Team Essequibo (Great Britain) Expedition - Nominee for the 2018 Team Award
Represents : Great Britain, Category: Expedition
Team Members: Laura Bingham (leader), Pip Stewart and Ness Knight, accompanied by Peiman Zekavat (film director), Jon Williams (cameraman), Nereus Chekema, Nigel Isaacs, Jackson (Elijah) Marawanaru, Aron Marawanaru, James Suse, Fay James, Romel Shoni, and Anthony Shushu
In a world’s-first expedition, British adventurer and new mother Laura Bingham led her all-female team to success, paddling the entire length of the Essequibo river in South America from source to sea in April 2018.
The trio of Laura Bingham, Pip Stewart and Ness knight started their journey in the interior of Guyana in remote and pristine forest. To find the true source of the river they cut a path through previously uncharted jungle, before paddling their inflatable kayaks for over 1014 kilometres until the river reaches the Atlantic Ocean. Their journey saw them traverse the Acarai Mountains, land inhabited by the isolated Wai Wai community, untouched virgin rainforest, unknown and treacherous rapids and contentious gold mining areas, until finally arriving at their ultimate destination on the Atlantic of Guyana. The expedition lasted 10 physically and mentally challenging weeks and their world-first has been authenticated by the Wai Wai community in Guyana and endorsed by the First Lady of Guyana, Sandra Granger.
The team experienced countless challenges during their journey, from trees blocking the upper reaches of the river and hand-cutting a painstaking trail through virgin forest, to traversing uncharted and treacherous rapids and portaging their inflatable kayaks around a 50 foot waterfall. They also had to negotiate predatory caiman (crocodile-like animals) and piranha in the water, jaguasr crossing through their camp at night, scorpions, biting wasps and burrowing insects along the river bank.
At the heart of their journey was a deep rooted passion to explore and share. In a world dominated by male adventurers Laura, Pip and Ness are keen to inspire other women to be bold and adventurous in whatever ways they can be.
“I am so delighted to have led my all-female team to success in this world first Essequibo expedition. So many women can lose their identity in motherhood and I hope we have shown that women can continue to achieve their personal goals as well as being a mum and we have inspired women everywhere to be courageous and adventurous in their own lives, however they can.” — Laura Bingham
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