It has been a massive 628 days and 25000km since I left England on that sunny bank holiday in May 2015. I remember waving goodbye to family and friends outside the Reading Bicycle Kitchen to begin a journey that many thought, including me at times, that I would not be able to finish. Well as I write this I am only 8 days away from packing the bike back up into a box and flying to Ushuaia, Argentina to begin the second half of the cycle home. I am excited and nervous once again, having been living what seems most like a normal life for the past six months in Auckland. I have been living in flat shares in the city, have had a steady job, have been out to birthday parties and dinners, I have done very little cycling aside from my little commute to work and as a result I can tell my fitness has decreased in correlation with my waistband increasing! It is time to get cycling again.
I have never been to South America before and am therefore super excited about setting off again. I speak no Spanish but am sure when given enough hard work and time I will learn. I have heard that it is dangerous and that the roads are full of banditos and drug dealers but I have heard these same warnings across the world so far and have not run into any trouble as yet. The food is going to be amazing and the scenery is going to be among the best I have ever seen. I have sketched a route below so you can see the rough outline of my plans.
My route will see me cycle from the very tip of Argentina to Reading, Pennsylvania completing the Reading to Reading adventure. My route will see my cycle along the rough ripio (unpaved road) of both Argentinean and Chilean Patagonia. I will cycle past glaciers and over mountains. I will camp under the stars and fish for my dinner. My plan is to cycle another 25000km through another 15 countries and to reach Reading in the summer of 2018. I will also be cycling this half on my own with Finola and I separating in New Zealand meaning that I am going to have to fend for myself and ensure I do not get into any trouble!
New Zealand has been the most expensive country I have visited this whole trip and it is only by living in temporary accommodation or room sharing that I have managed to save enough money to continue. The average cost of rent and living is higher in Auckland than London meaning any money I was making from work disappeared very quickly. This is why I have been living and working for six months and it also means I have not seen enough of New Zealand, I never even managed to get down to the South Island during my time here and my original idea of cycling around New Zealand has had to be cut short. It is however a beautiful country, with beaches and mountains and friendly people and it is a country I am going to come back to one day to explore more. Perhaps I will kayak around the beautiful coastline one day...never say never!
So on the first of February I will be back on the road, living day to day rather than week to week and I cannot wait. I have met so many great people here in New Zealand that it is hard to say goodbye, but it is not goodbye forever just until next time...
Buy me a beer!! Thank you
This blog follows my cycle ride from Reading, Berkshire to Reading, Pennsylvania.