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Matt Brandon

On the trail of the Amazon's biggest fish

Posted from: Jaraua
Mamiraua is beautiful. 90% of the reserve is flooded by the end of the wet season in May - the water rises about 15 metres. Everyone and everything here is ready to adapt to the change. The houses in Jaraua are either built on stilts or floating ready for the floods. Still, the inside walls of the front room of Dona Lourdes' house are stained at about neck height by the mark of high water from a few years ago.

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Matt Brandon

Fenix from the Flames

Posted from: Mamiraua nr Jaraua
Four months ago today was a big day for me, but I don't remember too much about it. I was being evacuated from our filming location in a remote Peruvian valley. A few days later I woke up in an intensive care unit in Lima - my wife Zoe was there and my parents were on their way. Everyone had feared the worst. The doctors discovered that I'd developed a brain abscess.

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Zubin Sarosh

A traumatic time

This trip has been an incredible experience that we've been privileged to have but, with the ups always come the downs, and there have been one or two of those on this shoot, most notably the scare we had with Matt Brandon, the Producer/Director. Matt and I have known each other since we were 13, we went to school together, he was the best man at my wedding, and he is godfather to my daughter Sofia.

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Matt Brandon

A lucky escape

This is going to be very short for obvious reasons. On Sunday (11th I'm told) we went out of the hacienda to film some simple shots of the area. I was feeling rougher and rougher with my head pounding to the point where I just couldn't move. Everyone had their fair share of sickness, so I presumed that it was my turn.

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Steve Robinson

Cocaine Badlands

Posted from: Miraflores / Lima.
It's strange to be back in Peru so soon. I wasn't expecting to be here again for a while, but have come out to take over from Producer/Director Matt Brandon who fell seriously ill just over a week ago. I saw him at the clinic yesterday and he seems to be recovering really well.

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Steve Robinson

Matt B taken seriously ill

Posted from: The Amazon production office, Cardiff
Producer/director Matt B is taken seriously ill in Peru. Steve Robinson explains what happened

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Matt Brandon

Time out

Posted from: Louisiana.
The trip so far has been incredible - the source of the Amazon, Rodolfo and his family, an epic trek, white-water rafting, and a lot more - but I'd be lying if I said that we didn't all enjoy a couple of nights in a hotel in Ayacucho and choosing food from a menu.

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Matt Norman

The Rapid with no Name

Posted from:Tocador.
After an early start and long drive we met up with our white water rafting guides and set out to explore one of the high Peruvian tributaries of the Amazon. This leg is going to be particularly difficult when working with the camera equipment as we need to capture great shots of white water rafting yet not destroy our cameras at the same time.

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Matt Brandon

Mistaken identity

The team get mistaken for land developers

Matt Brandon

A technical perspective

Posted from:Angostura
The altitude has been a shock but the source of the Amazon was amazing - water just spewing out of this wall. The mountains are covered with snow and the landscape here is totally epic. It's been really, really tough and it's very cold, so technical things like keeping batteries charged is a problem.

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Matt Brandon

A difficult story to tell

Posted from:Journey to Angostura
It's cold and snowing and today we're setting off on the arduous trek to Angostura. Everyone is pretty tired, a combination of hard work, altitude and waking up at 3am freezing in the tent. The absolute last thing I wanted to do this morning was get out of my sleeping bag and I don't think I was the only one.

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Matt Brandon

Mutiny on the Mismi

Posted from:Base camp Mismi
David - our guide and translator for this section - took the opportunity to make an emotional offering to the mountain at the source and invited us all to join in. All of us found it equally moving and we each took three coca leaves and prayed to the Apus before making a request and then placing the leaves into the first waters of the Amazon.

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Matt Brandon

The Big Opening

Posted from:The Source
Last time I blogged Almu and I were on our way to an Alpaca Shaving competition. The competition was in the beautiful and very rundown town of Ran Ran. Many people were dressed in traditional Andean outfits, and there were obviously a lot of alpacas around. The shaving competition was saved until the end of the day, and despite chewing lots of coca to combat the altitude we both felt less than good. Almu was soon dressed in traditional clothes and, not wanting me to be left out, someone soon found a spare poncho and hat for me to put on.

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Matt Brandon

Alpacas and Altitudes

Posted from:Colca lodge
We've had an epic three-car convoy and 15 hour drive yesterday through some of the most spectacular countryside. Bruce and I shared a car so that we could talk through what we were letting ourselves into - but a 4am start after a late night meant that we weren't entirely communicative. Bruce managed to sleep through various wrong turns and woke up as we drove over a 4500metre pass. We got to Colca (approx. 3700m) in the end, and it is stunning!

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Matt Brandon

His and His watches

Matt B and Zubin show off their new purchases

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