First of all… Take a look to the left side of this newsletter.
See the products listed there? Each icon is linked to a page. No, we haven’t gone corporate. These folks are our friends and sponsors. They are really important to us because of their contributions to the upcoming expedition. They have provided services or products at a reduced price to help us put more of our funds toward the journey we’re about to make. We didn’t ask for anything for free, though we could have. However, PahaQue donated a Tee-Pee tent to the cause without even being ask! PahaQue has always been a good friend and great company to work with. Best of all (if it could even get better) they have exceptional products. You really should check their line-up out.
Like many of you who have donated to this expedition, our sponsors have also made a huge difference. For them, and for you, I have appropriately displayed their product information. These are well made essential items we would not go on an adventure without. Please take time to visit their websites and look over what they offer. If you need anything there let them know Xpeditions TV sent you. No, we don’t get a cut… We just want them to know we have sent you. To each of our sponsors; Thanks guys… You have made such a difference!
Now… The newsletter : )
Time flies… I intended to have this newsletter out weeks ago. Life has become such a whirlwind the last few months. Complicating things, our internet connection was terrible until a few days ago. How bad was it? You might say it was a wet piece of string. We finally have a pretty good connection thanks to newly acquired pieces of technology. We are incrementally making progress living aboard the Prairie Schooner.
BTW… Have you seen the 2 home movies I recenly placed online? Go to XpeditionsTV.com
, then scroll down to the end of the list of video’s. You’ll find them there.
Before I forget… A new version of Xpeditions TV is about to be launched. Our friend, John Chewter of Coastal Computing (in Spain) is at work doing the magic he is so good at. Kathy and I are truly blown away by what he is doing to make this a world class site. I’ll announce details about the launch of the new site soon. You are going to love it!
Because I have so much to tell you, this will likely be a short book by the time I finish. If you’re interested you will read through. You won’t be disappointed. There are pieces of information here many of you will want to file away for next month and beyond. Share it with friends and family… You’ll understand as you read through to the end.
Grab a snack, a cup of coffee, and sit back… The adventure is about to begin!!!
The “Holiday Inn” Campsite 50 miles up Rio Tocache
“We had been walking for days. The first few days we stayed in villages we passed along the trail. The jungle became thick and dense after Meta’l, and no villages we seen after this. After walking f8 hours we were told a nice house was just ahead where we would spend the night. We looked forward to this with excitement. Finally we could stop, clean up, and cook a proper meal. Energy bars were not filling our stomaches. We emerged from the jungle into a clearing. There before us in the distance was a lean-to… the house we had so eagerly anticipated. I set about to unpack the kitchen and got coffee water boiling while Jerry set up the Hennessy Hammocks. It would be a long dark … and wet night.”
From Kathy Wills’ Tocache Journal
THE TOCACHE EXPEDITION 2013
It’s been 13 years since Kathy and I traveled into the remote wilderness up the Rio Tocache. Our first trip in we had to be rescued from an Andean mountaintop by a Sikorsky helicopter (H-92). Everyone except Kathy had an injury of some sort and couldn’t walk the rough 85 miles out. We were told Kathy and me were the first “white” people to ever go in and come back out alive. That was certainly some news to us…
A few weeks later we went back in again. We had discovered a site we felt was important to share with the world. We only got in about 38 miles and had to stop. Two days later our camp was surrounded by Peruvian special forces. The commander and his troops escorted us out. We were told weeks later they were there to protect us. You see, insurgents were coming for us.
The Rescue Helicopter and Troops Jerry & Kathy in the center
It has been 13 years… Things have changed somewhat, though not a lot ever really changes there. The chain of lost cities Kathy calculated would be there, were there. To this day they remain hidden in the mountains, known only to the locals who wander through them occasionally. It feels a bit strange and apprehensive knowing a few weeks from now Kathy and I return to finish what we started so long ago.
Before, we only went in with a still camera. We had not even imagined Xpeditions TV at that time. We had no idea what we might see, or the importance of what we would eventually find. This time we are better prepared with state of the art video gear, satellite communications, and camping equipment (especially our dandy new Pahaque tents!!!). Providing all goes well we will go in, document the area, and get out safely… Then on to the next location.
Additionally, if it looks safe enough we plan to offer a special trip for you who are interested. Stay tuned… That announcement could be made at any time once we develop a better feel of the area. We are looking to develop a series of trips into this extraordinary Amazon Jungle/ eastern Andean slope wilderness. It’s amazing to think there are still lost and forgotten places lying beneath the jungle here.
Communications: Let’s Stay in Touch!
We want you to come with us, but of course we already know that really isn’t possible, or safe this time. This journey is quite expensive, and it is a bit dangerous. Still, we want to share this adventure with you, and have gone to great lengths to do that in the virtual world.
SPOT Connect Locator/ Messanger
While traveling, our location will be transmitted via our SPOT Connect
. This is a personal GPS locator that plots our progress on a Google Earth map. It is updated every 10 ~ 20 minutes. The map clearly illustrates our journey from start to finish, when we leave/arrive, and so forth. You can easily follow the journey this way. Plus, if you zoom in you will see a pretty clear rendition of what it looks like where we are. We’re excited to offer this, and feel it will certainly add to your experience.
Additionally, Spot Connect allows us to post to our FaceBook page
, and send emails. During the trip we plan to do both.
The Xpeditions Newsletter will be updated regularly, this being managed by a long time friend, Annie DeRiso. Annie has an adventurous spirit similar to our own. She is a seasoned explorer having been on expeditions in Egypt numerous times! Looking for lost cities and ancient places is nothing new to Annie. She will send you info as we make it available to her.
The third tier of contact will be over our Inmarsat satellite phone
. At various points during our adventure we will phone into The Kevin Smith Show to broadcast – from God knows where – how things are going. There is no schedule… how could there be. You will just need to be listening to (or better yet, watching) the show during the last of April through May… and perhaps beyond since we don’t know when we are returning.
MEET-UP: Feel Like Joining Us?
The end of May or first of June – whenever it is that we finish filming – we plan to head deeper into the Amazon to a 5 star resort a friend owns; The Amazon Rainforest Lodge
. We always end up staying there because it’s really a great place to relax and unwind. See that tower in the photo? I love sitting up there with a cup o’ coffee to watch the sunset, or the moon rise abover the jungle.
So here’s some big news; Would you like to join us? We would really enjoy meeting up with you there!
Keep in mind – this is NOT a scheduled trip – it is an invitation for you to join us. We have never offered this in the past.
The view from our jungle hut
We recently requested a special deal with our friend Peter who owns the lodge. He approved, and we are offering you a one time chance to enjoy this amazing place at a rock bottom price. Why would we do this? It’s simple… Because you support Xpeditions TV we are giving back in return. This is our gift to you. Nothing fancy, no strings attached. It’s available for us to offer our friends so we have.
Maybe you’re really interested but asking yourself how do I do this?
Kathy and I will make this really simple for you… Traveling there is really easy. If you’re interested – really interested – drop us a note and we’ll supply all the details. Or, Annie will send you this information if we are unable to.
The cost per day is $120, which includes all your food, coffee, tea, water, juices… You only pay for soft drinks, snacks, or alcoholic beverages. Also, any sacred ceremony is not included, and usually costs about $50 per person.
To get there you fly to Lima Peru then catch a flight to Iquitos. We have people in Lima to help with the domestic flight to Iquitos.You will buy your domestic airfare at the Lima airport, not before.
At the Iquitos airport you are met by the lodge staff and delivered to the lodge.
No worries, no hassle : )
Don’t even consider going unless you buy travelers insurance. Don’t leave home for parts unknown without it! There is a link on our site for MH Ross Travelers Insurance.
Come to the Amazon for a week, or longer. Hopefully we’ll see you there. Contact us if you need more information.
Note: The date we plan to arrive to the lodge will be announced mid-May. You could arrive earlier and stay longer if you wish.
OWN A PIECE OF XTV EXPEDITIONS EQUIPMENT
One of the sponsors we are really proud to be affiliated with is PahaQue, a family owned company who have supplied Xpeditions TV with their fantastic tents. We already have a few of their products and haven’t needed anything new until this expedition. We decided to take their Green Mountain Tent (a smaller base camp tent) instead of the huge one we typically use (like in southern Arizona while shooting Doorway of the Gods). Their equipment is truly the most incredible on the market. It sets up quickly and easily. Best of all, it lasted us a very long time (though it’s been through some rough places) because it’s so well made.
In addition to the Green Mountain tent, we are also receiving a new Tee-Pee tent from PahaQue. The first one we received was acquired – get this! – 13 years ago for the first Tocache Xpedition where it got it’s first and only rip! Kathy sewed it up nicely, and it has provided flawless performance ever since. In case you’re wondering, the PahaQue Tee-Pee is our shower & bathroom tent. Oh so valuable when you’re deep in the jungle!
During the last 13 years it has been around the world with us. We set it up at the Grand Canyon numerous times while investigating the lost city there, and it served us really well in southern Arizona while filming Doorway of the Gods. Though it has been through a lot it is still in good condition! In fact, it has lasted so well we had not considered getting another one. But, PahaQu offered and we accepted!
Would you like to have it? No, it isn’t for sale, but here’s how someone will end up with it.
Before we leave for Peru there will be a drawing held during a broadcast of The Kevin Smith Show. Someone – Maybe YOU – will be the new owner.
To be included into this drawing you simply need to be a subscriber to Kevin’s newsletter (to find out if you’ve won in case you miss the broadcast), and a become a member of his websites’ membership area (to be eligible to win). This is our way to thank Kevin – and you – for being there for us. Listen to The Kevin Smith Show for details.
This is the new Tee-Pee Tent
… The old one looks about the same except it’s a different color.. well, there’s the rip Kathy sewed up, too.
The last few months have been filled with a lot of laughter, terrific challenges, and hours of planning into the night. Living in The Prairie Schooner has been amazing, and always filled with heart felt warmth and love.
Kathy and I are continuously juggling three situations… Working with the people looking for help, working on the Schooner, and the minutia of the expedition details. Each day is about as filled as it gets. It’s a real lifestyle changer being in the Schooner. Still, we enjoy each day, work where we need to, and do all we can to move things to the next level successfully. I know there are a few emails I haven’t answered… usually due to wet string internet connections. For you who might be wondering why we haven’t stayed in better touch it’s because at times we are truly overwhelmed, weary, and dizzy from all we have intentionally immersed ourselves into. Please don’t feel neglected, or think we don’t care. That isn’t the case.
Things are slowly becoming less hectic as Spring rolls around. I’m sure there will be new issues to deal with (there always seems to be something), new things to learn and figure out (how to fix plumbing, a leaky roof, or…?). All in all life is interesting, good, and full. I can’t imagine doing things differently right now. That might change, but for now we are pressing on into the unknown in so many arenas. I admit that sometimes it’s a bit unnerving. We are grateful that you (our family, friends and fans) are there. This gives us comfort. Thanks so much for all you do and have done to keep us inspired to continue Xpeditions TV. In the beginnings of all this we did it thinking we could bring salient information forward to you, all the while not really knowing if anyone would show up (hahaha). Now, we frequently hear from you from every corner of the planet. We now know you are there, and know many of you by name. That’s really a great feeling. Thanks folks…
I guess it was a worthwhile effort after all.
Ok… You can be sure there will be more later! I will update the information and send another newsletter before we leave with details on how you can follow the journey from home.
Jerry and Kathy Wills
Endless Hot Water
“We outfitted our expedition RV (The Prairie Schooner) with this and have never been happier! There is no substitute for a long hot shower after a day of exploring. This system is incredible and easy to install!”
Kathy Wills Xpeditions TV
BMW Motorcycle Service Specialists
“I own a BMW 1150 GS Adventure. Motoghost has been the only ones to perform service. Matt and Omar are highly trained specialists who know my bike inside and out. Omar and Matt… You two are the best! Thanks…”
Jerry Wills Xpeditions TV
The solution to wind noise
“The Windcutter is the perfect solution to wind noise and has become one of the essentials wherever we shoot!”
Jerry Wills Xpeditions TV
Xpeditions TV’s Base Camp
“Whether we are camping locally, or somewhere in south America’s wilderness, this tent is OUR perfect solution. It’s big enough, comfortable, lighweight, and well made to withstand the rigors of any outdoor experience!”
Jerry & Kathy Wills
Xpeditions TV’s Alternative Camp
“There are times a tent isn’t practicle. That’s when we use our Hennessy Hammock. It’s very lightweight, and crazy comfortable. It’s like sleeping on air, rocked by the wind.”
Jerry & Kathy Wills
Disease Free Water – No Exceptions!
“There is no substitute for clean water while exploring the Amazon. SteriPen is the only sure solution after filtering our water. We no longer worry about contracting waterborn diseaes!”
Jerry & Kathy Wills
Official Backpack of
“This is the most comfortable and easiest to use Backpack we have ever use. It’s well made, and ready for any adventure you throw at it!”
Jerry & Kathy Wills
“These lightweight light sticks run on 2 AA batteries and are like a Chem-Stick light. Except these last for days on a couple of batteries. This is essential equipment whenever we head off into any adventure!”
Jerry & Kathy Wills
What camera do we use for
POV and action shots?
The GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition
The GoPro Hero 2 Silver Edition
Action/POV Cam for Xpeditions TV
Click the image to see why!
Bill Foss has been a supporter and friend for many years. Bill has numerous Music and meditation CD’s, and paintings available. And now he has a great new book ready to ship!
Please support Bill, and the release of his new book. Kathy and I appreciate it.