Row the Amazon Cambridge Judge Business School logo Leonard Cheshire Disability logo

2077 miles. Two men. One boat.
Mark de Rond and Anton Wright will row the entire length of the Amazon River in September and October 2013.


  • 11 SEP 2013
  • By Anton Wright

I feel like I'm the diversion, it's true, I think I'm being sacrificed to save Mark and anyone else within 10 meters of me. I seem to be being attacked nonstop whereas everyone else is left alone. What am I on about? I'm talking about every single bite on my athletic and toned body (might be exaggerating a little). The bites though are a real issue for me, I feel persecuted. Mark has a couple, Patti has as well, even Murilo with his built in immune system has been seen to slap a bite. However, I seem to be the free buffet and they are feasting on me, I can imagine that every mosquito in Peru got a Facebook message as I got off the flight, "he's back lads, dinner time." One of the reasons we are having a sneaky gin and tonic every night during the row is because I'm hoping it will make me taste a bit less appealing.

Joking apart it is an issue when you think of all of the warnings about malaria and Dengue fever that we have had - I'm using any and every insect repellent I can get my hands on. A favourite is an organic home made one that we acquired off a local friend, it comes in an empty water bottle with a trigger spray top, it smells delicious and yet as Mark has pointed out it stains everything it touches. For the bites I brought along a large amount of Anthisan cream but Murilo noticed a few of the bites, the ones on my ankles, had got infected and he gave me some Sangre De Grado which is a local handmade jungle medicine. He started to apply it for me at first using just a finger and purposely mixing it into a paste before applying, but eventually it was chucked on by the handful and rubbed in. I've bought two large bottles of the stuff and just like the repellent it stains everything.

In the boat we have an array of different sprays, covers and treatments but as you know we don't have the boat so in the meantime I just have to struggle through. We also have a bright yellow boat which is not the smartest colour to have chosen - we will however be out on the water and my hope is that on the water there will be fewer bugs and any bugs there are will be blown away by the breeze.

A serious problem would be if we had some sort of infestation on the boat during the trip. If we managed to gather a family of cockroaches or ants on board then we would really struggle to get rid of them - the boat has numerous cubbyholes and hatches to hide behind. However, I have noticed that my reaction to bugs and creepy crawlies has changed - I no longer climb the highest structure I can find or scream like a little girl. There was one instance where I slipped on a pair of hostel wellies for a trip to the market in the rain, after a few minutes I felt the movements of an unwanted guest in my welly, I casually took off the gum boot to find a cockroach about 4cm long fall out with my foot. It wasn't a big deal, you see them everywhere and we just chucked it outside with the rest, I can imagine the reaction of a few other people though in the same situation.

I'm hoping that my bites will die down and the itching will cease, I'm hoping that I will soon be too tired to do anything about it because we will be fighting a different battle, I'm hoping that this is the worst of it and that I will stop getting eaten as much, but let's be honest it's not going to change. I must be the tastiest man in Iquitos and until I get to a cooler climate I think I will just have to grin and bear it.

  • Luther on 11 SEP 2013

    Don't you mean "Gin and bear it!"?

  • Ithamar on 11 SEP 2013

    I seriously hope you guys got your malaria shots before heading off!!! Good luck and tell me when do you hope to reach the ocean?