Los Andes

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After almost two weeks in La Paz it felt good to be back on the road again – then again it always does. Having cycled solo for almost a year I was thoroughly enjoying the company of Alex; a heavily bearded and rather jolly Austrian. We met at the casa de cyclistas in La Paz. As the only two fool’s stupid enough to be headed north, into the immense mountains of Peru during rainy season, we decided to team up. It’s hard not to like the bloke given how amicable he is. Alex is eight months into a monster ride the length of the Americas, from Patagonia to Alaska.

The Longest Night Of My Life

Traditional Bolivian Woman

A series of problems would soon impede my progress through Bolivia. However the country has so much to offer in terms of people, landscapes, food and culture that I would take these problems (more or less) in my stride and still enjoy my time there. I was so excited about visiting the Salar de Uyuni and Bolivia’s South West, I couldn’t foresee that I would end up losing my sight for three days.

Climbing up to Bolivia

Vivid colours in the Quebrada de Humahuaca

In order to reach Bolivia and leave Argentina I had to climb up to 3,800 meters above sea level. The Bolivian plateau, or Altiplano, sits between 3,500 meters and 4,500 meters. Though this is only one of the stark differences between Argentina and its landlocked neighbor. I experienced a dramatic change in the landscapes, people, food, culture and customs. This border crossing must be one of only a few in the world where you cross directly from a first world country into a third world country (based on UN statistics for the human development index). In Bolivia 64% of the population live below the poverty line surviving on just a few USD per day.

Kevin Bacon and the 7 steps to funding your adventure

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This post is a takeaway from the Explore 2013 fundraising workshop chaired by Craig Pollard. The focus of the workshop was raising money to get your expedition going but the principles are also applicable for charity fundraising.

Learning how to be an explorer at Explore 2013

The main lecture theatre at The Royal Geographical Society

Three years ago, wide-eyed and fresh-faced, Matt and I travelled to the Royal Geographical building on the edge of Hyde Park for our first Expedition and Fieldwork Planning Weekend to learn how to go on a huge cycle adventure.

This year I returned, older, more squinty-eyed with the less said about my face, the better.

Hitting The Big Time

Captin Jack Sparrow

Having finally outrun the snow and rain in my race north through Patagonia I could again enjoy the simplicity of cycling and camping. I reached a trio of significant milestones: 20,000 miles cycled, £30,000 raised for the amazing charity War Child and two years on the road. Naturally this got me thinking about my journey.