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Journey facts

  • Peru

    Type of fact: info

    Latitude: -10.141932
    Longitude: -75.27832

    Area:
    1,285,220 km² - slightly smaller than Alaska
    Population:
    28,674,757 (July 2007)
    Average life expectancy:
    70 years
    Ethnic groups:
    Amerindian 45%, Mestizo 37%, white 15%, Black, Japanese, Chinese, Other 3%
    Languages:
    Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara and a number of Amazonian languages
    Literacy:
    87.7%
    Borders:
    Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador
    Climate:
    tropical in the east; dry desert in the west; extreme cold in the Andes
    Natural hazards:
    earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, mild volcanic activity
    Government:
    presidential democracy
    GDP:
    US$ 78.6bn (2005)
    Unemployment:
    8.5% (2006)
    Major Industries:
    Mining, hydrocarbons, fishing, textiles, food processing, agriculture, financial services and tourism.
    Major trading partners:
    United States, Latin American countries, European Union
  • The source of the Amazon

    Type of fact: info

    Latitude: -15.525376
    Longitude: -71.567188

    The source of the Amazon is a trickle of water coming off a cliff high in the Peruvian Andes. Although it has been known for centuries that the Amazon springs from the Andes' high glacial regions, identifying the particular peak where it is born has baffled explorers and scientists and is the subject of continued debate. A National Geographic expedition in 2000 pinpointed the precise location of the source as a spring of a tributary on a slope of Nevado Mismi: a mountain that towers at an altitude of 5597 meters in southern Peru.

    Although there are claims for other tributaries to be the source of the Amazon (depending upon which criteria are used to measure the likelihood), Mismi is now most widely accepted as location of the true source - hence the decision that Bruce and the crew should start their journey at this point. By the time its journey ends in the Atlantic Ocean, the Amazon has not only become the world's largest river by volume but possibly also by length, depending on which exact point the river is considered to end, and the ocean to begin.

  • The Amazon forest

    Type of fact: info

    Latitude: -13.453737
    Longitude: -71.191406

    • Amazon forest covered about 5.4 million km² in 2001, approximately 87% of its original coverage
    • 62% of the Amazon is in Brazil
    • The forest hosts a quarter of global biodiversity
    • 15% of global terrestrial photosynthesis takes place here
    • Over 1988-2006 deforestation rates in Brazilian Amazonia averaged 18,100km² a year
    • In 2004 deforestation reached 27,400km² - an area greater than the size of Wales, which is only 20,000km²
    • Brazilian deforestation rates have fallen by 52% by 2006 to about 14,000km² per year because of the combined results of a decrease in prices for soya, increased strength of the Brazilian currency and active Brazilian government intervention
    • Roughly 6% of deforested land has remained in cropland, 62% in pastures and 32% in re-growing vegetation
    • 16% of the Amazon is gone forever
    • Once you go beyond 30/40% of deforestation you reduce rainfall
    • Amazon river is 4,250 miles/6800km compared with the Nile, which is 6695km
  • The Andes

    Type of fact: info

    Latitude: -6.730076
    Longitude: -79.299316

    The highest mountain in the Andes stands at a mighty 6768 metres, or over 5 times the size of Ben Nevis. There are around 20 million people living on the Andes mountains, and living here means that people avoid the malaria and other diseases associated with the lower Amazon.

    However, the people of the Andes do have to contend with natural hazards such as landslides and earthquakes, and the high altitude results in extremely cold temperatures. Sometimes people suffer from breathing difficulties and altitude sickness because you take in less oxygen for each breath, and this can particularly affect visitors such as Bruce and the team because they aren't acclimatized to the lack of oxygen.

  • From the source to the sea

    Type of fact: journeyend

    Latitude: -1.450040
    Longitude: -48.647461

    The port of Belem is the place where Bruce and the Amazon team will reach the end of their epic journey - where the Amazon meets the sea.

  • Cusco

    Type of fact: info

    Latitude: -7.144499
    Longitude: -76.420898

    Cuzco is a city in the Andes that the Inca called the "centre of the universe". It was here that Bruce and the crew prepared their kit before setting off. Until it was captured by the Spanish, Cuzco was the capital of the Inca Empire that flourished in Peru from 1200 - 1533.

  • The source of the Amazon

    Type of fact: journeystart

    Latitude: -15.525278
    Longitude: -71.690833

    The journey begins at the source of the Amazon, a trickle of water coming off a cliff high in the Peruvian Andes. By the time the river's journey ends in the Atlantic Ocean it has become the world's largest river by volume and possibly also by length.

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To protect the security of the crew, blogs are posted on the site three to five weeks after they are sent

Rob Sullivan says

Rob Sullivan

"We've done it. We've reached the port of Belem, the gateway of the Amazon..."

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