I face the threat of tropical diseases such as malaria, the Dengue fever and yellow fever, numerous parasites and disease vectors. A trifling mosquito bite can cause several types of illnesses. Passing through the habitats of assorted fascinating but dangerous animals, fishes and reptiles is in itself a hazard – the jungle is the haunt of the black kaiman, of poisonous snakes and of the big cat of the selva – the jaguar.
The people who inhabit the river banks are just as diverse. Local communities can be divided into those of non-indigenous settlers and of the indigenous population – the Amazon Indians, with many of the tribes still living in complete isolation from the outside worlds, hence any entry into their territories is apt to provoke extreme aggression. In certain stretches of my route I can expect to be denied passage through their reserves, a ban that I will most definitely respect! My aim is to keep as much as possible out of their way so as not to disrupt their traditional rhythm of life. However well-meaning I may be, I must not forget that I am an outsider – a potential carrier of diseases and misguided culture which can be highly dangerous to them. A much bigger risk to the adventurer are the savages who have fallen prey to the corrupting influence of civilization. These groups go by different names: bandits, river pirates, drug traffickers – anyone with evil thoughts and a weapon in their hands. I risk being embroiled in an armed robbery or attack – something that actually happened to me three years ago, so it would be naïve to think that I will luck out this time around. Anything can happen in the jungle over a period of half a year.
In short, for a second time I will face my fears in pursuit of my dreams, this time much better prepared and far more mindful of what I am doing and why. I am going back to the Amazon because my love for the jungle has grown stronger. Its true untamed nature makes my heart beat with genuine passion. This is the strongest embrace in the world – the embrace between Nature and Human. I will prove that this embrace is not lethal. I embark on a journey of life, not death! Life in the Wild.
Follow the Return to the Amazon Campaign and learn more about this enchanted world which has remained unchanged from the time of the dinosaurs. Find out how you can support this unique adventure and the creation of The Embrace of the Amazon film so that the voice of the river may reach further.
Thanks to all those who believe in me.