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THE WORLD'S HIGHEST SALINAS

The ride through South America will see us visit most of the continent's 12 countries. Whilst there is a rough plan for the route, we will have to remain flexible to seasons, extreme weather and the requirements of local charities that we visit. There is absolutely no rush or deadline for the trip, however some roads are impassable at certain times of the year, cut off due to flooding, ice and persistent gale force winds. Here we’ll take a look at the rough route which, all going to plan (which it absolutely wont) will certainly shape up to be the adventure of a lifetime.

 

Patagonia and the deep south

The bike and I will fly into Chile in late January, beginning the journey south, through Patagonia to the Southern-most tip of the continent. The turning point will be Ushuaia, the end of the road and view point out to the vast Antarctic Ocean. Here we’ll see glaciers, snow peaked mountains and pebbled beaches filled with seals. I have to have made it here however by late March at the latest, giving enough time to get north before the roads get cut off by ice and wind. As incredible as I’m sure a winter in Ushuaia would be, I don’t much fancy being trapped there for 4 months.

Heading north

Here begins the long road north, up the Eastern coast of South America, All the way to the mouth of the Amazon River in Northern Brazil. We’ll pass through Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil, cutting inland to the capital, Brasilia, and then back to the coast until reaching the Northern city of Belem.

 

Barge down the Amazon

Once arriving in Belem, I’ll load the bike onto a barge and settle in for the three-week journey to Manaus in the heart of the Amazon Jungle. I’ll have my own hammock from which I can watch the world go by, flanked by locals from all walks of life. I anticipate this will be a pretty special part of the trip.

Riding out of the Amazon

This is by far the sketchiest leg of the route, riding 700km and 7 days of dirt and mud track out of the heart of the Amazon. Reports suggest that there is not much along the road, supplies of fuel, food and water being scarce. Forget about ambulances and hospitals, if there is a spill out here, I could be in a bit of trouble. My bikes fuel tank will get me around 350km so I’m going to be packing a lot of weight in spare fuel and water to make the journey. We’ll then ride all the way south to Bolivia, where we’ll then turn west to the Peruvian coast.

 

West coast to Caracas

The final leg will see us ride north, up the western coast, passing through Peru, Ecuador and finally, Colombia. This is a region dense with grassroots NGOs so I anticipate this will be a slow section of the journey. We’ll take it easy and enjoy the mountains, beaches and jungles. Apparently there is even a route I can take the bike up to Machu Picchu – that would be incredible.

So there you have it, a rough itinerary for the next couple of years. I’ve had maps posted on my bedroom wall for the last 12 months, planning this route in detail. However, it is inevitable that these plans will change – I hope they do. Indeed, that will be where the true adventure lies. Ill be taking every opportunity whilst in South America to take new roads and visit the continents most remote communities, bringing you their stories. Keep posted on the adventure ahead by following us on Facebook and Instagram, or join our monthly newsletter. It is going to be one hell of a ride!

Grassroots Collective is a charity supporting local community nonprofits around the world. We travel to some of the most remote regions on earth to work with our partners in person.
These are our stories from the road.

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