After 2842 carbon free km’s and 7 weeks in the saddle, the Global Wheeling Americas expedition reaches the border of Paraguay. Calculating how much CO2 would have been emitted had the same journey been done by an average sized American sedan, the project rolls west across the Latin American continent. Boasting an enormous CO2 reading of 423 kg’s, the data captured from the onboard computer continues to startle as the expedition makes a pretty serious case for the bicycle and it’s carbon free properties as an eco-friendly alternative mode of transport.
After reaching Curitiba the state capital of Parana I was now firmly entrenched in the grasp of mountain country and the relentless rolling hills of this southern Brazilian state. Undulating topography would be the order of the day as myself and my trusty steed Little Ms. Sunshine tacked west in search of the Paraguayan border and the 3rd nation on this pedal powered venture for change. A stretch that would cover roughly 700 km on the BR277 freeway, the sound of the Atlantic now growing ever more distant as I bid farewell to the east coast and set my sights on the interior of the continent. New challenges lay ahead as I can only but imagine what difficulties the Chaco plain and the Andes had waiting for me.
Ticking an enormous natural box, this pedal powered environmental pilgrimage rolls through the town of Foz do Iguacu and has the privilege of seeing one of the world’s finest natural assets. The Iguaza falls, recently included in the elite list of the world’s 7 new natural wonders of nature. This amazing spectacle was the icing on the cake as the journey reached the end of its first natural chapter.
Preparing to leave the affluent SE corner of the continent for more desolate pastures such as the Chaco plains of Paraguay and the Andes in Bolivia, this solo expedition continues to advocate the humble bicycle as a viable tool in the battle against climate change albeit up against some rather interesting challenges. Successfully navigating the southern state of Parana and its mixed bag of obstacles including trucks and snakes alike, Global Wheeling Americas prepares itself for country number three.
The Chaco, home to less than 2 percent of Paraguay’s population and one of the hottest regions in Latin America boasting temperatures well over 40 degrees Celsius is next on the agenda and the town of Foz do Iguacu (big water as the native Americans call it) would be my last pit stop before the crossing into this intensely remote region.
After navigating Brazils immensely populated freeways I am looking forward to some quieter roads as the battle between bicycle and truck has left me drained and somewhat disheartened as the constant battle for space and the mission to stay out of harm’s way wears you down after weeks in the saddle.
Iguaza falls doubling up as my base camp for a few days as I service the bike and source some spares before making the crossing into Paraguay. The next phase of the journey set to unfold as I ready myself to roll back into Spanish speaking territories with far fewer resources on offer, my bike now a few kg’s heavier as I stock up on spares and resources I won’t be able to find in the less developed nations heading west.