Showing posts with label Freya Hoffmeister. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Freya Hoffmeister. Show all posts

Freya Hoffmeister Completes Circumnavigation of South America by Kayak

One of the major events that took place in the world of adventure while I was away in Egypt was Freya Hoffmeister's completion of her attempt to circumnavigate around South America by kayak. The German paddler reached Buenos Aires, Argentina on May 1, bringing to conclusion at long last her nearly four-year long effort to become the first person to accomplish that feat.

Freya originally set out from Buenos Aires back on August 30, 2011. Traveling south along the Atlantic coastline, she eventually navigated through the treacherous Strait of Magellan and around the infamous Cape Horn, to reach the Pacific Ocean. At that point, she turned north and paddled all the way up South America's Pacific Coast before turning east to pass through the Panama Canal. From there, she managed to return to the Atlantic, and started the long arduous journey back to starting point.

Regular readers of this blog will know that this isn't Freya's first circumnavigation of a continent. She also managed to paddle completely around Australia back in 2009, becoming just the second person to do so. But that epic journey wasn't enough to keep her off the water for long, and she soon hatched an idea to circle her second continent by kayak. The South American journey got underway two years later, and now it is finally finished.

Upon arrival at the finish line last week, Freya was met by an array of Argentine dignitaries and will-wishers. Several ships escorted into the harbor in Buenos Aires, where a small crowd was on hand to welcome her.

It is unclear if this will be the end of Freya's waterborne adventures at this point, but I wouldn't put it past her to be planning another epic journey in the future. For now, I'm sure she's happy to have completed this expedition at long last, and is enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation.

Congratulations to Freya on a job well done. She is an inspiration to many.

Freya Hoffmeister Approaches End of Kayak Journey Around South America

German paddler Freya Hoffmeister is approaching the end of her epic journey around South America in a kayak. According to her most recent updates, she is now less than 350 km (217 miles) from reaching the finish line in Buenos Aires, the city she set out from nearly four years ago.

According to her own estimates, it should take Freya about 18 more days to complete her expedition. That seems like a conservative estimate however, as she has been making good time recently, and is likely to finish ahead of that schedule. I'd expect her to press on to the end in a little more than two weeks, as she wraps up what has been one incredibly long and difficult journey. By the time she is done, she'll have circumnavigated the entire continent – including passing around the treacherous Cape Horn – by kayak, covering some 24,000 km (14,912 miles) in the process.

Freya is no stranger to long distance journeys by kayak. Previously she has paddled around Iceland and New Zealand, and even became the first woman to circumnavigate Australia as well. After completing that massive challenge back in 2009, she started looking for other places she could paddle as well. Somewhere along the way she came up with the idea of traveling completely around South America, and in August of 2011 she set off to do just that.

In her original estimate she expected it would take about 24 months to complete her expedition, beginning and ending in Buenos Aires. It has taken considerably longer than that however due to logistical challenges, taking some time off to go back home, and overcoming personal obstacles along the way. But now, the end is in sight, and Freya is poised to make history once again.

Normally I would have waited until she was a bit closer to the finish line to post an update on her progress, but at the end of the week I'll be leaving the country once again, and it is likely that Freya will finish her impressive journey while I am away. So, with that in mind, I'd encourage everyone to follow her progress at Her final journal entries should prove memorable, as will the dash to the end.

It is always interesting to see these long expeditions wrap up at long last. I've been following this one since Freya set out all those many months ago. I'm glad that she is closing in on the end at long last. I'm sure the sense of relief and accomplishment that she'll feel will be overwhelming.

Freya Hoffmeister Reaches Rio in South American Circumnavigation Kayak Expedition

It has been far too long since we last checked in on the progress of Freya Hoffmeister, the German paddler who has spent the better part of the past four years kayaking around South America. A few days ago Freya reached a major milestone on her quest to circle her second continent when she reached Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. She is now ready to start the final leg of the journey, which will return her to her starting point in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Freya reached Rio on February 8 and has already returned to the water as she continues her slow, methodical march towards the finish line. So far she has spent 775 days on this expedition, of which roughly 550 have been spent out on the water. To date she has covered approximately 24,400 km (15,160 miles), averaging roughly 45 km (28 miles) per day. It has of course been grueling at times, with plenty of unique challenges, but the latest leg of the journey has seen improved conditions. She now finds herself with beautiful beaches to camp on most nights, and the heat and humidity has dropped in recent days as well. 

You may recall that Freya became the first woman to kayak around Australia a few years back, completing that expedition in record time no less. She was able to complete that voyage in 322 days, of which 245 were spent paddling. That journey included a 575 km (371 mile) open water crossing across the Gulf of Carpentaria that managed to shave days and kilometers off of her time. The only other person to have completed a circumnavigation of Australia is New Zealander Paul Caffyn, who did it 361 days.

After wrapping up that impressive expedition, Freya took some time off before deciding what she wanted to do next. She didn't stay at home for too long however, and in August of 2011 she set out on her attempt to circumnavigate South America. The journey first took her south along the Atlantic Coast, where she eventually rounded the treacherous Cape Horn. From there, she passed into the Pacific and turned north, eventually passing through the Panama Canal. She has since been making her way back along the Atlantic side of the continent as she pushes towards Buenos Aires once again.

At this point, she is approximately 2300 km (1430 miles) from the finish line. If she maintains her average speed, she should return to her starting point in early April. We will of course keep an eye on her progress as she nears the end of what is turning out to be yet another impressive padding expedition.