

 

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

~Lao Tzu


This incredible journey has so far taken me from the Atlantic ocean and the tidal mangrove forests at the easternmost tip of the world' s largest river island, Marajó in Brazil, to the flooded forests of the Peruvian Amazon, past the confluence of the Ucayali and Maranón rivers, to the large tropical city of Pucallpa. I will continue to ascend the river basin to the officially recognised source of the Amazon river high in the snow-capped Peruvian Andes mountains; and the final part of the expedition will be the descent to the Pacific coast, meaning I will also have crossed the continent from east to west.

 

Toucan at one of the communities "All things share the same breath - the beast, the tree,
the man. The air shares its spirit with all the life it supports."

~ Chief Seattle

During the expedition I am documenting my experiences of the people and cultures I encounter, through words and images posted on the website. I also highlight environmental issues, and offer observations on flora and fauna and the people who live along the river's course. The official AOTA site, ascentoftheamazon.com, is also a repository of historical and scientific information on the region, as well as hosting my blogs.

"I'd be an Indian here, and live content. To fish, hunt and paddle my canoe,
  In health of body and piece of mind, Rich without wealth, and happy without gold"

~Alfred R Wallace.

 No-one has ever attempted this sea-to-official-source journey by any means, and a successful expedition is expected to receive its due amount of media attention, perhaps on a global scale, building as the expedition nears its conclusion. National Geographic Poland recently published a 6 page article about the expedition, and my trials and tribulations are followed by many people around the world.

“Listen, O lord of the meeting rivers, things standing shall fall, but the moving ever shall stay.” 

~Basava,

Me swimmingI cannot complete my mission without your help. This fundraiser is the first of two planned in 2021 to take me step by step 18,000 ft up into the Andes, and then down to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The funds will be used to pay for satellite tracking and website costs, kit maintenance, including replacement cheap clothing & boots for myself & guides, SD cards for my video camera, a local guide, medical supplies, emergency rescue/evacuation insurance, food and accommodation in towns,  gifts for communities and my eventual return home costs. Although this expedition will achieve two world firsts, the narrative of the odyssey is about so much more: it is about the future of the Amazon and everything it means in a world so full of challenges. Help me make a difference in 2021. If you can, please donate something or opt for one of the rewards listed; if you can't, then please share, follow, and talk about my journey, the river and rain-forest. Thank you!

For more inspiration about the Amazon and its incredible biodiversity i highly recommend watching the Nat-Geo 'Wild Amazon' documentry below.

Updates

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Activity

£10
Acknowledgement on the Ascent of the Amazon site
Every contribution welcome, and it all adds up!
(Image courtesy "Prawny" at pixabay.com)
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£25 + shipping
Get an exclusive, signed (two year) AOTA Calendar
Ships Worldwide
Every twenty five pounds provides vital food and supplies for me and my guides during difficult parts of the traverse. Help me with this and get a unique two year! Amazon calendar, signed by me and with original photos from the expedition, printed on recycled paper of course. Also a listing on the partners page of the website, and in the book (If published) This reward will be organised post expedition.
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£50
Your name on the Maps page and Partners page
  • 1 granted
  • 9 remaining
My Garmin/Inreach satellite device is a vital part of equipment both for tracking the journey over the course of the expedition and for communications also potential emergency use. Help me by sponsoring a month's subscription to the service. Or all the estimated 10 remaining months for £500

I need to fund this throughout the next 9-10 months, and everyone who helps with this essential equipment will be acknowledged on the map page also on the location map under the latest blogs and on my partners page, and in the book (If published)

Thanks!

Click Read More below to find out more about the Garmin range of satellite trackers.
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£100
Your name on the Ascent of The Amazon Calendar
  • 2 granted
  • 10 remaining
Your name or company name and website address on one or more of the 12 original AOTA month images on a unique printed calendar. £100 for one month or £1100 for the whole year. Also links and names listed on the Partners page of the AOTA website and in the book (If published) This will be orginised post expedition.
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£250
Dine with me at Pachamama, Peru resturant London
  • 0 granted
  • 2 remaining
Dinner and conversation with me at one of London's top Peruvian restaurants, Pachamama's. (Post expedition of course) This does not include travel or the cost of the meal. Split the bill 50% each if one person. If more than one, separate bills!
Also you will be listed on the partners page of website and in the book (If published) Click on 'Read more' to see restaurant website.
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£500
Your name as sponsor on the AOTA website homepage
  • 0 granted
  • 4 remaining
Have your company logo (or name) and website link on the Ascent Of The Amazon homepage. I currently on average get over 4,000 views each month on the website, and this is expected to increase as I near the finish. Also a listing and link on the Partners page. And in the book (if published)
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£1,000
Your name on all future blog posts
  • 1 granted
  • 0 remaining
Have your personal or company name and website link displayed on all remaining blog posts including the latest blog, in the "Header Photos" of the expedition, as 'Blog sponsored by YOUR NAME'. Also listing on the Partners page and in the book (If published)
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