Three ‘gringos’ brave heat, mosquitos, illegal gold miners and pirates in the Amazon

When Kurt Sartorius and two South African friends dared to paddle down a 1 100km stretch of the inhospitable, mosquito-infested Rio Madeira, a southern tributary of the great Amazon River in July 1972, it nearly broke them.

Sartorius, now a senior accounting professor at Wits University, wondered if it was because they were “so young and stupid” that the trip was such a disaster. He promised himself he would tackle it again after 50 years. 

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