Showing posts with label Road Trip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Road Trip. Show all posts

Two Wheelchair-bound Adventurers Setting Off on South American Expedition

Maciek Kaminski and Michal Woroch are Polish adventurers. The two men met 12 years ago, and stuck ups a lasting friendship that has thrived in the years since. Both have a passion for travel and adventure, which led them to exploring Europe together. Now, Maciek and Michal are planning an extended expedition through some of the most remote regions of South America. And, oh yeah – they both happen to be wheelchair bound.

Explorer's Web has the story of how these two men met at a physical therapy clinic and began hatching schemes of adventure with one another. They wanted to show that just because they were confined to a wheelchair it didn't mean they had to give up on their dreams of adventure and exploration. On the contrary, it has spurred them on to show the rest of us just what they can do.

In March of this year, Maciek and Michal applied for – and won – the Anderzej Zawada Award, which includes a monetary prize to help support young adventurers with their plans to explore the world. In this case, the two men had to appear before a jury and were given five minutes to convince them that they were worth funding. From the account given by ExWeb, they were very convincing. The two men went home with the prize, which will now help pay for their upcoming journey through South America.

On November 9, Maciek and Michal will fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina to begin their adventure. The two men will travel in a specially built 1996 Land Rover Defender 110 that is equipped with a roof-top tent for them to stay in, as well as plenty of storage for the gear and equipment that they'll take with them. The vehicle has also been modified from a manual to an automatic transmission, with both the gas and brakes now being hand-controlled. This will allow them to drive the Defender, even though they don't have the use of their legs.

The plan is to first drive to Cape Horn, the very tip of South America, and one of the most remote and wild area on the planet. The weather on the Horn is legendary, and sailors have gone out of their way to avoid that part of the world for hundreds of years. From there, they'll turn north and drive along the Pacific coast line up through Chile and Bolivia, before eventually turning their attention on Peru. They plan to visit the Amazon Rainforest while in that country, where they are even scheduled to meet with a local Shaman healer.

The entire journey is expected to take about six months to complete, although the two men are discussing extending it further. There is the possibility that they may continue to drive north to Costa Rica, and potentially all the way to the U.S. Right now, they're playing it by ear and seeing how things unfold.

This adventure will be a great travel challenge, especially for two men who have to use wheelchairs to get around. But, I love that their mission is to break stereotypes and prove to the world what they can do. Simply by setting off on this grand journey they are already accomplishing that goal.

Video: From Bangkok to Paris in a Tuk-Tuk

We'll end the week on this amazing travel adventure. In this short film we go on a six month long journey from Bangkok to Paris in a tuk-tuk. That's a small, three wheeled vehicle that is common in parts of Asia, and is typically not used on a long distance journey. But in this case, the makers of this video drove theirs over the Himalaya, across the Gobi, along the Silk Road, and through Europe just to make it back to Paris. Quite a road trip indeed!

 
De Bangkok à Paris en tuk-tuk! from Facteurs du Mékong 2 on Vimeo.

Russian Team Designs Vehicle to Drive to the North Pole

Designing a vehicle that can withstand the rigors of driving in the Arctic isn't easy, but is exactly what a team of Russian explorers set out to do with the "Burlak," an amphibious truck that is currently being tested in a remote region of the Ural Mountains, with the intention of eventually driving to the North Pole.

ExWeb has the scoop on this amazing looking new vehicle designed and built by Alexey Makarov. The Russian explorer has a history of creating such trucks, having designed previous vehicles that have been used on motorized expeditions into the Arctic and all the way to 90ºN. Those other models were used in expeditions in both 2009 and 2013.

The Burlak weighs 4 tons and is more than 6 meters (19.6 ft.) in length. It stands 3.2 meters (10.5 ft) high and 2.9 meters (9.5 ft) wide. It is based on a Russian amphibious military vehicle called the BTR-60 and the Toyota Land Cruiser, although ExWeb says that the transmission and transfer case are completely unique. The cabin of the Burlak includes four beds, a kitchen, a sink, and a shower. It has also been insulated with special materials and it pipes heat from the engine into the interior to help keep it warmer.

Makarov says that he built on his previous experience driving through the Arctic, creating a more safe and secure truck for such motorized expeditions. He is currently testing the prototype model of the Burlak by driving from the coast of the Kara Sea, through the Russian Arctic, and ending at Baidarata Bay. Another model of the truck is expected to be built following this rolling test.

Then, in 2017 the two vehicles will be driven to the Russian polar station located  on Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago in anticipation for the start of their first true test in the Arctic – a 2018 drive to the North Pole and back again from the Russian side of the ice.

The fact that this vehicle can cross open water, drive on rugged terrain and ice, and survive in the extremely cold temperatures of the Arctic makes it an intriguing expedition option indeed. It's still two years away from taking off on its journey, but it should be fun to see how it performs when it does.

Who else wants one of these?

Video: Driving Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way is a highway that stretches for more than 1600 miles (2745 km) along Ireland's western coastline. It features dramatic vistas, breathtaking beaches, and ancient structures which all help to give it a unique personality that is all its own. In this video, adventure travel guru Richard Bangs takes us on a road trip along this iconic and beautiful highway, giving us a glimpse of what the Wild Atlantic Way has to offer.