Giv andre frihed gennem cyklen! / Help us support others by the power of bicycles!
Da vi planlagde vores rejse, var vi ikke i tvivl om, at vi
gerne ville bruge vores platform til at hjælpe andre. Vi kendte til World Bicycle Relief (WBR), der støtter kvinder, studerende, sundhedspersonale
og iværksættere i udviklingslande med cykler. Da vi fandt ud af, at WBR har et
program i Colombia var vi solgt.
Hvordan kommer du på arbejde eller i skole, hvis du ikke kan tage bilen, toget, metroen, bussen eller cyklen? Hvor langt skulle du GÅ hver dag for at ordne hverdagens gøremål? Vi gætter på, at det er mange kilometer og at du slet ikke når alt det du plejer, hvis ikke du har cykel, bil og bus til rådighed.
En dagligdag uden transportmidler er hverdagen for mange mennesker. Det har vi på vores cykelrejse set med egne øjne i lande som Bolivia, Peru og Colombia! Derfor er vi glade for at præsentere vores indsamling til World Bicycle Relief.
Ved at donere robuste cykler, mobiliserer World Bicycle Relief den enkelte, deres familie og hele lokalsamfund i de dele af verden, som har allermest brug for det. Cyklerne giver sundhedspersonale mulighed for at nå ud til flere, gør det muligt for landmænd og iværksættere at transportere flere varer hurtigere og gør det muligt for piger at komme sikkert i skole.
I Colombia har WBR fokus på at støtte piger til at blive i skole, fordi det af kulturelle årsager særligt er piger, som dropper ud af skolen tidligt for at passe hjem og huslige pligter, blive gift osv.
Vi oplever på egen krop den frihed en cykel giver. Den frihed, vil vi gerne give videre. Vi har derfor brug for din hjælp til at nå vores mål om at samle ind, så mindst 20 personer kan få en cykel. Èn cykel koster 165 $ og er bygget til at holde! Cyklerne bliver samlet af lokale på WBRs lokale fabrik, hvor de også uddanner mekanikere, der hjælper med at vedligeholde cyklerne.
Hvem er vi?
Vi er et kærestepar, der til dagligt bor på Amager i København. Vi elsker at bevæge os og vi cykler, vandrer og klatrer sammen. Vi deler passionen for at se verden og vi elsker at rejse sammen, opleve nye steder og nye kulturer.
Tilbage i april 2021 satte vi os for at cykle 20.000 – 25.000 kilometer gennem Syd- og Nordamerika. Vores eventyr startede d. 4. januar 2022, hvor vi satte os på sadlen i Patagonien, Argentina. Vi har i skrivende stund cyklet langs hele Sydamerika og skal til at krydse ind i Centralamerika. Vi planlægger at cykle ind i Vancouver, Canada, i starten af oktober 2023.
Følg med på vores rejse her eller på vores Instagram: @americasbybike
Obs: World Bicycle Relief har projekter i Afrika og Colombia og derfor går donationen til alle WBR projekter, dvs. projekter i både Colombia og Afrika.
When we were planning our trip, we had no doubt that we want to use our platform to help others. We knew about the organization World Bicycle Relief (WBR), which supports women, students, health workers and entrepreneurs in developing countries with bicycles. When we found out that WBR has a program in Colombia, we were sold.
Why the bike?
How do you get to work or school if you can't take the car, train, subway, bus or bike? How far would you have to WALK every day to sort out your daily chores? We guess that it's a lot of kilometers and that you won't be able to do everything you usually get done with the help of your bicycle or car.
A life without means of transport is everyday life for many people. We have seen this with our own eyes on our cycling journey in countries such as Bolivia, Peru and Colombia! Therefore, we are pleased to present our fundraising initiative with WBR.
By donating sturdy bicycles, World Bicycle Relief mobilizes individuals, their families and entire communities in the parts of the world that need it most. The bikes allow health workers to reach more people, enable farmers and entrepreneurs to transport more goods faster and enable girls to get to school safely.
In Colombia, WBR focuses on supporting girls to stay in school because, for cultural reasons, girls drop out of school early.
Every day, we experience the freedom a bicycle provides. We would like to pass on that freedom. We therefore need your help to reach our goal of collecting so that at least 20 people can get a bike. One bike costs $165 and is built to last! The bikes are assembled by locals at WBR's local factory, where they also train mechanics who help maintain the bikes.
Who are we?
We are a Danish couple who live in Copenhagen. We love to be active, and we cycle, hike and climb together. We both share the passion to see the world and we love to travel together, experience new places and new cultures.
Back in April 2021, we set out to cycle 20,000 – 25,000 kilometers up through South and North America. Our adventure started on January 4, 2022, when we took the first pedal stroke in Patagonia, Argentina. At the time of writing, we have cycled all of South America and are about to cross into Central America. We plan to cycle into Vancouver, Canada in early October 2023.
Follow our journey here or on our Instagram: @americasbybike
Note: World Bicycle Relief has projects in Africa and Colombia and therefore your donation goes to all WBR projects, i.e. projects in both Colombia and Africa.
We have crossed a continent 🌎👊🚵♀️🚵🙈Monday 27th Feb
Southern Patagonia – Windy weather and tanned legsSaturday 25th Feb
We started the bike ride 700 kilometers north of Ushuaia in Rio Gallegos, which is the capital of the Santa Cruz province in southern Patagonia, but only after a few days in Buenos Aires, where we had our first Argentine steak and for the first time experienced the hospitality of the Argentines. We have felt very welcome and comfortable in Argentina since day one.
In Rio Gallegos we prepared for the bike ride. We bought gas, food and water so that we could get by for a week and then we cycled into the wind and towards El Calafate, which is 300 kilometers northwest of Rio Gallegos.
In the first two days, we and the bikes were almost blown off the road. We cycled at an average of 5-10 kilometers per hour, against a headwind that we have never experienced before. The wind was also dry and cool, so we didn't realize how the sun was baking down on us until Martin got bright red and sore legs.
The landscape in that part of Patagonia does not offer any kind of protection from the wind, which often ravages. There is desolation as far as the eye can see. We look for sheltered places for our lunch breaks and often we find a viaduct where we can sit by the ditch, eat our lunch and take a little nap. Sometimes we have company, often in the form of flies, but one particularly exciting day we were visited by a black widow.
Besides the black widow, we have seen lots of other exciting animals, for example armadillos, skunks, foxes, eagles and the guanaco, which belongs to the camel family, but which we think looks a bit like a mix between a llama and a fallow deer with its long neck and large brown eyes.
The guanacos elegantly leap over the kilometer-long barbed wire fences that line the road. For the unlucky guanaco, however, it happens that the legs do not make it all the way over the fence. We have seen several skeletons lying by the fence.
One day we got the chance to make a difference for one of the unfortunate guanacos when we spotted it by the fence. It was stuck and tried several times to get free but was obviously defeated after a long struggle. Martin got off the bike and walked purposefully to the fence with his multitool. He clipped the top of the fence and the guanaco wriggled free and rushed off towards its herd.
The first 300 kilometers we have driven to El Calafate are largely deserted, with the exception of the town of La Esperanza, which lies midway. La Esperanza is obviously a place where not many live, but where many stop on their way to or from Rio Gallegos. At the city centre, the gas station, the truck drivers and the many tourists get a sandwich or a cup of coffee before driving on.
While we were standing at the gas station and considering where to sleep, a bus drove up with a lot of Argentinian tourists. Soon we were surrounded by 20 older Argentines, who in Spanish asked us a lot of questions about the bikes and our trip. They also noticed Martin's tanned legs, as they laughingly confirmed that we must be Danes, because who else - other than two pale Scandinavians - could get such a nice sunburn?
The next day we cycled to a roadside service station. We had heard that as a cyclist you can pitch your tent in their garage, but Walter and Claudio, who worked there, were now more interested in selling us a place in one of the containers that the workers live in, when they get out there to work. We decided to say yes, and ended up staying in the container an extra day because there was a hurricane-force storm the day after our arrival.
When we finally had to leave, a day and a half later, the wind was still strong, but it had turned in our favor, so that for a large part of the day we were driving with the wind to our sides and at our backs.
It had become really cold, and the 11-17 degrees we had otherwise enjoyed the days before, we had to look forward to for a long time. It was -1 degrees when we left. Walter thought we were "loco", to leave in that weather, but we wanted to leave, so even though he twice offered to drive us to El Calafate, we went out on the bike.
And what a day! It was cold and at times there was a headwind right in the face, but we also experienced long stretches with the wind at our backs, where we sped off towards El Calafate and we ended up driving the whole stretch in one day, so we arrived at El Calafate in the evening.
See pictures on our blog: https://www.americasbybike.dk/det-sydlige-patagonien-blaesevejr-og-solbraendte-ben/Share
The grass is greener in ChileSaturday 25th Feb
We have come to Chile and are cycling on route 7, the Carretera Austral, which is loved by backpackers, cyclists and motorists due to its magnificent nature with mountains, glaciers and many rivers. We dreamed away from the headwinds of Argentina, and found that the grass is greener on this side of the Andes, but only because it rains and rains.
We eat warm oatmeal with goji berries, coconut and a proper pat of butter to prepare for another day of heavy rain as the rain hammers our tent. The weather in Patagonia has surprised us again. In Argentina we dreamed away from the grueling headwind, and even though we knew it was raining on the Chilean side of the Andes, we were sure that rain is better than headwind after all. That attitude held true for the first few days, when the sun peeked out from the clouds, until one day we cycled up a steep mountain pass in pouring rain and cold.
Despite the rain, we enjoy the hilly, green mountain landscape that the Carretera Austral winds through. With huge lakes and rivers, full of trout and salmon. The salmon industry in Chile is the world's second largest.
Martin has set out to catch a salmon for dinner and for that mission, we have bought a fish hook and fishing net, which we have neatly twisted around a used coke bottle. With expert guidance from a chance meeting with an American fishing guide and from some YouTube videos, Martin has read up on and thrown himself into the discipline of angling. It's a time-consuming affair that costs bug bites, wet shoes and even a trip into the river to save the fishing hook from getting stuck in a log. The fishing hook had to end its life on another log and we have yet to catch a salmon, so until we can buy a new fishing hook, we have to settle for plan B for dinner. Sausage, pasta and vegetables.
The heavy rain made us seek indoors to dry the tent and clothes and that brought good experiences with the Chileans. In the village of La Junta, we stayed with an elderly woman, Maria, who manages a campsite and guest house all by herself. Maria works all day long with everything from cleaning to chopping firewood to the stove where the food is prepared. In the evening we made a huge batch of pasta with chorizo and invited Maria to dinner. She returned the gesture the following evening, and we ate delicious soup with steak and potatoes. We spent the evenings talking about our life in Denmark and Maria talked about her life in Chile.
We also encounter the harsh reality of nature when we cycle to the small town of Villa Santa Lucia. When we cycled into town, we could immediately feel that the atmosphere had changed. There was a sense of pressure here, which the gray weather reinforced. We were led to a small hotel that was on the outskirts of the town together with houses that were more or less destroyed. Something bad had happened here. Later we got it confirmed. In December 2017, there was a mudslide here that had hit half of the city. 22 people were dead and 1 has not yet been found. Many people were saved because a gaucho had discovered the mudslide and rescued on horseback down to town to warn. Fortunately it had happened in the morning and not at night when people were sleeping. That set our minds in motion. How does a city move on from there? We were greeted by nice, friendly people, who probably all lost loved ones just 5 years ago. Life is unpredictable. And so is nature. In the destroyed part of the city, there is now a museum in memory of those who lost their lives.
Read more about our ride on Caretera Austral and see pictures on our blog: https://www.americasbybike.dk/det-med-graesset-er-groennere-i-chile/Share
Sur Lípez and Salar de UyuniSaturday 25th Feb
We stand at Chile's border with Bolivia at an altitude of 4800 meters. It's windy and the cold is creeping in under our raincoats.
When we cross the border, six months in Argentina and Chile are behind us. It is exciting to stand on the border of the more developed South America and look at Bolivia. We cross into southwestern Bolivia, which is desolate and barren, but with natural formations you don't find in many other places in the world. Volcanoes that are over 6000 meters high and lakes with the most beautiful colors of green, blue and red.
Volcanoes, hot springs and sandy roads
Martin has long dreamed of cycling the Laguna route in southwestern Bolivia. The route is famous for fantastic scenery and notorious for the harsh weather conditions, impassable roads, cold nights and desolate nature, all at an altitude of over 3500 metres. We have bought food for six days and are ready for 12 days in beautiful nature.
The Laguna route gives us a fight to the finish line. It is the hardest route we have cycled. The altitude and the cold make everything twice as hard, but also three times as beautiful, so we enjoy every day even if we struggle.
Meet us on the salt flat
After two weeks of cycling on the Laguna route, we reach one of the absolute highlights of the trip, the world's largest salt flat Salar de Uyuni. We have heard that our good American cycling friend Jace, who we have already spent time with several times on our trip, is near the salt flat.
The day before we reach the great white landscape, we sleep in a tent in the back room of a shop with a sweet Bolivian family who also provide dinner for us. For the first time in two weeks we have Wifi and we send Jace a coordinate of a meeting point in the middle of Salar De Uyuni where, if all goes well, we can find each other and camp together.
At the family, we buy half a kilo of llama meat directly from the freezer. We set off with our frozen lump of meat towards the salt lake with joy of anticipation and excitement in our stomachs. There is no other place like it in the world and we look forward to seeing it with our own eyes.
The salt plain fulfills our expectations and more. We have a feeling of cycling on snow because everything is white, but it is not snow but salt that crunches under our wheels as we cycle out into the seemingly endless white landscape. The air is clear and fresh and the sun is beating down on us at +25 degrees. We use extra sunscreen and are grateful for our sunglasses, which protect us from becoming snow-blind - or salt-blind.
We cycle 40 kilometers out into the white landscape without seeing or hearing anyone else. It's completely quiet here. You could hear a pin drop to the ground. Such silence is a luxury in this world full of sounds, colors and impressions and we enjoy it to the fullest. On the horizon we can make out two mountain peaks, which we use to navigate.
In the middle of the afternoon we spot a black dot on the horizon. As we get closer, we see it's Jace and his tent. He has found the coordinate and we have found each other on 10,000 square kilometers! We cheer, wave like crazy and speed up until we reach our campsite for the evening.
Read more about our adventure in Sur Lípez and Salar de Uyuni and see pictures on our blog: https://www.americasbybike.dk/sur-lipez-og-salar-de-uyuni/Share
Thousands of kilometers into the Amazon by boatSaturday 18th Feb
We stand at the harbor in the big city of Pucallpa and are fascinated by the many different boats that are moored. Transport ships, wooden boats and fast speedboats lie side by side on the beach. Our mission is to find a boat that can transport us and our bikes further into the jungle to the city of Iquitos.
We stroll down the small sand-paved harbor streets and get an insight into the lives of local sailors. A tough life. River fish and butchered chickens lie on tables in the hot sun, ready to be cooked. Chicken feet are on the grill, a good and cheap snack. We see several men sleeping on the pavement, drunk and exhausted. Prostitutes with short skirts and red lips wait on street corners. Food, alcohol and sex, that's what the sailors want when they come to port. It sounds like an old-fashioned cliché, but here in Peru it seems to be daily life in the port of Pucallpa.
We end up buying a ticket for a fast boat bus. It takes 36 hours to get from Pucallpa to Iquitos without any stops along the way. The boat sails day and night. The staff fasten the bikes to the roof of the boat, and we cross our fingers that they arrive safely in Iquitos. The nervous excitement continues after the captain with a smile on his face says that if we don't pay 200 dollars, our bikes will disappear during the trip. We give him two Coca Cola and a smile and hope it is enough.
Six Mennonites, a monkey and two Danes. It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it's the reality of the boat trip. The Mennonites live in colonies in the jungle, they speak a form of German language and moved to Peru in 2015 in search of a place where they can live out their beliefs in peace. Apparently, they don't do missions. We don't understand how they can stand the heat in their overalls, shirts and big boots, but they don't look terribly affected. We are already wet with sweat before the boat leaves the port.
In addition to passengers, the boat acts as a transport for parcels to the small village communities living along the rivers of the Amazon, and we constantly stop to deliver parcels ranging from bunches of bananas to a computer and a soccer ball, the latter to the delight of two little boys who are anxiously waiting on the riverbank. Every time we reach a riverbank, women and children from the villages come aboard the boat and sell food and drinks. Sometimes they come in boats. We buy rice and chicken wrapped in palm leaves and avocados, which we eat for lunch and dinner.
The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world, and we have high expectations for the plant and animal life. As is so often the case throughout our journey, our idea of what the jungle is like becomes nuanced as it meets reality. We expect to see sloths, toucans and parrots in every tree, but quickly realize that even in the deepest part of the jungle man has made his entrance.
There are traces of man everywhere. Garbage floats on the Amazon rivers, and there are bottles and masks in the jungle. Not long ago, a boat with 70 tourists was taken hostage by one of the local people who live on the river in the Amazon. It was done in protest against the government's handling of an oil spill in the river. 80,000 tons of oil had been dumped into the river that the locals use as bathing and drinking water. The local indigenous peoples of the Amazon are fighting a very unequal battle for their right to live on the land they have lived on for many generations in a row. It is a fight against giant oil companies and a corrupt political system.
Read more about our jungle trip on our website: https://www.americasbybike.dk/flere-tusind-kilometer-ind-i-amazonas/
Peru Great Divide – Up in the mountains, above the cloudsSaturday 18th Feb
It says 4994 meters on our GPS. It is the highest we have and will be on the trip, and the thought that we have brought ourselves up to almost 5,000 meters by bike makes us proud and happy. We cycle in the mountains of Peru along small dirt roads on a cycle route called the Peru Great Divide.
4994 meters up
The mountain pass up to almost 5000 meters is particularly tough with lots of hairpin bends and steep climbs. When we think we are finally up, there is a small descent and two hairpin bends around the corner before we reach the real top. A cheat peak, which we call the peaks where we are surprised by yet another peak. Whew, we snort. We will have to take it easy and cycle 20 altitude meters at a time to then catch our breath again. Although we have been cycling in mountains and on the high plain for several months, and are well acclimatized, we feel the lack of oxygen at the dizzying altitude.
We celebrate the "victory" with a kiss, a biscuit and a picture of both of us taken with the camera. Martin climbs the last bit of the rocks to set up the camera and we cheer as he is most likely standing at 5000 meters.
Legendary cycling route
The Peru Great Divide is an informal cycling route through the mountains of Peru, created by an English couple, and is now so well known that it is a draw for adventurous cyclists from all over the world. Despite that, we only met 3 other cyclists in the 380 kilometers we followed the 1200-kilometer-long route. The route is known to be deserted and it follows minor dirt roads through the mountains of Peru. You cycle in beautiful nature, without encountering too many cars. Every cyclist's dream. The part of the route we have cycled contains no less than 8500 meters of cycling. Not every cyclist's dream, but we love it. We cycle up a mountain pass between 4400 and 5000 meters and then all the way down to 3000 meters again. We repeat this approx. once a day, apart from a few days when we are constantly cycling at an altitude of over 4300 metres.
Our warm gloves, jackets and sleeping bags are at the top of the bike bags, because at night it is cold up in the heights. We stop a day earlier - at 3pm. We are both tired after many days of hard cycling, and we find a nice lake to stop at at an altitude of 4500 metres. We set up the tent, visible from the road this day, because we couldn't find a good hiding place. A car stops and a man in jogging clothes comes walking towards us. He gives us a sweet aniseed bread and asks us if we are sure we want to sleep there because it gets very cold at night. We assure him that we are used to the cold and that we have good sleeping bags. As the sun sets a few hours later, we feel that he is right. This place is colder than the other places we have slept and we have to crawl into both the all-round sleeping bag AND the summer sleeping bag to keep warm.
Read more about our adventure on the Peru Great Divide trail on our website: https://www.americasbybike.dk/peru-great-divide-oppe-i-bjergene-over-skyerne/Share
Thank you to my supporters
Nikolaj Astrup Astrup
Such a great initiative. Happy to help.
Familien Saltofte Hansen
Det er et godt formål i har fundet, så selvfølgelig er der da lige en lille donation herfra:-). Pøj pøj med indsamlingen. Hilsen Nielsen