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Rio Roosevelt, the "River of Doubt"

Amazon Rainforest, Brazil - Nov. 2014
This expedition was the first episode of filming we did for season four of Angry Planet.
 
The goal was to travel deep into the Amazon jungle and visit Rio Roosevelt, named after former U.S. president Teddy Roosevelt who travelled here after his presidency. Back in 1913-14 it was called the "River of Doubt" and the expedition endeavored to map the river's course. Their journey was fraught with hardship, impassible rapids, illness, and even a murder.
 
We re-traced a small portion of that expedition, and also looked for one of the expedition's long lost boats.

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Dense Brazilian rainforest.
Birds reflected in the river.
Travelling down the river.

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A large black caiman.
Closeup of the caiman's eye.
This caiman was known to the locals, and it has been known to leap out of the water for fish.

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We caught some fish and suspended one from an overhanging branch.
The caiman goes for it.
It's amazing how far out of the water they can leap.

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He got it.
The thundering rapids along Rio Roosevelt.
We planned to kayak down part of the river, but this stretch was far too dangerous to even consider.

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On the bank of Rio Roosevelt, with a flag from the Explorers Club.
Explorers Club flag #220.
A very hairy tarantula along the beach.

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This was my first trip to Brazil, and to the Amazon.
Beautiful green lizard, posing for my camera.
Thunderhead at sunset along the river.

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Amazonian sunset.
Another huge tarantula.
The dense forest canopy as seen from an overlook tower in the jungle.

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Shooting a scene along the water.
After filming, I'd jump into the river to cool off and escape the oppressive humidity.
Joining me on this journey was travel blogger Kristen Sarah.

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Kristen and I alongside the rapids.
Digging in the sand in a place where Roosevelt's boat was believed to be. We never did find it.
We used several boats like this one to travel up and down the river.

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Once you get deep into the jungle, you can really get a feel for how remote this place actually is.
A very large piranha.
More big fish from the river. We ate a lot of fish that week.

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Kayaking down one of the more calmer parts of the rapids.
Kristen and I, kayaking Rio Roosevelt
It was nice to be out in a kayak on the river, very peaceful.

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