Cycling Adventure

From Patagonia to
Canada in 21 months

Americas by bike

The cold wind whispers at the Bolivian border in Hito Cajon. We are six months into a two-year-long bicycle journey from southern Patagonia in Argentina to Vancouver in Canada and now stand at an altitude of 4,800 meters. Chile’s Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth, lies more than two vertical kilometers below and behind us – ahead awaits the biggest challenge of the journey: southwestern Bolivia with its desolate, barren landscape, brown mountains, sandy plains, active volcanoes, spouting geysers, hot springs, and icy cold nights.

We are looking into twelve days in the embrace of nature, where the villages are few and far between. The route winds through altitudes between 4,200 and 4,900 meters and is known for impassable sandy and gravel roads, harsh weather with wind, cold, and scorching sun, as well as an otherworldly beautiful landscape that justifies all the hardships. Now we stand at the border with food for six days in our panniers. Ready for adventure.

Beautiful Patagonia

It all began in Patagonia’s desolate landscape with extreme headwinds and dry climate. Primarily, we cycled in the Argentinian Patagonia, which is known for its steppe like plains covered in almost bare vegetation. For hours, days, weeks we cycled in this isolated part of the world, where almost nobody lives, except from a few people and a wide range of exotic animals.

We see plenty of fascinating animals, such as armadillos, skunks, foxes, eagles, and the guanaco, belonging to the camel family. We quickly became fond of the guanaco with its big brown eyes. The guanacos elegantly leap over the kilometer-long barbed wire fences that line the road in Southern Patagonia. Unfortunately, there are times when its legs don’t make it all the way over the fence. We have seen countless of skeletons stuck in the fence.

One day, we had the chance to make a difference for one of the unfortunate guanacos. It was stuck in the fence and tried several times to break free. Martin got off his bike and walked purposefully to the fence with his multitool. He cut the top of the fence, and the guanaco wriggled free, hurrying towards its herd.

A huge milestone

Forward 13 months, we stand in Colombia, gazing out over the Caribbean Sea. A gentle breeze dances in over the beach. We sweat, and our damp clothes cling to our bodies, but we smile broadly. 13 months after we started our journey, we have cycled all the way up through South America. A huge milestone! We look at our next challenge, how to cross the Darien Gap.

Crossing the Darien Gap

The options for crossing from Colombia to Panama are limited, as the countries are connected only by a lawless jungle – the Darien Gap.

Despite being aware of the problem with people migrating to the US, it is a surprise for us when we arrive in the port city of Necocli on Colombia’s Caribbean coast and witness with our own eyes how the town lives from hosting migrants preparing for the trek through the Darien Gap.

We, and the few other tourists, stand out in the chaotic port city. “Do you have passports?” the lady at the hotel reception asks. It’s not a given that guests will be registered. We are fortunate to have Danish passports and to be on an entirely different journey. Our crossing of the Darien Gap will happen by boat and will be an adventure, unlike the migrants’ jungle hike, which can be described as a nightmare.

Our goal is to arrange a series of five local boats that can help us reach mainland Panama, from where we can continue our journey by bike.

After two weeks in small villages with mud houses topped with palm fronds and coconut trees, it’s a great contrast to arrive to Panama City. Giant skyscrapers loom around us, and we have entered the city of cars. It marks the second part of the journey: cycling through Central America.

Unbearable heatwave

The thermometer reads 56 degrees Celsius. The air is hot, and the breeze, usually a welcome companion on warm days, blows at us with the same temperature as a hairdryer. Moments earlier, we were sitting in the air-conditioned comfort of McDonald’s, eating a burger even though we weren’t hungry. We can’t cycle in this heat. There’s a heatwave in Mexico, and the entire country is affected.

On our journey, we cycle through all kinds of weather – rain, wind, cold – but nothing is as exhausting as the extreme heat. It makes us lazy and slightly irritated. We try to keep our spirits high. As we go further up in Mexico, everything becomes more expensive, and it’s challenging to find a budget-friendly room with air conditioning in a hotel. The tent feels more like a sweat lodge than a place to rest. We are close to the US border.

A reverse culture shock

“I admire you,” an older gentleman tells us while discreetly placing a $10 bill on our table and quickly walking away. Welcome to the USA, where on the first day, we have lunch at McDonald’s. It’s almost overwhelming to arrive in the USA. Suddenly, we are cycling on massive new highways, and drivers are not accustomed to anything other than cars on the roads. Everything is clean, neat, and grand.

Hospitality at the Lama Ranch
in Montana

Good people exist all over the world, but in Montana, you’ll find two of the very best. 69-year-old John Keller and 65-year-old Barbara Nye live on Lama Ranch and have made it their mission to bring joy to cyclists. They’ve built five cabins and set up a tipi on their property, solely dedicated to accommodating cyclists. Every year, they host 600+ overnight stays. In the cabins, you’ll find drinking water, food, pancake mix, wine, and M&Ms. Additionally, you have access to the magical fridge on their terrace filled to the brim with beer, soda, and sandwiches. The only thing they ask in return is that you pay it forward.

After our second night on the ranch, John jokingly asks if we’re aiming for the record for the most nights stayed. The current record is five nights. The real record is seven years, as John himself arrived here as a cyclist seven years ago, fell in love with Barbara, and decided to stay. Now, they run the ranch together.


Barbara bought the ranch in 1989, and in 1998, the American Cycling Association (ACA) established the now world-famous bike route “the great divide mountain bike route,” running from Jasper in Canada to the Mexican border in New Mexico. The route passes by the Lama Ranch, and in the late ’90s, Barbara began receiving visits from cyclists asking for water or if they could sleep in the tent on her property. From there, the concept slowly evolved. Today, Lama Ranch is a well-known stop for cyclists embarking on the 4000 km route.

Lama Ranch is nestled between green rolling hills, tall green pine trees, and exudes idyllic charm. Breaking the record won’t be difficult. We end up staying for seven nights.

Reaching our goal

When we reach Canada, we decide to ride a loop up to Banff and Jasper National Parks, before we head to our goal, Vancouver. It is thrilling to be this close to the finish line after 21 months on the road. We have been looking forward to exploring the beautiful mountains of Canada and are filled with joy when we cycle through the infamous Icefields Park Way which delivers on extremely beautiful views again and again.

Standing on the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, we both tear up. We did it. We cycled from Argentina to Canada. One of the best parts of this huge adventure has been doing it together as a couple, we are now left with memories that we will always cherish. It certainly will not be the last time we pack up our panniers and set out to explore the world by bike.

Who are Katja and Martin

Katja Noergaard Hansen 34 years og Martin Lohmann Moeller 42 years are from Denmark. This is the first big trip for Katja who had never slept in a tent before she met Martin 5 years ago. Katja have a inexhaustible longing for seeing new places and understanding cultures. Martin is the experienced one of them and have cycled more than 70.000 km and the last long trip was from Rotterdam to Kathmandu a journey of 38.000 km. Together they cycled from the tip of Argentina to Vancouver Canada a journey of 22.600 kilometers through 15 countries and it took them 21 months to complete.

Links to Katja and Martin’s social channels and blogs are:

Instagram: @americasbybike
Website: Americas by Bike

Stay in touch with us


Receive special offers, exclusive product news and event information directly in your inbox. Sign up now! Our data protection policy applies.