The Dream….ride from my home in St. Albert, Alberta to the southernmost point in South America. It was merely a dream when I started riding again in 2007 but that changed in 2010 when I made the decision to start planning for the trip.
My route will take me over 30,000 Kilometers through 16 countries. Six months will pass as I traverse the Three Americas from the prairies of Alberta to the penguins of Patagonia. Coastal Baja beaches to ancient Machu Pichu, tropical jungle to barren desert. This is shaping up to be one heck of a trip!
If I had unlimited time I would not plan a route at all. To be able to ride without time or money constraints would be a dream. So with my 6 month limit I will have a rough idea of where I’m going. A basic plan that will stretch and bend with my mood, the weather, and indeed with fellow travelers I’ll meet along the way.
The North America leg will start in my home town of St. Albert and will be more or less a straight shot to Mexico. I plan on attending the Horizons Unlimited meeting in Nakusp, British Columbia in late August. From there a little zigzagging through Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California to Tecate.
We will fly to Guatemala to spend a few days at the great Mayan Ruins of Tikal. Then back to Belize for a week of relaxation and exploration. There are plenty of things to do in Belize from snorkeling to cave tubing. It’s going to be FANTASTIC!
When we part ways, I’ll head back into Guatemala and Central America.
Here is a peek at my plan from Guatemala to Colombia. The route will take me through Guatemala, into El Salvador and Honduras. I’ll pass through Nicaragua and Costa Rica on my way to Panama. From Panama, I’ll need to cross the Darien Gap by boat or airplane…more on that when I get there.
The Route-South America
One of the challenges of undertaking an overland trip from Central to South America is the non-navigable piece of no man’s land called the Darien Gap
The “Gap” is the only place where the 30,000 mile Pan American Highway is broken. Only a well funded and guarded expedition can cross it so overlanders must bypass it by sea or by air. My choice is to load me and my bike on a ship. If my timing is good I’ll find passage on one of a handful of reliable vessels that ply the waters between San Blas Panama and Cartagena Colombia. I’m really looking forward to this part of the trip and hope that I will be able to catch a boat. By air won’t be as fun but the crossing is a huge milestone of the journey. Once in Colombia the real adventure begins.
From Cartagena my route will take me briefly into Venezuela then back into Colombia where I’ll visit Medellin and Cali. Ecuador next as I cross the equator and pass through Quito. Across the Andes and into the rainforest to get a small feel for the Amazon. Peru is next where Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca await. High altitude is the theme now as I’ll ride through Bolivia over the famed “Death Road” and the great Salar de Uyuni. Exiting Bolivia, I’ll enter Chile and over the next few thousand miles cross the Andes into Argentina and back into Chile a number of times. Until finally my trusty steed and I will reach the end of the world in Ushuaia!