866 The Plan

Jeff talks about the beginning of his memorable trip down the Amazon River.


Todd: Jeff, you mentioned to me that you went across the Amazon in Brazil.

Jeff: Yes. Yes. I was going to South America and when I do a trip I don't like to be a regular tourist and just go and sightsee, so I got an idea from a National Geographic magazine to go straight across South America from the Pacific Ocean in Peru, starting in Peru, across to the Atlantic Ocean on the opposite side in Brazil and you have to go through the Andes Mountains and then you have to go across and through the Amazon, so that's what I did.

Todd: That's fantastic.

Jeff: It was a good trip.

Todd: How did you go? Did you travel alone? I mean it must have been dangerous.

Jeff: It was. It was dangerous. It was high season, monsoon season, so the river was high, and of course they speak Spanish in South America and I can't speak Spanish and I was traveling alone and I didn't want to travel alone. It's too dangerous, so I had to look for another travel partner who was a little bit as crazy as I was to do this trip, so when I arrived in Lima, the capitol of Peru, I started looking around for someone else who looked like a tough, good traveller, and one night in my guesthouse, this bald Russian guy came into the guesthouse carrying a big pack, and he had a big pack with a tent, a sleeping bag strapped to it and he had a big machete hanging off his belt, and I said this guys perfect, so went up and talked to him.

Todd: He sounds a little bit like Indiana Jones.

Jeff: Oh, he was great. He was a great guy, and his wife is Mexican so he spoke perfect Spanish, so I told him my idea and he was gung ho. He was ready to do it.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

it must have been


It must have been dangerous.

We use the phrase ' must have been' when we guess about something that happened in the past with a high level of certainty.  Notice the following:

  1. It must have been difficult growing up poor.
  2. Breaking up must have been difficult.

monsoon season


It was monsoon season, so the river was high.

The 'monsoon season,' from about May to October, is a time when it rains a lot in hot Asian countries.  Notice the following:

  1. It's difficult to travel in the monsoon season.
  2. Hotel rates are cheap during the monsoon season.

as crazy as I was


My partner was a as crazy as I was.

We use 'as + adjective + as' when we compare two things that are the same.  Notice the following:

  1. I think Chinese is just as difficult to learn as English.
  2. A Big Mac in France is just as expensive as in America.

this guy's perfect


I said, "this guy's perfect."

We use this phrase when we find exactly the kind of person we are looking for.  Notice the following:

  1. From the moment I met her I said to myself, "this girl's perfect!"
  2. When I saw the lobby I thought, "this hotel is perfect."

gung ho


He was gung ho.

To be 'gung ho' means to be very excited to do something dangerous.  Notice the following:

  1. He was gung ho to try skydiving.
  2. I'm not really gung ho to go bungy jumping.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Below are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
must have • monsoons • as crazy as
this guy's • gung ho
  1. You been really scared.
  2. He's a monkey when he climbs.
  3. She is really about her new job.
  4. The made the trip to Vietnam a little difficult.
  5. The first time I met him I thought, ' a real jerk.'