January 2016 to April 2017
From Ushuaia, Argentina to Necocli, Colombia
In January 2016 I set out on a 30,000 km journey from the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina, to one of the northernmost cities in the world, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Within 15 months I cycled 13,000 km, following mainly the course of the mighty Andes. I passed through six countries: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. Half of the journey, which covers the entire length of North America, is still to be completed.
The Patagonian steppe is a treeless region and known for its relentless winds. I haven’t seen any trees for about two months, and when I saw one, the wind shaped it to resemble a flagpole. The locals call Patagonia “Escoba de Dios”, the broom of God, because of its persistent wind that sweeps everything away.
After having cycled the last months in the Atacama Desert and the dry Altiplano, I could literally feel the humidity in the air and the smell of the vegetation during my ride on the death road (El Camino de la Muerte), also known as the most dangerous road in the world, near La Paz in Bolivia. Lush mountains were surrounded by clouds. I had the feeling that I could almost touch the mountains. The magnificent views filled my eyes and reached deep into my soul. I was all alone. Did nature create all this for me? How long have these mountains waited to see me? I felt very special and humble…
February 2016 Tierra del Fuego, Chile: Battle with Patagonian winds in Chile.
June 2016 Cachiyuyo, Chile: In a dry valley in the Atacama Desert, I went from one road to another in search of shelter to spend the night. In the end I found a chapel and got permission to pitch my tent.
July 2016, Chile: Tonight I made a big portion of pasta with cheese and went to bed early. It was a very cold evening.
August 2016, Bolivia: Cycling the death road in Bolivia which is dubbed as the world’s most dangerous road. A 2006 study estimated that 200-300 people were killed on this road every year. About 18 cyclists have died here since 1998.
August 2016 La Paz, Bolivia: The view of the city of La Paz seen from the Mirador Killi Killi. In the middle you can see the Estadio Hernando Siles football stadium, which is the highest professional football pitch in the world. In the distance you can see the three-pointed mountain Illimani (6402 m), which is located southeast of La Paz.
October 2016, Peru: Luckily I managed to stand up on both legs and get to the other side safely by bike. It was the most adventurous water crossing I have ever made by bicycle. My left knee was bruised and for the next week I was in a lot of pain.