This is my proposed route down the Andes. I'm following the mountain chain as much as possible, either riding in the valleys in the shadow of the cordillera, pedalling across the vast, dry altiplano or traversing the spiny ridges of the high sierra.
From the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean to the icy Southern seas, I'll stick to the highlands and won't see the coast again until I reach Tierra del Fuego 12 months later.
Starting point - Punta Gallinas 'Point of the Chickens', on the Guajira Peninsula, Colombia. Amusing nomenclature, given the treacherous road ahead in Colombia - FARC guerillas, highway robbers, narco traffickers, paramilitaries...
To be embarking on a 10,000km ride from an remote headland named after some famous frightened fowls is so ironic. Is it at this point where I get scared? More importantly, Punta Gallinas is the northernmost point on the continent at a latitude of 12 degrees 28'N which is why I have chosen this lonely spot to begin my journey.
Destination - Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. It is the southernmost city in the world, at a latitude of 54 degrees 48'S, the end of the journey in the 'Land of Fire'. Ushuaia is also known as 'El Fin del Mundo', but in my case 'El Fin del Vagamundo'. I should arrive here with Judy Sandeman, my partner, late 2008 or early 2009. I'll meet up with Judy in Cuzco or La Paz in July/August, at the halfway point of the journey.
Below are 3 maps showing my proposed route. This may change once I'm on the road, but I'm choosing the more remote, interesting and scenic routes through the mountains. I'm carrying a large collapsible backpack on my bike so I can get off and trek into the high cordillera.
Proposed treks and climbs along the Andes -
Colombia Sierra Nevada del Cocuy
Ecuador Volcanes Cotopaxi y Chimbarazo
Peru Cordilleras Blanca, Huayhuash y Vilcabamba
Bolivia Cordilleras Apolobamba y Real
Chile & Argentina Lake District & Patagonian Andes.
Double click on the maps to enlarge
Track my movements and find the places mentioned on my blog.
NORTHERN ANDES - Colombia & Euador
CENTRAL ANDES - Peru & Bolivia
SOUTHERN ANDES & PATAGONIA - Chile & Argentina