Amazon 2011 – DCL for BSES Expedition

I have taken up the post of Deputy Chief Leader for the 2011 BSES Amazon Expedition…

UTube Video:


The Amazon expedition is located in the far north east of Peru, not far from the borders with Brazil and Columbia. You will be in an area of the Amazon rainforest completely isolated from motorways, cities and industry, we have to fly into a town that has no road access and the rest of the expedition relies heavily on rivers for means of transport. The Chief Leader of your expedition is Stephanie Law who has lead on the Amazon expedition for the last three years.
Expedition Overview
To begin your expedition you will board an open river boat along with locals, families, animals and you will travel nearly two days up the Amazon and Maranon river to the mouth of the Samiria which is a point at which you will see the last of civilisation and enter into a very wild, remote and pristine rainforest wilderness called Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

Once in the reserve we rely on the local indigenous Cocama community for getting onto land, getting our canoes and beginning our expedition. The Cocama enjoy having us there; for many of the previous YEs staying over in this Cocama village was one of the most memorable things they did. The Cocama live in stilted thatch huts, they fish with spears and nets and can track a monkey or a aligator with ease.  We will invite several of them to continue with the expedition as you head even deeper into the jungle, through the river systems where the scientific work is carried out.   

You will undergo complete jungle training so you are familiar with machete use, fires, shelter building, identifying hazards in the jungle, crossing swamps etc.

The science research base camp is on a lagoon deep in the jungle, so your skills will be tested while you trek deep into the jungle, you will be an expert by the time you reach science base camp. Typically during your jungle trek you will encounter a range of primates, along with lizards, butterflies, and birds that will constantly keep you on the lookout. During this trekking phase you will carry out monitoring and survey work focused on parrots, dolphin, turtles, monkeys and alligators.  These are all species that give us an important indication of biodiversity and threats to population stability in Pacaya Samiria reserve. 

Your team will leave the science camp by canoe, tracing a network of lagoons and rivers toward the village of San Martin de Tipishca. We will use dug out wooden canoes made from a single piece of tree by the Cocama people to travel around the jungle; moving gracefully and quietly, it is possible to come upon Sloth, Caimen and massive birds of prey without scaring them off.

Once you have reached San Martin you will immerse yourself in the community and culture of the Cocama people; experiencing the daily way of life, which may include, maintenance of a Manoc plantation with an indigenous family, protecting turtle eggs with local school children or canoe maintenance to name but a few.

The community project started in 2010 and was unbelievably popular with the Yes. Some of the YEs had the opportunity to carve canoe paddles and learnt  how to bake bread in clay ovens.  Some also helped run lessons in the village school and organised games of football with the children of the village (and lost!!) 

From start to finish you will be fully dependent on yourself and your team for practical and social support – this feeling of wilderness isolation is guaranteed to surprise and stay with you for years to come.
This is a challenging expedition; you will want to look around, explore your surroundings and interact with you ‘fire’ as much as possible on this once in a life time opportunity. Although no prior experience is necessary, it is a fact that the fitter you are the more enjoyable your expedition will be.
Your expedition ends with all of the fires re-convening at the village in time to board another river boat for the final river journey downstream, back to the town of Iquitos.  Iquitos itself is an experience you will not want to miss, YEs will have time to sample plenty of food and see what odd and rare items in the market they can bring home. It is always a celebration when an expedition wraps up!
Leader Team
Chief Leader: Steph Law
Deputy Cheif Leader: Andie Brazewell
Jungle Leader: Arklay Purdie
Fire Leader: Major Andy Reid
Fire Leader: Laura Poe
Expedition Dates: 24/07/11 to 27/08/11
Location: Peruvian Amazon

About Andie Brazewell

Working with the profit and not-for-profit sectors of society, I am a Director, Business Development Consultant, Event Manager, Trainer, Facilitator and Expedition Leader.
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