Leicester

Amazon explorer Ed Stafford given adventurer award

Ed Stafford
Image caption Mr Stafford's journey has taken him across South America from Peru to Brazil

An adventurer who walked the entire length of the River Amazon has been given an award in Sweden.

Ed Stafford, 34, of Mowsley, Leicestershire, completed his 6,000 mile (9,600 km) trek in August last year.

The former soldier was given the title of European Adventurer of the Year at an event called the Wilderness Fair in Stockholm.

Mr Stafford walked from Peru to the Brazilian coast in 859 days.

He had to contend with vipers and electric eels and was also wrongly accused of murder during his journey, which began in April 2008.

'Great adventures'

Mr Stafford said: "It means a lot that the expedition has been recognised in this way.

"In walking the length of the Amazon river I hoped to create an adventure so exciting it drew people into my unfolding story online, and into the Amazon itself.

"This award is for all those who followed my adventure online, and who sent messages of support and money for the charities."

The jury for the award said he was being presented with it "for having completed one of the world's last great adventures".

Mr Stafford is the first Briton known to have walked the entire length of the South American river.

The Amazon is about 4,000 miles long, but he travelled an extra 2,000 miles after being forced inland by flooding.

The Adventurer of the Year award was set up in Sweden in 2005 and recognises a person for "outstanding performance in the concept of adventure". The European title was added in 2009.

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