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02. Jul, 2012

20,000km the stats

20,000km the stats

We reached 20,000km just south of Salvador on the Brazilian coast. Idyllic sounding, it was actually the rainiest day of our cycle trip around South America so far, and we only stopped for a few minutes to celebrate before getting back in the saddle for a day thinking about moments from the road.

It seems a long time since we marked 10,000km in the Sechuara Desert, Peru. Since then we’ve climbed many a long, steep road through the Andes in Ecuador and Colombia; explored the lost world of the Gran Sabana in Venezuela; traversed the oft-forgotten Guyanas, three countries unique and removed from the continent they sit in; and, now, we find ourselves back in Brazil, crossing this huge country where our journey started and, very shortly, will finish too. (more…)

31. Mar, 2012

Pedalling about Venezuela: Information for cycle tourists

Pedalling about Venezuela: Information for cycle tourists

We cycled around Venezuela in early 2012. Below are details of the route we took as well as other information cyclists planning a trip may find useful.

Venezuela is a fascinating and complex country to cycle through. We rode from the Andes in the west, across the central plains to the lost world of table-top mountains and huge plains of the Gran Sabana. At times the scenery was breath-taking and we thought the Gran Sabana was one of the best places we have cycled. The people were fantastic: friendly, inquisitive and helpful.

However, it wasn’t the most straightforward country to cycle through. Getting hold of cash is complicated and Venezuela isn’t a cheap country. There is also a real issue about security.

You can download this information on pedalling about Venezuela as a PDF(more…)

23. Mar, 2012

Cycling the lost world: Ciudad Bolivar to Santa Elena

Cycling the lost world: Ciudad Bolivar to Santa Elena

They say with age comes beauty and Venezuela’s Gran Sabana gives credence to that. Before the continents divided the south-eastern point of the country was centre of the global land mass, making it one of the oldest paces on earth. It is also outstandingly beautiful and perfect cycling territory and we crossed into Brazil with fantastic memories of our time spent in this intriguing country.

However, there was plenty of cycling to do from Ciudad Bolivar before we reached the Gran Sabana. We took one day to ride between there and Ciudad Guyana along the Rio Orinocco. It was fairly straightforward cycling with us taking turns to hide behind each other as we battled into the north-easterly wind. (more…)

09. Mar, 2012

Eyes on the road: Valencia to Ciudad Bolivar

Eyes on the road: Valencia to Ciudad Bolivar

After a refreshing break, during which time we got married, we were back on the flat and with fresh legs were ready to pump out some long distances. However, we hadn’t factored in Venezuela’s heat, wind and terrible roads, the combination of which saw us appearing on local radio.

We had a fantastic holiday in Barbados with our families and tied the knot on the island. We got engaged earlier on in the trip in Mendoza and with South America’s great internet connections were able to plan our special day whilst on the bikes. We had a wonderful time, but all too soon were back to reality and leaving our great Couchsurfing host, Eisen, in Valencia to set off again. (more…)

15. Feb, 2012

Getting to grips with Venezuela: Cycling San Antonio to Valencia

Getting to grips with Venezuela: Cycling San Antonio to Valencia

Crossing into Venezuela, our tenth country, we were keen to find out why it receives less than a quarter of the visitors of neighbouring Colombia which is hardly a mass tourism destination itself. What lay ahead was an experience unlike any other we’ve had so far, as we reached the most northerly point of our South American bike ride.

We crossed the Puente Simon Bolivar into Hugo Chavez country across a long, narrow bridge crossing a rubbish-strewn dry riverbed. Our first impressions were of a transformation back in time; huge American cars from decades before were living their third and fourth lives. (more…)