Marcin Gienieczko has announced a bold new expedition that will get underway on May 1 of this year. The adventurous photographer and journalist intends to cross South America by bike, canoe, and on foot, with his route that will take him to the very heart of the Amazon Rainforest and along the mightiest river on the planet.
Marcin is calling his expedition the Solo Amazon (site in Polish and Spanish), and he will begin the journey with a 750 km (466 mile) bike ride from Lima, Peru to the small town of San Francisco. From there, he'll begin an epic canoe journey that will eventually cover more than 6130 km (3809 miles) beginning at the Apurimac River and the very headwaters of the Amazon itself. He'll then proceed downstream to the Enge, Tambo, and Ucayali before paddling out onto the Amazon. He'll follow the river until he reaches Belem in Brazil, at which time he'll complete his journey to the Atlantic Ocean on foot, running all the way while carrying the Polish flag.
Passionate about photography and exploration, Marcin is no stranger to long distance adventures. His previous expeditions have taken him down the Yukon River in Alaska and the Lena River in Siberian Russia, as well as several other long distance floats in those locations, as well as Canada. In 2009 he even crossed Siberia on foot in temperatures that routinely plummeted to -50ºC/-58ºF. Crossing South America will be an entirely different challenge however, as the unique environments of the Amazon will create obstacles that he hasn't seen on his previous journeys.
While the expedition is called "Solo Amazon," Marcin will have a guide for part of the excursion. In the most dangerous section of the trip – when he'll be passing through a region mainly under the control of drug lords – he'll be joined by Gadiel "Cho" Sanchez Rivera, who accompanied Ed Stafford on his historic expedition to cross the Amazon on foot a few years back. Cho has become the "go-to" guide in the Amazon since those days, and he'll help lead Marcin through some perilous parts of the route.
Marcin says that he is looking forward to the start of the expedition, although he knows that it will be a physical and mental challenge. The journey will be a long and difficult one, but his past experience will help him survive in the wilds of South America. We'll see how he fares when he gets underway in a few months time.
Good luck Marcin!