Swimming the Amazon: 3,274 Miles on the World's Deadliest River

martin strel amazon

February 8–Inahuaya, Peru

The more dangerous the trip gets, the more momentary we all become. Songs sound better, foods taste better, and seventy-cent-a-bottle cane whiskey is fun to drink.

Last year on April 8th, Slovenian marathon swimmer Martin Strel became the first man to swim the entire length of the Amazon River from headwaters in Peru to the Brazilian port city of Belém: 3,274 miles. It took him 66 days with a support crew of near twenty people following him in a boat for protection.

He’d already conquered the Danube, the Mississippi, and the Yangtze. In 1997, he became the first to swim non-stop from Africa to Europe, and he did it in 29 hours, 36 minutes, and 57 seconds… without a wetsuit. WTF? Seven swimmers had attempted it before and all had failed.

The Amazon was different. As the “Fish Man,” as the locals called him, reached the finish line at Belém, he had to be helped to his feet and ushered into a wheelchair amidst a cheering crowd. His blood pressure was at heart-attack levels and his entire body was full of subcutaneous larvae. But he lived to tell the tale.

I recently caught up with Martin about how he trained for and accomplished this feat… Don’t miss the excerpt at the end, which I included specifically for those of you — like me — who don’t quite fit in with the masses.

1) What were the biggest challenges you faced on the Amazon swim?

The biggest challenges were:

–Dealing with pirates; trying to not come into their hands.

We tried to go through their territories unnoticed, and use local people and their knowledge to help us.

–Piranhas, snakes, spiders, candirú, bull shark or other animals which make unpredictable attack; you have to be ready all the time if any piranha attack you. We had some buckets of blood ready in case of emergency, to distract the piranha and get them away from me if necessary. We saw a deadly bushmaster snake, but luckily I didn’t step on it. If I had stepped on it I would have been dead in less than an hour.

–Malaria, dengue and other unknown infections I could easily get in such a water/jungle environment. It looks like I have an “iron” body and very good immune system.

–Floating debris; I tried not to touch any of the debris floating downstream as it might carry a snake, spider, red ants or any other poisonous animals

–Peeing; I didn’t pee into the water straight as this attracts a very dangerous fish called the candirú, which lodges up human orifices with a razor-like spike and then sucks your blood. I was peeing all the time through the wetsuit.

2) How do you train for preparation?

Yearly I do 400 training sessions in the pool, ocean and rivers, 100 cross country ski sessions, 75 hiking and 75 gymnastic sessions. I train from 3 to 5 hours a day. Beside physical training I also do mental training in the forest around the fire or along the river banks. I try to get the energy from river flow and then turn it into my desire. It works pretty well if you are able to make it happen.

3) What’s more important: physical or mental power?

On my swims I’d say mental power. It is true it does not work with great physical training but I do strongly believe that there are many other good swimmers who could swim as I do, but they do not have their mind ready. And this is mental strength where I am really good. I could not do such great swim 20 years ago when I was much younger, now I can do it. And the reason is I am now mentally matured.

4) What do you eat and drink while swimming and recovering?

I eat regular food from soups, pastas, carbohydrates, fruit, vegetables to meat. I do not eat much meat because it is too heavy for me to swim afterward. Besides this I also consume a lot of liquid. Mainly I drink energy drink from Gatorade, Enervit and Spring Of Life. I do not drink “energetic bombs” like Red Bull. And I do drink wine and/or beer every day, even while swimming. This gives me a special power and relaxation I could not live without.

5) Did you ever come close to giving up on the Amazon swim?

Yes, there were moments I was thinking of going home. First one was right at the beginning when our main escort boat got stuck into the mud and I was far away on the river alone with the small navigating boat. A logistical problem.

There were also hundreds of daily organizational/logistical problems from the beginning and lots dangerous places on the river that I could drown. And i was afraid to continue. I was asking myself if I chose too big challenge this time, and if I might never make it and lose my life.

But at the same time, I got the positive, bright answer: NO. I want to conquer all these obstacles and stay alive. I wanted to show the world how important is to keep this place of the world clean and undestroyed, and at the same time achive the my mission that has never been done.

6) What goes through your mind when you are on a long swim?

While I am swimming long distances I am rolling very interesting different films and stories in my head in order to forget about swimming and pains that I have in my body. Basically I am like a robot and if someone suddenly “wakes me up,” I usually get angry, because I fall out of my concentration. This “robot stage” is an ability of high-level concentration, which works like hypnosis. So I could say that if you want to forget your pains and action you have to know how to put yourself into hypnotism.

This hypnotized stage could last up to one hour on my swims and I can repeat several times a day. I needed many years to train/teach myself how to do it. I could not do this when I was younger.

Otherwise, I think about everything. It’s difficult to just swim. I talk with myself and animals around me for many hours, play guitar in my mind, talk to God, talk with my wife. I believe when I was talking to my wife in the middle of the Amazon, she knew, thousands of miles away in Slovenia.

7) What is life like after completing a big swim? How do you get motivated to do it again?

My feelings are dreamlike. I worked hard, trained hard, and dreamed that someday, I would swim in the great Amazon river. Now my dream has come true. I feel that my mission in life is fulfilled, and should I pass away tomorrow, I am satisfied.

If there is another project I am going to take on, it will have to be an absolute new challenge for me. I have done the greatest rivers on earth. The only way you can devote yourself completely is to challenge yourself to do something unbeaten.

Excerpt from The Man Who Swam the Amazon, written by Matthew Mohlke, who was a river guide on the Amazon trip:

So, why do we follow Martin down the Mississippi, the Danube, the Amazon, or the Yangtze? The answer is simple:

An expedition is 95 percent misery and 5 percent ecstasy. After three weeks of constant motion in a land far way from home, something strange occurs in the sould of a man. He gets broken. The first symptom is a tired or sick feeling, maybe even some fear and a little helplessness. Loneliness. Then something slowly changes within. The old attachments start to fade and he becomes completely present. He forgets about all the crap that keeps him up at night back home. None of it matters anymore.

The same man who may be the shy, passive, no-balls type back home in the office or factory can evolve into a [person] who can share a table with the toughest of hombres and throw back beers with unswerving eyes, enjoying every minute of it.

After going home and dealing with all the meaningless details of electricity bills, lawn mowing, mortgage payments, and an unfulfilling job, a period of depression inevitably occurs. Those people back home can’t understand why he’d leave his cozy existence behind again for three more months to jump at the next opportunity to subject himself to such misery and danger.

But they just don’t get it.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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72 Replies to “Swimming the Amazon: 3,274 Miles on the World's Deadliest River”

  1. That’s incredible.

    I understand the difference between being physically matured and mentally matured.

    Tim, is this something you’re likely to consider doing? Not the “Amazon Swim”, but something of this monumental aspiration? You always say that when you dream big and aim high, there isn’t much in the way of competition.

  2. Awesome! Interesting to note how highly he values his mental powers alongside his physical ones. I like the bit about how he talks to his wife while he swims even though she is thousands of miles away.

    So, Tim, will we see you single-handedly circumnavigating the globe as your next project? 😉

  3. What an amazing story. I find it inspiring for a person to do something so physically and mentally challenging.

    Last week I blogged about taking a 30 day challenge to not watch TV. I think most people that read blogs like mine and 4HWW are doing so because they set out to accomplish something… Because they want to use their willpower to get something done. My blog simply carried the message “What significant task can you accomplish if you can’t even keep your TV off for a month?” I obviously didn’t invent this type of test. My mentor handed it to me years ago, and Tim you write about a “media fast” in your book. I think it’s a great exercise/test of willpower. (It’s slightly off topic… but this type of challenge can exercise a person’s willpower “muscle” to prepare them to move on to bigger challenges)

    The especially interesting part of this post about the Amazon swimmer is how he visualized and imagined making the swim… and then even visualized other interesting things during the swim. This should speak volumes about the power of intention and visualization.

  4. What an interesting post! I like the part about how he goes into the “robot stage.” That is like the “flow” you mentioned in the book, Tim. Very cool.

  5. Another Great Post Tim.

    Such an inspiring person. It’s important to plan ‘Big Ticket’ events in your life: achievements that you will always look back on in pride and awe. Obviously, Martin is someone for whom big ticket events are events that are beyond the reach of many of us. However, his example is inspiring in that it really helps us to see how doing amazing things can really enliven your life (not to mention making kick-ass memories when your 90 and looking back over the years!).



  6. Fascinating read, and that book goes immediately on the old wish list. Puts my current challenge to run every day for an entire year somewhat to shame, but, you know, one thing at a time…! 🙂

    Kudos to the guy for having beer and wine every day – even in this extremes, it’s nice to see a bit of moderation and balance in there, too.

    Also, aren’t there large crocodiles in the Amazon? He doesn’t mention them in his least-wanted list. I’d have thought they’d have been the biggest concern by far. Piranha attacks on humans are the stuff of myth, and while bull sharks can and do attack people, they’re nowhere near as prevalent as crocs.

    Be grateful this all didn’t take place a few years ago when monsters like this were in your slipstream… 😉

  7. The last part is critical. Leaving the “cozy existence” to pursue a fulfilling and action packed life is one that makes life worth living. If we look through history those whom went against the grain seem to have found some deeper meanings in life.

    Pura Vida

    Jose Castro-Frenzel

    PS. I am going to Corn Island in Nicaragua, I will send a video I am making over there : )

  8. tim,

    he seems almost unhinged living in a different reality altogether, not only in his swims but often in his day-to-day routines, training etc.

    did you get that impression when you spoke with him?

    great post.


  9. Great post Tim. It didn’t mention in the post how old he was, do you know? An awesome accomplishment for a twenty something, but me thinks he is no where near that young. I will definitely be getting the book.


  10. Crazy!! 52 miles per day!! That’s insanely fast – I guess you’d have the river current to help but even so, the man is a machine.

  11. Great read. He and Dean Karnazes have a lot in common. One swims ridiculous distances and the other one runs ridiculous distances.

    They both say they are not the best in their field but they can keep going longer.

  12. What an amazing guy! While I was reading this I had the image in my mind of being one of the support crew.

    I love what he said about the hypnotic state. I think I have managed to get into this state before when writing or sitting exams; a state of complete focus but relaxed focus, where you have a mind like water.

    Great post!

  13. Tim, do you know more about Martin’s self-hypnosis methdos?

    The feat itself is not as fascinating as the mental powers Martin summoned to achieve it.

    The Tibetan (and many other spiritual practitioners) spend almost 100% of their time honing this power of mind to perform similar less public feats. Meditation is a kind of self-hypnosis. I would be intrigued to know of Martin’s methods.

    As we all know, Einstein said we only use 10% of our brains.

  14. Hey Tim,

    If you would like to swim some awsome rivers in Australia just let me know! Travel accomodation included!!

    You are inspriring mate!


  15. Strel is truly an inspiration, but kudos to Mohlke not only for documenting the swim, but for understanding and so gracefully describing the transformation that occurs from normal –> lonely –> reinvented during a long trip, particularly one where you are completely out of your element, your country, your language. And particularly the suffocating feeling that occurs when you return back to what normal used to be.

  16. Learn more about Martin Strel at his website, and here is the official website for his Amazon swim.

    @ Thelma, that 10 per cent of brains thing is pseudo-science. Einstein was, in fact, making a joke that the press took as a factual statement.

    We all use 100 per cent of our brains. People like the idea that there’s this great untapped reserve because it gives you hope, but unfortunately it’s simply not true.


  17. Hey, Tim. The last excerpt is very interesting. It reminds me of how your “About” page lists Kenzaburo Oe as a major influence. I was wondering if you would consider posting on that topic, though it’s not exactly recent.

    (Haven’t read 4HWW, so I don’t know if you mention him there.)

    Great blog.

  18. Hi All,

    To be honest, it’s not clear to me how Martin enters his hypnotic state. It seems, based on the book and other feedback, that it’s more of a trance he enters after some period of the repetitive swimming. Distance runners often cite a similar experience.

    Jose, put the video up on YouTube and tag it “4hww jose” so we can find it! Would love to visit Nicaragua some time.

    Pura vida,


  19. To make things clear:

    1. He swims with flippers

    2. He swims down with the stream of the river

    So it was checked and confirmed that in without the stream, he swims an average of 20 miles a day, which is also nice.

  20. Nice to read that a small amount of wine and beer actually helped someone perform amazing physical feats. I guess it really is all about the mindset and the flow.

  21. “From AFRICA to EUROPE”!? Wow, you make it sound like a very far trip. If you meant NORTH Africa, and more precisely Morocco – Tangiers, then the trip is usually around 2 hours by plane.

    But still, nice achievement!

  22. I really can relate to the last part of this story about being alone in another country. I was actually stranded in Rome, Italy August 2007 after being robbed of my belongings (including passport, VISA and cash). I was there for 4 days before I got money support from back home. That was 4 days of pure enlightment. Then when you came home again, it is as the text says, you are another human being. You change mentally. It’s like the normal life is not that much appealing anymore because you have experienced how silly the “protected” life really is and how limiting it is. Humans are capable of much more than they normally think.

    These days I do more and more adventurous things. I take on more and bigger challenges just to test myself and I love every minute of it.

  23. He Tim,

    Leaving for the Greek Islands (following your flickr photos) and thinking of doing some training for a triathlon while I’m there. Will follow the tips while I’m there to get into my hypnotic state. Thanks again for a great post.

  24. Martin is indeed a truly remarkable athlete who sets a goal and goes for it no matter what. He is living proof that nothing can limit us except for the limitations that we put on ourselves. Endurance events cause people much discomfort usually to the point of pain, but you just can’t pay attention to that. Eyes on the prize my friends.

  25. For more on trance-like states read “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

  26. Loved this, especially the excerpt from Matthew Mohlke. Yes, after about three weeks something happens and you are in a different place physically and different state of mind. I used to live this way some 25 years ago as part of my profession. Coming back to “normal” was painful until I became accustomed to the transition, then it became humorous.

  27. Two of the coolest points he made:

    1) … I also do mental training in the forest around the fire or along the river banks. I try to get the energy from river flow and then turn it into my desire.

    2) This “robot stage” is an ability of high-level concentration, which works like hypnosis.

    These are great visuals for how he sets his mind to do what he does! Thanks for the inspirational post!

  28. Wow what a wonderful article. I was lucky to meet Martin personally in Germany when he was doing motivational speaking (it was amazing performance, very inspirational) and he is amazing guy. He is so simple man that u can’t believe. I expected someone who does not care for others. Just opposite! He talks to anyone and tells his stories of swimming the greatest rivers on earth. I cant wait to see his upcoming movie Big River Man.

  29. Regarding Strel’s use of visualization, the New York Times has an article discussing the importance and usefulness of this technique.

    Deep focusing and meditation on intent seem especially critical and fruitful in achieving seemingly impossible things. Even though I remain somewhat agnostic regarding the existence of God, I still believe in the power of spiritual/mental forces. I have used prayer and intense focus at critical times in my life to achieve things which I thought were near-impossible. I had no idea how I would achieve what I desired, but after focusing my intent completely on the goal ideas would appear and pieces would fall into place.

  30. “Then something slowly changes within. The old attachments start to fade and he becomes completely present. He forgets about all the crap that keeps him up at night back home. None of it matters anymore.”

    The entire excerpt at the end of your blog, and particularly this part, reminds me of a scene in the movie Dances with Wolves. Remember when almost this exact experience happened to Kevin Costner’s character? You can almost see the crap of his former life dropping off him as he narrates what’s going on inside of himself. Sounds pretty wonderful if you ask me.

  31. It’s true. If you set an enormous goal and hit it, you can content and at ease. Little worries don’t matter. And it you continue to live and dream, you’ll set and hit another goal that you didn’t think was possible. Don’t just dream, live.

  32. Hi Tim,

    That had to be an incredible adventure. There is much to be learned from someone who can control his mind and body such as Martin.

    You should check out my buddy Al at http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/, he does a lot of wild adventures too.

    Speaking of “pura vida”, my kids are in Brazil till late August.



  33. love your work timmy! always inspiring. was no surprise to see his answer that it is indeed (and always must be) the mind first the body second – regardless of the feat that stands before us.


  34. as author of the book exerpts above, i enjoyed reading all of your comments..i’m very happy that many of you could relate to those feelings that are detailed in the final exerpt…some publishers actually thought of cutting this out of the book as they said they didn’t know where to put it….the comparison to “dances with wolves” is great….those of us who’ve felt this transformation of spirit and then going back to normal again and feeling the depression phase understand that extreme sport becomes like a drug and we need to go further and further…now i’m stuck in a little town in wisconsin making 10 bucks an hour to do grunt work and it all feels so far away again…….matthew mohlke.

  35. i was leading the amazon swim expedition last year and matthew mohlke wrote a fantastic book about martin’s heroic achievement which is now getting into people’s home. feature-length documentary big river man about the same story is almost done and watch out for the release date. believe it or not i am quite sure that not many people in the future will try to do what martin did. there are only few people on the planet that are ready to risk the life to do such things. thanks a lot Tim for bringing this amazing story to your blog. good luck and watch out what we are going to do next. borut

  36. I recently read about another inceredible endurance athelete: Dean Karnazes. I read his book: Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All Night Runner. It is mind blowing what the human body can do when trained properly. I highly recommend this book it will motivate you to see beyond your perceived limitations and push for new goals. Visit the website at http://www.ultramarathonman.com/ .

  37. Great post! Martin has accomplished some very impressive things that I had never heard about before!

    After reading about Candiru on Wikipedia though, I don’t think I would even want to walk on the shore of the Amazon. Scary stuff.

  38. What an amazing adventure! We go stroke for stroke with the fishman of the Amazon, fifty something Strel, as he attempts the impossible. Is he crazy or incredibly driven? This work record swimmer has conquered most of the major rivers of the world but this is exceptional! The Amazon conceals deadly creatures within its murky banks and along its shores in the stinging insects, slithering reptiles and bequiling personal encounters. Jubilation,heat, fear and agonizing pain overtake the senses as you hear the jaguar and howler monkeys, the cheering throngs along the river and also the frightening hum of a boat motor in the dark of night as pirates or drug runners come too close for comfort.

  39. Excellent article Tim, very inspiring.

    As for the end bit, as a musician that has had the opportunity to go away from home for weeks and sometimes months at a time, I think I understand why the adventure calls you again and again. 🙂

  40. Not to be a killjoy but…

    …while rock climbing in Croatia I met some Slovenians and brought up this guy. What followed was 10 minutes of Martin bashing from his fellow counrtymen. They pointed out how out of shape he is and how someone calculated that he was barely going faster than a piece of driftwood. Apparantly a reporter challenged him to a swim contest in a pool, reporter won. Note that the reporter was 65 years old at the time and not an avid swimmer. They said essentially the guy is considered a joke in his home country.

    Read the book just keep in mind that the subject and author have a financial interest in selling you on the topic.

  41. @Saint Chris: Just to make it clear – I am Slovenian and he is not considerd a joke in his country. You should know something about the Slovenian people first – they do that very often: bash their fellow countrymen for achieving something, anything. Keep that in mind.

    It doesn’t matter what anybody says, that’s not important. It was his pesonal dream and he fulfilled it. Naturally he got into news, it is after all a great achievement (no matter what shape his body is in).

  42. Thanks for this reminder Tim.

    To pay you back, I’ll offer this– Solo ocean rower and environmentalist Roz Savage, after rowing the Atlantic, is on a Voyage to be the first woman ever to row the Pacific. (a quick goog will find her blog/podcast)

    Both people are entirely inspirational.

    Again, thanks!

  43. I was searching for Amazon and somehow landed up in here , never thought anyone could do it!! awesome!!

    Probably he should do Ganges this time!!

  44. That is absolutely amazing, I would be willing to do just about anything to master a level of determination and extreme concentration that this man has been able to master.

    Once again he has proven that nothing is impossible and everything is always

    Mind Over Matter.

  45. DId you post this as motivation to others, or is this foreshadowing a great task that you are aiming at accomplishing in the near future? Or both.

    I do enjoy your choice of inspirational icons. People who live trying to fulfill their dreams and get the most out of life rather than those who know how to make money, but in less than admirable ways. Money is nice, but living life on your own terms is far more satisfying.

    But for how many people is such a lifestyle possible? I suppose without trying we’d never know and without knowing we’d never truly live without regret.


  46. I didnt even know this was possible! Which I guess it wasn’t until now. What happened about sleep though, did he manage to sleep while floating, or not sleep at all, smth else?

  47. Hi Brian,

    Though not religious myself, I think faith in something larger than oneself is a tremendous aid in sports performance. If you think God is on your side, as some fighters do, it’s a tremendous confidence boost, to say the least.



  48. I enjoyed the article here––especially because I’d been prepped by reading the day-by-day, blow-by-blow, blog entries that appeared on BBC Mundo, in español. I did that reading because it was interesting to me, and because it helped me read things in Spanish. I learned some things about endurance by reading those entries––about doing what was intended even though it turned out to be harder than it was visualized to be. I’m about to embark on a trip, of sorts––the allopathic cure (attempt) for hepatitis C. The strong chemicals make some people feel pretty bad, and many just cack out. I want to make it to the end, do the whole thing. You gotta do what you gotta do,…or quit and never know how the trip would’ve gone, but know for sure that you quit.

  49. Hi everybody!

    First I would like to say thanks to Tim for a great book. It can really change your life.

    Second I come from Slovenia and I am very happy to see my fellow citizen appear on such a great blog. I am proud that a 2 million country has many great people like Martin:

    – Jure Robi? – first human to win RAAM 4 times (http://www.jurerobic.net/index.php?id=71)

    – Dušan Mravlje – won TRANSAMERICA ’95 – 4800 km and about 100 other ultra-marathons (http://www.dusanmravlje.si/rezultati.html)

    – Tomaž Humar – The World’s Best All-Around Climber (http://www.humar.com/pdf/whosthegreatest.pdf)

    Tim, Martin and others alike should be referred to as role models for young people to fight depressions, laziness, boredom and MTV-like values

    All Best,


  50. great story and just shows that we are all capable of doing exceptional things if we remove ourselves from the our everyday ruts. The only problem is the depression that comes when you return home and find the same old boring things taking place.

    thanks for the write up.

  51. In April 2010 I swam for only about 10 minutes in the Amazon River, at the confluence with the Rio Negro, during a one-day boat trip from Manaus. Swimming between the relatively cool waters of the Solimoes (the main, westerly branch of the Amazon) and the warmer, clearer water of the Rio Negro felt great. A combination of reading Martin’s report, reading about tourists swimming to feed dolphins and realizing that populations living along the Amazonas and its tributaries routinely swim and bathe in this river system influenced my decision to dive in without much trepidation. But my main motivation was to make a statement, namely that the Amazon River is not the deadly river it is made to be in popular discourse but a hugely diverse ecosytem that is a huge carbon sink and with its immense oxygen production the “lungs of the world” that we need to protect. This is all the more important now that more than 150 dams are being planned in the Amazon system, more than 70 in Brazil alone. They will change the ecology of this system forever, most likely for the worse, because the more than 2000 species of fish and many other other aquatic life forms are adapted to the seasonal flow fluctuations in river flow and are unlikly to adapt to lake-like and more stagnant water conditions behind dams. Increasing human populations around those dams and in rapidly sprouting towns and the industries the hydro-dams are planned to power, together with ongoing deforestation will all contribute to degrade the Amazon river system. Brazil’s environmental movement is becoming stronger and environmental legislation is gradually being enforced. Nevertheless, some practices, especially dam building without adequate environmental impact assessment, illegal logging and forest burning, all of which impoverish local people and destroy nature will remain a major concern of all persons and organizations fighting to manage the immense natural resources of the Amazon Basin in a responsible manner that ensures their sustainability for future generations.

    I but plan to write more on rivers as I revisit Brazil and Africa during my retirement years. I am 71 years old and have crossed the half-mile wide Jequitinhonha River in southeastern Brazil swimming, as well as the Nile in Egypt and the Awash River in Ethiopia. My goal is not to set long-distance swimming records but to enjoy rivers (also lakes and oceans) and help manage them wisely.

  52. I hope I did not bore anyone with that long piece with an environmental bent above but it describes experiences and ideas I wanted to present to the younger generation for some time. Today I want to add a note of caution to all newcomers to the Amazon who are thinking about swimming there. Although the Amazon may not be the “deadliest river” (the Nile south of Aswan Dam has larger and more aggressive crocodiles) it does claim the lives of people unfamiliar with the local aquatic life or who do not have a back-up team in a boat nearby as Martin did. I have not had a chance yet to read the book about Martin’s swim, which undoubtedly contains useful information for swimmers, but strongly recommend that anybody interested in swimming in the Amazon talk to the locals first and, ideally, go swimming with them, or swim when going on small boat tours with knowledgable tour guides on board.

    All the best,


  53. Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us, Helmut!!

    It was very interesting to read about your environmental standpoint and I really appreciate that you took the time to write all this down down for us to understand.

    Viele liebe Grüße aus Hessen.

  54. Wow – that’s impressive. Surprised he didn’t get eaten alive never mind all the bugs using him as a host. Takes a certain person to do something like this so hats off to him. Don’t think I would fancy it. Far too many beasties!

  55. Absolutely amazing and inspiring! It’s incredible what we are capable of when letting go of fear and applying mind over matter, thanks for sharing!