He started the journey with a best friend, but after a falling out, his buddy quit three months in, so Stafford hiked alone for weeks, until a friendly Peruvian named Gadiel "Cho" Sanchez offered to join him for a few days -- and stayed for two years.
One native tribe invited him to watch an elaborate ritual, and another nearly ended his life.
"Five dugout canoes filled with Amerindians. Half with bows drawn. Some with shotguns. The women with machetes. And they were absolutely livid, they were furious," he recalled. "It is just a lack of understanding. They believe white people come to harvest their organs, and refer to them as 'face peelers.'"
He survived by hiring the chief as a guide. There are no hostile natives on our short two days together, but even so I get a hardy dose of his daily grind
Cho makes a mean steak and rice. But the nights are so sweltering, the jungle is so loud, that even sleeping saps your strength.
And yet, for 780 days running, Stafford gets up, puts on clothes that never dry and ignores a thousand good reasons to quit.
"As much as I've wanted at times to be at home, I've never wanted to quit," he said. "I think I've been quite humbled on how much I've had to rely on other people, and how I've had to rely on the generosity and good nature of the locals who I've met on the way through. The help and interest in the expedition has just been overwhelming, really."
Ed is so confident he's going to complete this journey that he's already booked his plane ticket home at the end of August. You can imagine what kind of party awaits him.