Showing posts with label South America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label South America. Show all posts

Video: Walking the Roads of Argentina

In 2016, a pair of travelers visited Argentina, exploring both the Salta Region in the north, and Patagonia in the south. Along the way, they shot some very dramatic video footage, which has now been assembled into this beautiful clip which not only reveals the roads of Argentina, but plenty of other breathtaking images of landscapes and people too. This well crafted short film is a joy to watch, and will get your wanderlust going as well.

 
ROADS OF ARGENTINA from Guillaume JUIN on Vimeo.

Belgian Adventurer Becomes First to Traverse Bolivian Salars on Foot

I'm a little late in posting this story, but better late than never. Back in October, Belgian adventurer Louis-Philippe Loncke became the first person to traverse both the Salar de Coipasa and Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia on foot, covering some 250 km (155 miles) in just seven days, completely solo and unassisted.

The Salar de Uyuni is the the largest salt flat in the world, stretching out over 10,582 sq. km (4086 sq. miles) on the Bolivian Altiplano. While smaller, the Salar de Coipasa is no small area of land either, covering 806 sq. km (311 sq. miles). Adding to the challenge was an average altitude of over 3700 meters (12,139 ft) and plenty of rough, dry terrain as well.

This was Loncke's second attempt at crossing the two salars. Back in 2013 he made a similar trek, but had to abandon the attempt six days in due to a lack of water. But since that time, he has crossed both Death Valley and the Simpson Desert in Australia in foot, using the experience he gained in those environments to help him survive this one too. Those expeditions have helped him to perfect the load he carries, which includes enough water to complete the trek, but few other amenities – including no cook stove or communications gear.

While trekking in Bolivia, Loncke spent about 14 hours a day on the trail. He'd walk from 6 AM to 8 AM most days. Temperatures ranged from 0ºC (32ºF) at night, to 19ºC (66ºF) during the day. But, because of the altitude, thin air, and the reflection of the sun off of the salar, the temperatures typically felt more lie 40ºC (104ºF). Add in winds that regularly approached 60 km/h (37 mph), and you start to have weather conditions that can be very taxing on both the body and mind.


The Belgian adventurer's approach to crossing deserts has evolved considerably over the years. On past expeditions, he would often employ a specially built cart that would carry all of his gear and supplies, including water. But, that cart was often very heavy and ponderous to use, so instead he now carries everything in a backpack. That pack starts off quite heavy, as it is filled with lots of liquids, but as he consumes food and water over the course of the trek, it lightens up considerably, allowing him to go faster. At the start of the salar crossing, the pack weighed in at 43kg (95 pounds). That's a tremendous amount of weight to have strapped to your back, and a big reason why he only managed about 2 km/hr (1.2 mph) at the start of the trek.

This expedition was the third in an epic year of travels on foot through major desert. In November of 2015 he completed the Death Valley crossing and in August of this year he wrapped up the Simpson Desert. It also mores the confusion of 10 years of adventures, with 15 total expeditions, and 10 world firsts. Loncke isn't sure what will come next however, as he has a number of idea, but also plans to write a book or two, and work on documentaries of his previous journeys.

Whatever comes next, I'm sure it'll be adventurous and interesting.

Video: Trekking to Mt. Roraima in South America

At just 2810 meters (9220 ft.) in height, Mont Roraima isn't even close to being the tallest mountain in South America. Still, it is quite an adventure to get to its table-top summit, which rises above the lush forest below. At the top, there is an ecosystem unlike what is found nearby, including some species of animals that aren't seen anywhere else on Earth. In this video, we make the trek along with some other adventure travelers to explore a place that was the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. This part of the world remains beautiful and largely untouched, and is on my bucket list of places I'd like to visit myself at some point. For now, I'l have to settle for this video like everyone else.

DRONE DA MONTANHA - MONTE RORAIMA from DRONE DA MONTANHA on Vimeo.

Irish Adventurer to Visit Six Poles of Inaccessibility

Irish adventurer Mike O'Shea is getting set to embark on what promises to be quite an interesting set of expeditions. Having climbed in the Himalaya, Karakoram, and other remote locations, as well as skied across the North Patagonia Ice Camps, the South Kilimanjaro Ice Camp, Greenland, and South Georgia, he now plans to become the first person to reach six Poles of Inaccessibility on the planet.

For those who are unaware of the concept, a "Pole of Inaccessibility" is the point on the map that is most challenging to reach being as far a way as possible from certain geographical features. For instance, the North Pole of Inaccessbility is found in the Arctic Ocean, at the point that is furthest from any land mass. The South Pole of Inaccessibility is located in the heart of the frozen continent that is the furthest point from any coasts. The locations are always extremely remote, challenging to reach, and typically unmarked on a map.

So, what are the six Poles of Inaccessibility that O'Shea plans on reaching? In addition to the South Pole, he'll also visit the POI of North America (located in South Dakota), South America (found in the Brazilian Mato Grosso region), Australia (located in the Northern Territory), Africa (located in the Congo), Eurasia (near the border with China and Kazakistan). Each of these spots will be reached by whatever means is necessary, including driving, hiking, skiing, on horseback, and so on. Several will involve full traverses of the continent as well.

The first POI that Mike will attempt to reach is in the U.S., which is the easiest of the group. He should arrive int he country soon and begin his journey from New York to Los Angeles, with a stop over in South Dakota to hit the Pole of Inaccessibility there. After that, he'll move on to South America next, which will be considerably more challenging. The POI there is located in a more remote area that will be more difficult to get to. The other POI's will follow as the expedition unfolds in the weeks ahead, with Antarctica being the most difficult overall.

You can find out more about this project at ThePolesProject.com. You'll also be able to follow' Mike's progress on that site.

Big thanks to the Expedition News for sharing this story.

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: Meet the Hippos of Colombia

In 1980, drug lord Pablo Escobar brought several hippos from Africa to his compound in Colombia. It turns out that the environment there was very similar to their natural habitat, and the creatures adapted quite well to their new home. But later, when Escobar was finally brought down and taken in for justice, the animals were left to their own devices. Now, they are cared for by a local conservation organization, and they continue to thrive in the South American jungle. This video tells their story.

Nat Geo Tells Us Where to Backpack in 2016

2016 is just a month old, but if you haven't started planning your travel yet, you're probably missing out on precious time. Thankfully, National Geographic is here to lend us a helping hand with some great suggestions of where to go backpacking in 2016.

The complete list contains ten total designations, ranging from Argentina and Patagonia in South America, to Zimbabwe in Africa, to Vietnam in Asia, with plenty of other options inbetween. In fact, every continent is represented on the list with the exception of Antarctica, which means just about no matter where you go, there will be some exceptional hiking spots nearby.

Beyond just creating a list of excellent backpacking places, Nat Geo also offers some great travel advice for those visiting these places. For instance, they'll tell you how to get there, how to travel around once you arrive, and just where to stay too. The various write-ups for each destination also include tips on what to eat, when to go, and what activities you absolutely should not miss out on.

All in all, this is a fairly comprehensive travel piece with some good suggestions on where to go backpacking this year. While the individual articles do a good job of setting you on the path to going to that particular place, they also leave plenty of room for you to explore and plan your own excursions and activities too. Think of it as helpful advice from those who have been there before, with just enough information to get you intrigued and started with your planning.

Find out what other destinations made the list by reading the entire article here.

Video: Mountain Biking Through A Colombian Salt Mine

Professional mountain biker Marcelo Gutierrez knows what its like to push boundaries on his bike, but for this video he really took things to a new level. In shooting this clip, Marcelo went deep underground to ride through a subterranean salt mine in his home country of Colombia. His route started above ground in a small town, but eventually plunged under the Earth, where it came to and end in a spectacular unground cathedral. As you'll see here, it looks like it was quite an experience.

Video: Scenes From Machu Picchu

One of the most spectacular displays of ancient architecture found anywhere in the world, the mountain fortress of Machu Picchu needs little introduction. But this beautiful video takes us high into the Peruvian Andes to share some amazing views of this spectacular place. The wonderful music gives the clip a tranquil feeling that makes it a joy to watch, so just sit back and take it all in.

And if you haven't been fortunate enough to visit Machu Picchu yourself just yet, my friends at Mountain Travel Sobek can make that journey are a reality. Check out all of their options for visiting Peru and start thinking about your own adventure in the Andes.

Machu Picchu from irenaVision on Vimeo.

Video: Traveling the Andes Mountains - Spine of the South

In 2015, photographer Eric Hanson spent seven months traveling the length of South America along the spectacular Andes Mountains. Starting in Ecuador and ending in Patagonia, he captured thousands of photos of the landscapes that he encountered along the way. The very best of those images can be found in this breathtaking video, which give us an incredible look at these amazing mountains. Sit back and enjoy this clip, it is gorgeous.

Spine of the South from Overland Collective on Vimeo.

Video: A Kayaking Expedition to Chile

This short film takes us deep into the Chilean wilderness on a kayaking adventure along a remote river. It begins by first taking a look at everything the paddlers must first go through before they ever reach the water, traveling great distances and working very hard before they ever even see their objective. But once they river is in sight, they understand why they have put such an effort into reaching that place, and the payoff comes with a sense of joy and accomplishment. Beautifully shot, and narrated, this is a video that isn't just about going on an adventure, but "why" we are driven to do so. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Kayak film 'Why?' from Leeway Collective on Vimeo.

Video: A Journey Through Wild and Remote Patagonia

We all know that Patagonia is one of the most wildly beautiful places on the planet, but that fact is hammered home even more convincingly in this short video. Shot in both Argentina and Chile, filmmaker Benjamin Aubray has captured incredible shots of the landscapes that are found at the very tip of the South American continent. You'll see jagged snowcapped peaks, pristine lakes, rushing rivers, and lush meadows, all working together to make the setting that much more spectacular. If you haven't gone yet, Patagonia needs to be on your list of places to visit. It not only lives up to the hype, in exceeds it in every way.

PATAGONIA from Benjamin Aubray on Vimeo.

Video: Lands of Wind - A Journey Across Peru and Bolivia

Need a brief escape to South America today? Than check out this great video that takes us to Peru and Bolivia to explore the culture, people, and landscapes that can be found there. It is a colorful look at a part of the world that has a lot to offer travelers, ranging from mountains to jungle to desert, with just about everything in-between.

And when you're ready to go visit these places for yourself, check out the wide variety of travel options to South America that my friends at Mountain Travel Sobek have to offer. They have several itineraries for both Bolivia and Peru, as well as several other countries.

LANDS OF WIND from Baptiste Lanne on Vimeo.

Kon-Tiki2 Looks to Follow in the Footsteps of Thor Heyerdahl

An epic sea journey got underway this past weekend in South America, where a team of sailors from around the world have set off on two rafts made of balsa wood in an attempt to sail from Peru to Easter Island. The crew hope to explore possible migration patterns for early Polynesian cultures, which may have migrated to the remote South Pacific islands on similar craft centuries ago.

The two rafts – dubbed Rahiti Tane and Tupac Yupanqui – were built from wood that was gathered in Ecuador. They'll now attempt to follow a similar journey to the one that was famously completed by Thor Heyerdahl and his team back in 1947. Heyerdahl had hoped to prove that his theory of early sailors setting out from South America to the South Pacific was true, and in the process he sailed more than 8000 km (5000 miles) from the mainland to the Tuamotu Islands. He later wrote a bestselling book about his adventure entitled Kon Tiki, which was the name of his raft, and the inspiration for this modern journey as well.

The crew of the Kon-Tiki2 expedition left Lima Peru on Sunday and are now making their way across the Pacific Ocean. They'll sail more than 3757 km (2334 miles) to reach their destination, but unlike Heyerdahl, the plan is to also sail back. This will make the journey even more perilous, as no one has been able to successfully complete a return voyage as of yet. The entire round-trip is expected to cover more than 10,000 km (6200 miles).

The research opportunities go beyond just studying possible migration patterns in the Pacific however. The team also hopes to survey the amount of pollution and waste that is found in the water as well, and observe the population levels of certain species of Tuna too.

Heyerdahl's expedition took 101 days to complete, but the Kon-Tiki2 will likely last longer. Not only are the two rafts traveling longer distances, they are also making a return trip in very different wind patterns and ocean currents. How long the crew will be at sea remains to be seen, as some days they will probably cover long distances, and on others they'll drift more slowly.

You can follow the expedition as it unfolds on the official website and Facebook page. Good luck to the crew! It should be interesting to see how it all plays out in the days a

Video: Drones Over Patagonia

We all know that Patagonia is one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world, but that sentiment is only reinforced by this video. Shot with the use of a drone near the Argentine village of El Chalten, the landscapes shown here are nothing short of spectacular. This is 4+ minutes of pure mountain bliss.

And when you're ready to go to Patagonia yourself, my friends at Mountain Travel Sobek can help. They offer multiple trips to South America, including one that explores Patagonia on foot.

DRONE DA MONTANHA - EL CHALTEN/PATAGÔNIA from DRONE DA MONTANHA on Vimeo.

Video: A Journey by Bike Through Patagonia

Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth, South America's Patagonia region is filled with remote landscapes, snowcapped peaks, and crystal-clear fjords. This video takes us on a tour of the legendary wilderness, as we join intrepid adventurers on a cycling excursion to the very ends of the world. The striking setting makes for a magnificent backdrop for their adventure.

And when you're ready to visit Patagonia for yourself, my friends at Mountain Travel Sobek can help. They have several trips that visit both the Argentinean and Chilean sides of the region, including a private six-day hiking adventure through Torres del Paine National Park.

Patagonia - A Journey by Bike from Sam Oakes on Vimeo.

Woman Preparing to Trek the Length of the Americas

29-year old Bethany Hughes is no stranger to long distance hiking. After all, she has already completed the entire length of the 2650-mile (4264 km) long Pacific Crest Trail. But now, she is preparing to set out on an expedition that will make that one pale in comparison. One that will cover more than 20,000 miles (32,186 km), and take upwards of five years to complete.

In December of this year, Bethany will head to Ushuaia, Argentina – the southernmost city in South America, and will begin trekking north. Her goal is to become the first woman to travel across the entire length of the Americas completely under her own power, eventually reaching Barrow, Alaska. Along the way, she'll face endless miles of challenges, including crossing over mountain ranges, passing through dense forests and jungles, and hiking arid deserts. She'll also be visiting regions that are no necessarily safe for travelers, man or woman, as she makes her way across two continents.

The plan is to embark from Ushuaia with a friend. The duo will first trek through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. At that point, Bethany's companion will head home, while she continues on bike through Central America and Mexico. Once back in the  U.S., she'll elect to bike, hike, or paddle depending on weather conditions. She hasn't ruled out using a dogsled team in parts of Canada and Alaska as well.

Hughes has a great deal of experience living in a various parts of the world, and her adventures have taken her across the globe. As a child, her missionary parents lived in places like Chile, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. She has also spent time in Spain, and studied at Oxford as well. And while her experience on the PCT will prove invaluable on this major hike, nothing can quite prepare her for everything she'll face walking from one end of the South America to the other end of North America.

Bethany says she's making the trek to not only inspire others to go out and chase their own adventures, but to open up opportunities for women too. She says she'll stay in local villages along the way, and document the way of life that she encounters as well. You'll be able to follow her progress, and learn more about the journey, at the official website for the expedition – Her-Odyssey.org.

Good luck to Bethany on this amazing excursion.

Video: Life Lessons From a Seven-Thousand Mile Long Bike Ride

Jedidiah Jenkins rode his bike from Oregon to the southernmost tip of South America. Along the way, he learned a lot about himself and the world. His friend, filmmaker Kenny Laubbacher joined him for part of the journey to find out why he would embark on such a ride. This video shares some of his answers, and may provide not only a bit of insight as to why someone would ride their bike 7000 miles (11,265 km), but perhaps a bit of inspiration for seeking your own adventures too. Beautifully filmed and thoughtfully put together, this is one clip you should not skip.

Video: Drone Flight Over Bolivia in 4k

Bolivia is one of the South American countries that often gets forgotten when competing for attention against the likes of Peru, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. But the country has a natural beauty all of its own, and plenty of great opportunities for adventure. This video was shot using a drone and a 4k GoPro Hero4 Black camera. It captures a variety of landscapes from Bolivia in fashion that is both oddly mesmerizing and incredibly tranquil. Shot at 3000 meters (9842 feet) in altitude, the video shows fantastic shots of the famous salt flats, as the altiplano stretches out before you. The soothing music only adds to the experience.

Flying Bolivia in 4K from Octocam on Vimeo.

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.