With ‘The Prof’ now safety back from Afghanistan, he is now contemplating his next journey. This one will be rather more isolated; deep in the jungles of the Amazonas in Brazil.

Marc Shaw was the Team Doctor on the ‘Sir Peter Blake Expedition’ to Amazonas in 2001. This was a voyage that had personal significance to Marc as it involved travel to a region long dreamt about – about since childhood, when he first recalled the romantic term ‘Amazonas’ and all that its images conjured. Sir Peter was tragically and shockingly murdered on this journey 10 years ago. Marc Shaw and his team is going back to the region, with some family and friends, to acknowledge the occasion and salute a great New Zealander. The Group will be called WORLDWISE EXPEDITIONS.

Francisco de Orellana was the Spanish adventurer who in 1541 accomplished the first descent of the River Amazon. Since this time, adventures and expeditioners have been intrigued by the Amazonas region of Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia and Peru. So much so that many have tried in many various ways to explore the River Amazon and its tributaries. The attraction is the largest river in the world; one accounting for approximately 1/5 of total world’s river flow.

Over the last 30 years there have been two significant expeditions into the region: firstly, in 1982 Jean Michael Cousteau led a large scale scientific exploration of the Amazon from its mouth to its origin. The “Cousteau Amazon Expedition” gave insights into the biology, environment and geology of the largest river system on earth. Secondly in 2001, New Zealander Sir Peter Blake went with a crew of 26 upon his yacht, Seamaster, into the Amazon basin. This journey was to be one of exploration and of education on what living was like in the region.

WORLDWISE EXPEDITIONS are going back into the region to investigate and research it, explore it and learn from their experiences. As Jules Crevaux, French Naval Surgeon in the Amazon, said “A rushed journey is a waste of time; you can see nothing. I am here by the grace of God; I must take advantage of it and examine nature carefully, for I shall never return to these waters again. Instinct tells me to let myself drift with the swift current. Reason stops me: for an explorer, hurrying through an unknown land is like running away from the enemy”.

WORLDWISE EXPEDITIONS is planning a journey to the Amazonas regions of Brazil and Venezuela, to visit the region explored with intrigue and fascination by early explorers such as: Alexander von Humboldt, AR Wallace, and also recently by the 1968 Geographical Magazine Hovercraft Expedition.

The Amazonas Region is exciting and mesmerizing: new images, new experiences, new animals and plants, and new cultures.  Going into this beautiful and remote region, Marc Shaw learned much about human nature in the Amazonas environment, about compassion and about himself and his medicine. ‘Completing such a journey made me so much richer than ever I could otherwise have dreamed of’, he writes.

Read more about this, on a regular basis until the Expedition commences and then join us from your computer here in New Zealand to explore the hinterlands of Brazil and Venezuela.


August 17, 2010


An outbreak of rabies, allegedly spread by vampire bats, has killed 4 children in the Amazonas region of Peru, local press reported. Rabid vampire bats have attacked more than 500 people in Peru’s Amazon. The attacks occurred in the village of Urakusa, in north eastern Peru, where the indigenous [Aguaruna] tribe lives. The deaths happened during the week of 2-6 Aug 2010 in the district of Nieva, and the rabies diagnosis was confirmed by a forensics team sent to the region by the Ministry of Health. Eduardo Quezada, chief of the Regional Directorate of Health in Amazonas, told the press that medical staff has been sent to the area after the diagnosis confirmation, with 1300 doses of vaccine. Most human cases of vampire bat-transmitted rabies have occurred in the Amazon region of Brazil and Peru and in some remote communities of Colombia. Vampire bats are found only in Latin America. Of the 3 known species – Diphylla ecaudata, Diaemus youngi, and Desmodus rotundus (the common vampire) — only the latter has been known to feed on mammals and thus has possibly transmitted rabies virus in the human outbreaks studied.. It remains to be confirmed un-equivocally that the 4 deceased children died as a results of vampire bat bites. Further information would be welcomed.

Source: Living in Peru