"We paddled up river alone into some of the most beautiful tropical wilderness imaginable." In the image, a jungle hut.
courtesy Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak, SOURCE
Three fishermen living on a river island schooled Gareth and Aaron for a few weeks, teaching them how to fish and other essentials. In the image, Tumucumaque fisherman, Amapari Amazon Brasil.
courtesy Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak, SOURCE
Piranah for dinner.
courtesy Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak, SOURCE
Praying mantis.
Image by Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak , SOURCE
Aaron with jungle bananas.
Image by Gareth Jones courtesy Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak, SOURCE
"We are as close as friends can be, but when you are tired, hungry and haven’t seen another soul for so long, it’s pretty easy to get snappy." Gareth taking a nap.
Image by Aaron Chervenak courtesy Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak, SOURCE
Campsite.
courtesy Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak, SOURCE
"We disappeared inside [the jungle] and found ourselves completely isolated for weeks on end. "
courtesy Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak, SOURCE
Amazon rainstorm.
courtesy Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak, SOURCE
Aaron.
Image by Gareth Jones courtesy Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak, SOURCE
Portable canoe.
courtesy Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak, SOURCE
ExWeb interview with Gareth Jones & Aaron Chervenak (2 of 2): “Three Amazon fishermen schooled us for a few weeks”

Posted: Sep 20, 2012 07:35 pm EDT
(Correne Coetzer) In 2010 Gareth Jones and Aaron Chervenak walked out of their steady but unfulfilling jobs in London and Los Angeles and headed for the Amazon with a portable canoe. As lost gringos in the jungle they were schooled by local fishermen, had their share of scares and fell in love with the jungle.

In part two Aaron and Gareth tell ExplorersWeb why they go back to the jungle and about the biggest lessons they have learned.

Currently they are on a mission north from Manaus to find the mysterious military marker which marks their start point at the most northern point of Brazil.

ExplorersWeb: You have done a previous expedition in the jungle/Amazon. Tell us a bit about that and how will that help you now?

Gareth: In 2010, when we took our portable Ally canoe into the remote Tumucumaque region of the Brazilian Amazon. The Tumucumaque is the largest national park in Brazil and one of the largest areas of protected, pristine tropical rainforest in the world. It’s located close to the border with French Guyana. British explorer John Harrison has written a couple of brilliant books on it.

We were jungle novices and very much in at the deep end. Luckily, we befriended three fishermen living on a river island on the approach to the national park. They schooled us for a few weeks, teaching how to fish and other essentials.

We then paddled up river alone into some of the most beautiful tropical wilderness imaginable. The park is still closed to visitors and we disappeared inside it and found ourselves completely isolated for weeks on end.

We had our share of scares, including a machete accident and a jaguar leaving paw prints and scent near to our camps, but above all this we fell in love with the jungle and were amazed at how peaceful we found it.

The biggest lesson asides from the basic jungle skills was how to cope with being so tightly bound to each other 24-hours a day. It is a huge part of the challenge we face on Brazil 9000 – how to avoid driving each other mad and having the expedition fall apart because of this. We are as close as friends can be, but when you are tired, hungry and haven’t seen another soul for so long, it’s pretty easy to get snappy. On the Tumucumaque trip we let the little things silently build up without discussion until they exploded – a big mistake.

You can watch this short film on this journey:

South at the 28th Spring from The Skeeto Lounge on Vimeo.


ExplorersWeb: What are you looking forward to?

Gareth: Reaching Rio de Janeiro, which is like a second home for me. There’ll still be a long way to go after that, but reaching Rio will be a big celebration.

Aaron: I am looking forward to Brazil 9000 hopefully inspiring more youth to get out and see the world. I realize that many people make gap years for self-enrichment…I am talking about the ones who don’t, especially in the United States. How can the US play such a prominent role in world affairs when less than half its population own passports?…scary.

They have release this pre-departure update and intro video a week ago:

Brazil 9000: Leaving Los Angeles from The Skeeto Lounge on Vimeo.


Hobbies:
G: surfing, photography.
A: motorcycle riding, photography

Favorite music:
G: Bob Dylan
A: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Favorite Food:
G: Mum’s home cooking
A: Sea Urchin + Mom’s Lasagna

Favo Website:
www.sidetracked.co.uk
- Inspiring stories of adventure travel

Latest read book:
G: John Hemming – Tree of Rivers; The Story of the Amazon
A: John Harrison – Off the Map

Best expedition yet:
G&A: Tumucumaque, Brazil 2010.

Dream destination:
G: Angola
A: Madagascar

Gareth Jones (UK) and Aaron Chervenakwill (USA) will attempt to do a complete human-powered voyage from Brazil’s most northern point at Caburaí, to its southern extreme at Chuíon, the border with Uruguay; covering a distance of over 9000km (5500miles) by foot, canoe and bicycle. After travelling through the Amazon basin by canoe, Gareth and Aaron will hike out across the scorched Caatinga hinterlands and on down thousands of miles of tropical coastline to Rio de Janeiro, where they will start paddling.

The expedition starts in the second half of September 2012 with the search for the start point and is expected to last more than 15 months.


Related Links:

The big Amazon paddle: ExWeb interview with record kayaker Christian Bodegren

Previous about Gareth and Aaron

Amazon Davey recovering fast

Brazil 9000 blog
Brazil 9000 Twitter
Brazil 9000 Facebook

This expedition (and other expeditions with RSS feeds) can be followed in the live Dispatch stream at the Pythom app and at ExplorersWeb.

ExplorersWeb Expedition List


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