Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1628, Arjona – Cartagena: The End of South America!

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Apr - 04 - 2015

Distance: 65.51 km
Ride time: 3:16:55
Average: 19.96 km/h
Max speed: 38.71 km/h
Total: 34246 km

The last week’s cycling has been somewhat monotonous but today was a special day – the final cycling day in South America!

I had been sleeping in a small village 60 km out of Cartagena. I woke up early and was on the road before sunrise. That way I would be arriving before noon and the worst heat.

I haven’t seen the ocean for the longest time. Back in Peru I was following the Pacific coast, but then I went into the mountains. Today I would be arriving at the Caribbean coast. That word has a very exotic feeling to me, and I had been looking much forward to this moment.

Cartagena has a reputation of being one of the most beautiful cities in South America. As I cycled past 20 km of ugly industrial suburbs I wondered if this was really true. Then suddenly I passed yet another lagoon and a small bridge, and I was right in the old colonial city center.

Somewhere in the maze of tiny roads I met Marcin from Poland. Marcin had been cycling all the way from Ushuaia as well. What a coincidence to meet right here! We cycled around a few more corners and suddenly the Carribean coast was right there in front of us! I was happy to share this moment with Marcin as we both knew what it means to have crossed a continent by bike.

And what a ride it has been – from windy Patagonia to the beautiful Carretera Austral, the desolated mountains of Argentina, the cold Altiplano in Bolivia, the coastal deserts of Peru, and the green mountains of Ecuador and Colombia. I’m especially proud of the fact that I have been cycling every kilometer of the way (well, apart from two tunnels in Chile where cycling was prohibited).

The ride took much longer than I would have though – one year and a couple of months since I left Ushuaia on a cold afternoon in the very end of 2013. I’m happy to not have rushed through. I feel that I know South America well by now. I somehow got under the skin of those fantastic countries and I’m truly grateful for all the amazing experiences and all the people I have met here.

Now there is no more South America left to cycle…

Categories: Colombia
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8 Responses so far.

  1. Fred Bouwman says:

    Well done Thomas.

  2. Marcos C. says:

    Kudos, Thomas!

    If Che Guevara had his “The Motorcycle Diaries”, you now have your very own version of your trip across South America.

  3. Well done, Thomas! What an extraordinary journey you’ve had! Now that I’ve caught up on your blog, I will now have to wait for new posts. 🙂 Looking forward to Central America!

  4. Wow, I’m very happy to know you made it all the way through Stephen – thats a lot of reading. Central America coming up next 🙂

  5. Couldn’t help it. Haha! To say that it’s been very interesting, is quite an understatement!

  6. CT1BOH says:

    Way to fo Thomas.
    What a ride it has been. Keep pushing those pedals

  7. Houston says:

    Congrats. You’ve really accomplished something amazing.

  8. Thanks Houston,

    Greetings from Panama!!