I'm not a thrill-seeker. I find it hard to understand people who are. But there are thrill-seekers, and then there are lunatics.
Martin Strel is a lunatic. He has a history of swimming rivers, big ones, including the Danube, the Mississippi and the Yangtze in China. Hmmm...after you swim the Yangtze, what's left? The Amazon.
So here's why this guy is a nut:
1. Deadly whirlpools
2. Flesh-eating piranhas
3. Multiple types of poisonous snakes
5. Bull sharks
6. Candiru fish (these little treats climb up the urethra when one urinates, then implants a spike and begins feeding on surrounding tissue)
8. Roving bandits
Any one of those would have been enough for me to decline. What's wrong with the YMCA pool, anyway?
He ended up swimming 3,272 miles in 65 days, losing over 30 pounds during that period of time. His team rode along behind him dropping blood and raw meat into the water so as to draw the various predators away from him.
What's next? According the Mr. Strel, the Nile is too tame. He actually referred to it as "a small creek". Maybe he'll have to start tackling oceans.
Amazon Swim 2007