Out There: A Human-Powered Journey Across Brazil

A video dispatch from the Brazil 9000 expedition
Staff Writer

Aaron Chevernak

Aaron Chevernak and Gareth Jones are several weeks into a human-powered, 9,000-kilometer (5,500-mile) journey across Brazil called Brazil 9000. Starting along the country's border with Guyana, the two plan to canoe, walk and bicycle across some of its wildest, most remote regions until they reach the village of Chuí, on the Uruguayan border.

Last week, the pair posted their first video update from the field, and it tells the story of what's already been an incredible journey. In 37 days, they've covered 753 kilometers (468 miles). They hiked over savannah and bushwacked through thick, mountainous jungles in search of Mount Caburai—their intended starting point—with neither map nor trails to follow. They hired a local guide, but he abandoned them 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the nearest village with the words, "No aguento maís," ("I can't take anymore."). After days of fruitless searching, Jones and Chevernak decided the source of the Rio Maú, which forms the Brazil-Guyana border, would be a good, if easier to find, substitute for Caburai. Now the adventure could truly begin.

They hiked across what they describe as an uninhabited "no man's land," packrafted down the Maú to where it was big enough for a canoe and then ran what local miners told them was an impassable, rapid-strewn section of the river in 11 days. From there, it was an easy paddle down the relatively wide Rio Branco to Boa Vista, where they're currently resting up for an 800-kilometer (497-mile) paddle south to Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas.

Check out the gorgeous video of the first leg of the journey, and look for more updates down the line from Jones and Chevernak.

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