Suffolk adventurer Lucy Shepherd first person to complete uncharted and dangerous Amazon trek

Lucy Shepherd

Lucy Shepherd during the Guyana trek. - Credit: Michael Macdonald/Instagram

Suffolk-based adventurer Lucy Shepherd encountered venomous snakes, huge caimans, some of the largest spiders in the world and a herd of boar during a 250-mile trek through an undiscovered part of the Amazon rainforest.

The 29-year-old from Henham, near Southwold even saw her raft capsized at the start of her expedition through Guyana to the Brazilian border with a group of local guides. 

She was the first person to ever conquer this route through uncharted Amazon jungle so dense in places it could take a day to cover just yards.

Two members of her support team had to drop out of the trek after being injured during the 50-day journey.

They lost one of the two rafts that the team started with after it capsized in the first few days - and Ms Shepherd said she feared the expedition could come to a premature end but they were able to carry on.

A third of the trip was completed under the dense rainforest canopy which did feel claustrophobic, she added.

There were many dangers during the trip - caimans the size of alligators, venomous snakes and huge spiders. But the most frightening creatures they encountered was a 500-strong herd of peccaries, a South American wild boar.

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The trek started at the King William Falls and crossed the Essequibo River before continuing beside the Kanuku Mountains and finishing at the town of Lethen on the Brazilian border.

They arrived there at the end of last week and Ms Shepherd is now preparing to return to her home in London.

As she prepared to fly home, she thanked her team on Instagram: "Thank you to My Forest Family. I cannot express my gratitude enough to these incredible people who I have had the honour to work alongside with; deep in the forest, these past couple of months.

"Aaron Bernadine from Sand Creek Village, Michael McDonald from Parishama village, Vivian Smith from Rewa village, Lionel James from Surama Village, Maximus Griffith from Haiwia Village & Carlos Honorio from Rewa Village have all shared a remarkable experience together.

"We navigated our way through terrain that was so unforgiving at times and required all our strength as a team to come together and push through.

"We turned to one another for support, learnt from one another and laughed together (a lot!) Every single one of these men are the kindest, the most skilled and passionate about their forest and culture."

Ms Shepherd is no stranger to remote places - she has made trips to Svalbard and Greenland in the Arctic and to many other remote parts of the world. Her first visit to Svarlbard was as a teenager.

In 2015 she became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society at the age of 23 - and has said she wants to be a role model for girls to head off on adventures after she was inspired by Bear Grylls and adventure stories.

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