It’s a fair point; I’ll be missing out on the delights of the Inca trail and Machu Picchu, the headwaters of the Amazon and arguably South America’s most stunning country in the guise of Bolivia. Given the amount of time and preparation that’s going into this trip it does seem almost criminal to avoid such geographic and cultural wonders.
But whilst this journey is certainly about travel for travel’s sake – with all the superlative experiences that that entails – it’s also about doing something that only a few people have ever achieved. I want to cycle around an entire continent; indeed, I’m still not certain that this journey has ever been done before. It seems that plenty of people have cycled ultra-long distances in the Americas, but I can’t find much evidence of a journey that has had the circumnavigation of South America as its raison d’être. Perhaps the attractions of the continent’s heart have always proved too great.
To that end I submitted an application to Guinness World Records a short while ago to confirm whether this journey had indeed been carried out before, and if not to see if a record could be set for it. I’m still awaiting a response but as soon as I find out I’ll post it here.
So it looks like – for now – Bolivia will have to wait for another time. And perhaps that’s no bad thing; it’d be a damn shame not to have a reason to return to South America in the future…