I flew to the mouth of the Amazon River in a state of naïve wonder. I had never been on a cycling tour, had never traveled to Brazil, had never traveled alone, had never camped in the jungle, and my Portuguese vocabulary consisted of roughly 50 words. Needless to say my preparation included a lot of guesswork.
I was to bike the entire width of the Amazon Jungle across nearly 2,000 miles of dirt tracks, over the cold high passes of the Andes, and finally north through the barren coastal deserts to Lima, Peru over 3,000 miles away. The intention was to see firsthand the destruction of the Amazon, find the limits of my endurance, cross the continent via a rarely traversed route, and experience a piece of the world’s greatest jungle before it disappeared.
What I imagined my journey would be barely resembles what I found.
- Doug Gunzelmann