Published on July 3rd, 2014 | by Paddleworld
David Midgley, a computer programmer from London, England, dreamed of doing something BIG, and different. A wild idea in a Scottish bar became a ten year project: learn to kayak, and then paddle the Amazon from Source to Sea. Darcy Gaechter and Don Beveridge met « Midge » in Ecuador during his travels and skill build up while he was preparing for the Amazon. He recruited us to help him run the whitewater portions of the source (the Mantaro river in Peru) and we decided to join him for the rest of the journey. Intrigued because we had paddled for years in Ecuador’s Amazon basin, we wanted to see the world’s biggest river. Darcy would become the first woman to paddle the entire Amazon. When we started the trip, more people had walked on the moon than had traversed the Amazon from start to finish. Now, with our journey completed, that number is tied. Twelve.
This video starts high in the Peruvian Andes at the headwaters of the Rio Mantaro, the newly recognized longest source of the Amazon, and ends 148 days later on a beach at the Atlantic Ocean. We started with altitude sickness and went from snow and freezing temperatures through high desert to steaming jungle. We passed through Peru’s notorious « Red Zone » famous for drug runners, Shinning Path insurgents, and wary indigenous people and paddled through pirate infested waters in Brazil. We had nothing but great interactions with all the people we met along the way.
Shot mainly on GoPro, but also some Sony handicam and Canon T3i, this video is a short compilation of our 5 month journey. Whitewater rapids, miles of flatwater, mosquitoes, blazing sun and pouring rain couldn’t stop Midge from reaching his goal: First Englishman to paddle the Amazon from Source to Sea.
Other « firsts » of note:
Darcy Gaechter, first woman to paddle the Amazon from Source to Sea (and first Vegan!)
First trip to complete source to sea on the Amazon in kayaks (other trips used other craft, or bypassed long sections)
For more information visit our trip website kayaktheamazon.com