John Ridgeway’s adventure with John Cowie, Sean McDermott and Anna Asheshov: a race with time in the High Andes, through the Jungle and on what is probably the last of the world’s great river navigations – 4,000 miles down the Amazon to the Atlantic. July 1970 ‘Already I had a pretty good idea the expedition would be on. There was the familiar feeling of elation connected with any act of positive living, and the usual sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach – once again I would know fear in anticipation and feel the calm out on the edge of life where one mistake means death.’ Chapter One: The Idea The first time I ever discussed the idea of canoeing down the Amazon was in 1966 with Chay Blyth. We talked of the idea for several hours. In the short term, however, the immensity of rowing across the Atlantic pushed all other plans aside. Two years later I was fifty days alone in a thirty-foot yacht, the first of nine men to sail round the world single-handed. Although my attempt failed as the result of a collision, I managed to think out a working plan for my future life before the journey ended. At thirty years old, I felt I should spend six months of the year at our remote croft home on the north-west of Scotland where the mountains sweep down to the empty Atlantic. We would build a School of Adventure where people could experience genuinely the same direct confrontation with the ‘real’ world which I find so stimulating and satisfying. During the six months of winter each year I planned to make a ‘journey’, either mentally or physically. I hoped this would broaden my experience of life and help me to enjoy myself at the same time. I hoped that if I followed the plan I would be able to make a contribution to society and yet avoid becoming stale and set in any particular way of life. Hardcover, 286 pages. In good to very good preloved condition with some creasing and wear to the dust cover. There is also a small stain along the top edge of the book approximately 4cm by 2cm that only affects the top edge.