There is a town at the southern end of the earth. The name of this town is Ushuaia. Many cyclists visit there. I arrived here February 18th, 2002. I stayed in a Japanese hostel for 11 days. It is not necessary to talk Japanese, but, I wanted to visit this hostel. Because the owner of this hostel is a very famous man under Japanese travellers. He is a Japanese man aged 84 years. He likes to talk to young traveller. He talks a lot about his experiences. The war, his history, his friends, some strange travellers... He is like a living dictionary! So, I stayed there and every day I met with him. His name is mr. Nobutaka Ueno.
I had quite a nice time in Ushuaia. I met some very nice Japanese travellers while there. I could eat Japanese foods! (It was not necessary for me.) I always eat local foods and I am always satisfied with it. But I enjoyed to eat our original foods with friendly travellers. It was very comfortable place for me like "Casa de Ciclistas" (home of cyclists).
I started my pedaling to Venezuela on February 28th. Tierra del Fuego (fire island) is quite big. I cycled 550 km. The wind was sometimes very strong. I had to push my bike sometimes. On some parts of this island there are no shops for 150 km. The road is gravel. But road condition is not so bad. Only the problem is wind. If there is too much wind, it is impossible to cover 150 km in 2 days. I always took food for 3 days and 3 litres of water.
Patagonia looks like Alaska or the North of Norway. It is a cold land. I could see snow on the not-so-high mountains. But some things are different. There are no big mosquitos and no bears. The costs of living is low. A litre of wine is US$ 0.50. The people are always friendly. It is nice place. I have seen penguins and guanacos!!
I slowly cycle up to a warmer land. I enjoy to talk with local people. Cycling in south America is wonderful! I am very happy!
I am on the Chiloe island in the southern part of Chile. It is autumn in this area and it is also rainy season now. The weather changes very quickly. The island is about 180 km long from north to south and 50 km from east to west. It is made of a lot of mountains. There are more than 150 characteristic wooden churches up to two centuries old. The UNESCO decided to make it a world heritage site. The island is also very famous for fresh sea foods. They catch a lot of salmons, crabs, shells, and fishes...
I came from Ushuaia to Chiloe, 2800 km, by bicycle. I mostly cycled on the Chilean side. The road is almost no asphalt and bad! The weather was sometimes crazy and terrible. It was sometimes impossible to move, because of crazy strong headwind or winds from the side. There was a lot of rain around the Pacific coast of Chile. The road was flooded in many places. The landscape is very beautiful but it is not enjoyable if the weather is so bad.
The good memories? I saw very nice landscapes in a short period of good weather between bad and worse weather. It was impressive!! Also I met some nice people! Whenever I met other cyclists, we would always give information to each other. Sometimes cars stopped in front of me and they would give me some food and water. I also met the famous American couple mr. and mrs. Tompkins, who are the founders of the "North Face Company". Now, they are the owners of a Natural park in Chile. They gave me addresses of some of their offices in Chile to sleep.
At last I arrived here in Chiloe island. It has good road from here to Santiago (capital of Chile). There are a lot of small villages everywhere. So, I don't have to worry finding food and water anymore!!
A lot of vegetables and fruits are transported 1000 km from Santiago. Many things are not as expensive as in Patagonia. Very sweet apples, pears and peaches are 350 Peso (US$ 0.50) per kg. Good pan (bread) is 630 peso (US$ 1.00) per kilogramme, wine is US$ 1.00 per 1 litre, fresh salmon is only US$ 1.00 per kilo. A cheap hostel is from US$ 5.00 per night. The cost of internet is US$ 1.00 per 1 hour.
I found a new hostel at Castro. The name is "Globe Trotter's". The owners of this hostel are very friendly to all tourists. Their name is Miguel and Jolaya. They sometimes invited tourists to their dinner table. If you visit Chiloe, please visit this hostel. It is in the center of Castro. They always welcome your visit! The cost is only 4000 Peso (US$ 7.00) per night including breakfast and kitchen.
Hostal "Globe Trotter's"
Thompson 262 2F,
tel. 09 - 31 01 786
I am in Mendoza, Argentina. I will start to climb up to Mt. Aconcagua tomorrow. Mt. Aconcagua is 6963 meters high.
A happy new year ! I hope you have wonderful year 2003!!
I climbed to the top of Mt. Aconcagua (6963m) on January 1st!
I went into Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina on the 14th of December. And finally I have arrived at the summit on January 1st, 2003. I came down to Mendoza town yesterday. My body is still very tired and my clothes are still dirty. But I am satisfied.
I will go back to Los Andes in Chile (my friend's house) and I will rest there. Then I will continue cycling to Japan!
Argentina is a big country. The nature in the north is very different from the nature in the south which is different from that in the west and east.
The almost all flat land around Buenos Aires is quite populated. There are many farms in the Santa Fe region. The main national roads here are dangerous to cycle on since they are very busy. The local roads are nice and quiet.
Darkness after sunset seems to come quickly. Normally, I find a place to sleep before it is dark, near empty farms, in a forest or gas stations. I was near a big city and there were houses everywhere. I worry about bad people. There may be trouble if someone finds my tent. I could not find a nice place to pitch my tent and continued, until I arrived in Monte Buey just before sunset.
There was no accomodation in the small town. Some children came to see me when I stopped in the center of the town. They took me to the sports club. When we arrived in the stadium there were many more people: all students came to watch me. They asked me many questions and their eyes were shining. They loved talking to me and hearing about what I do.
Then the manager of the stadium came. He offered me to stay at the stadium for the night. And he gave me many presents. A local radio and TV team came and interviewed this strange visitor as well.
In South-America, I was often welcomed by local people. Policemen, firefighters, army and so on. Such luck...
I am allright. I arrived in Brasil a week ago. My arrival was behind schedule, but the important thing for me is "to do as I want". I'm very satisfied with the way my travel goes. I saw many things and made a lot of friends. Thanks to many people, I have not had big problems. Thank you for your company.
I spent a lot of time in Spanish-speaking countries in South America. Of course almost always I was alone with my bicycle. Thanks to many friendly South American people that talked to me, I had a lot of opportunity to study Spanish (for free). I can speak Spanish now. I sometimes appeared on TV, on radio, in newspapers and in magazines. That gave me new opportunties to make more friends. Also many nice people gave me a lot of information through the internet. So, I'va made a lot of different kind of friends in my journey. Some are poor, rich, very intelligent, have different jobs, are famous, and so on. They have one thing in common: all of my friends are honest.
One of the most impressive friends lives in Montevideo, Uruguay. His name is Pablo. Since 7 years, he is the owner of small bicycle repair shop "SAPOBIKE" in Montevideo. He is 25 years old. He works all the time and he spoils his hands and clothes every day. He makes about US$ 7.00 per day, or US$ 200 dollars per month. You think: "Uruguay is a poor country"? The cheapest place to stay in Montevideo is US$ 8.00 a night! The economic situation in Uruguay is very bad! 17 Percent of the people in this country are unemployed... Pablo has many friends. Also some of his friends are unemployed. He gives maté (tea) and food to them. But his income is too small for him. He spends all his money to rent a shop, he pays the expenses for light, fuel and food. So, he can not travel by bicycle if he wanted to. But his heart is big and so friendly. He invited me to stay at his house for nearly 2 months. I studied a lot of things about Uruguay from him. I also talked about my bike trip and other countries. He is a very gentle man and he is intelligent. We understood each other. But when we understood each other more and more, it got more difficult to say "good-bye". When I left Montevideo, Pablo cried and cried for me....
I love all of my friends, and I am proud that I have so many nice friends all over the world!!
My route from Uruguaiana is: Porto Alegre, Florianapolice, Critiba, Sao Paulo, Rio De Janeiro, Foz do Iguazu, Paraguay, northern Argentina, northern Chile, Bolivia, Peru....
Um feliz ano novo 2004. Eu espero que voce tenha boa saude e boa sorte este ano.
A happy New Year 2004! I hope you have good health and good luck in this year.
I arrived in Sao Paulo. I stay at the house of the very friendly Brasilian cyclist mr. Ishida, who is a Japanese Brasilian. I know him through the internet. Internet is a great way to make friends and to learn about many things.
Last Christmas and New Years day, I joined a big family near Curitiba. Fabio invited me to stay with their family. Their house is in the mountains and I could not use the internet for a few weeks. I now know his family and his cousin's family. I became a member of this family. All of them are so kind to me. Six young men cycled 200 km from Fabio's house to the beach of Sao Francisco do Sur on December 31st. Then the 3 families (19 people) stayed in one house near the beach for 5 days. The beach was crowded by a lot of people during this week. We enjoyed playing football and swimming. Many Brasilians are very good football players. This week is a Brasilian holiday. I enjoyed being with them. They gave me a lot of delicious food and beer. I got a little fat!!
I was a sad to leave Fabio's family. I pedaled again to Sao Paulo. On the way, I stayed at fire stations 2 times. They helped me to stay at their place and gave me delicious food. Firemen are always friendly in this country. It is prohibited to cycle between Santos to Sao Paulo. The road climbs 700 m over 16 km. A cyclist who lives near Sao Paulo, mr. Ernani, took me by car from Santos to Sao Paulo. It was pity that I could not meet Pele at Santos. Pele is a very famous football player in the world. He left for France at that time.
I am in Sao Paulo. mr. Ishida helps me a lot... I visited consulate of Japan in Sao Paulo. I received 24 letters and small packages and small gift from 33 friends. I was so happy so see that! Thank you very much my friends! I will send you a postcard. In Sao Paulo, I will talk to many cyclists and people and some Japanese people. I will stay here another week.
I am Rio de Janeiro just now. The big Carnaval has just finished.
The city of Rio de Janeiro is known as a marvelous city. It has a very complicated coastline and many mountains inside the city. Many nice buildings but also big slums are mixed together. There are many beautiful mountains, beautiful beaches, beautiful girls and many friendly people.
I stayed in this wonderful city for 10 days. I stayed at the house of Mauro. Mauro is a carioca cyclist and a gentleman. He works at IBM during the daytime and he invited me to a restaurant every night. During the time of carnaval, he left for Belo Horizonte with his parents. But I could stay his house alone. I enjoyed to cycle in the city with carioca cyclist "Cade". I could see the carnaval, pedaled up to Corcovado (709 m), climbed up Sugar Loaf (396 m), swam at Ipanema beach (0 m), was interviewed by TV Globo Sports, met some nice cyclists, ate pizzas and seafood, drank beers and sugarcane alcohol.
TV Globo is the biggest TV station in Brasil and also 4th biggest TV station at all over the world. They showed my film this afternoon all over Brasil.
The most impressive thing was to climb Sugar Loaf. It was the first rock climbing in my life. A part of Sugar Loaf is level 3 of rock climbing. It was impossible for me to climb alone. But Cade and some friendly alpinist help me to go up.
I met many nice people in Rio de Janeiro and made some nice friends there. I enjoyed it there and I like the city. I will leave tomorrow to Belo Horizonte, Foz do Iguazu and to the next country: Paraguay. I hope to see more nice friends there!!
There are some bicycle trails (Ciclovia) in Rio de Janeiro. But it is only in some parts of the city. Mostly pedaling in the streets is quite dangerous. The manners of the car drivers are very bad. They drive very fast and don't care about cyclists and pedestrians. Especially bus and taxi drivers - they are the worst! Sometimes they cross the road even when there's a red signal!
Dear friends, do you remember me?
I am so sorry that I did not send any mail for such a long time. I should introduce myself to you. My name is Daisuke Nakanishi from Japan. I am traveling by bicycle around the world since July 1998.
At the moment, I am in Asuncion, Paraguay, South America.
I left Brasil for Paraguay last week. I cycled through Brasil for 6 months to see nice landscapes and to meet nice people. Brasilians are very friendly.
I passed Ciuda del Este, Paraguay. It is a border city between Paraguay and Brasil and Argentina. The Iguazu falls are world famous. This is also the place of Itaipu Dam, which is the world's largest hydroelectric project.
Paraguay is a poorer country than Brasil but the people are just as friendly as they are in Brasil.
My cycle plan from here is: Encarnacion, Salta, Jujuy, San Pedro Atacama, Uyuni, Potosi, La Paz, Areguipa, Cuzco, Lima, Torujillo, and Manausu.
I am in Salta at the moment. I came back from Mt. Acay (5950 m) yesterday. I have arrived at the top of Mt. Acay at noon on May 20th, all alone. There were strong winds that day. The landscape was very fine! I could look all around me! The altitude is high. I tried to climb this mountain 3 times. Finally, I was successful!
Then I went back to Salta over the Acay pass (4898 m). Did you know it is highest pass in the South America?
Well, I am fine and eat and rest a lot at here in Salta.
I am in Antofagasta, Chile. It is on the Pacific Ocean. The town is in the Atacama desert. The Atacama desert is one of the driest places in the world. It hasn't rained here since 1991, a local lady told me.
Well I crossed the Jama pass from Argentina to Chile by bicycle. The road was quite hard for me but I got great impressions there.
There are many nice canyons in Northern Argentina. I enjoyed cycling near Salta and Jujuy. Jujuy is 1259 m above sealevel. When I left there the road goes slowly up to Purmamarca village. Then the road goes up and up for 30 km until Portello pass (4170 m). It is hard, because there is not much oxygen over 3000 m and a strong headwind blows every afternoon. I could not pedal most of the time on this pass. I walked and walked to push my heavy bicycle. I brought a lot of food and water to cycle this road.
There is an Argentina immigration office at Jama pass. I got 7.5 litres of water there. After there are people for 160 km to San Pedro De Atacama village. The road climbs more until around 5000 m. The headwind was stronger. I walked many times. I could only tarvel about 50 km a day. The third day, I had spent all my water. Finally, I arrived at a small vilage off the road in Bolivia. A local Bolivian man gave me fresh water. I drank it and we talked and talked. I enjoyed to see people and enjoyed to talk. Whenever I open my heart, the locals also open theirs, and we enjoy to talk each other.
At 11:30AM on July 3rd, I arrived at the top of the volcano Licancabur (5916 m).
Then, I went down to San Pedro de Atacama.(2400 m) It is a very touristic place. Many Europeans and American are there, because there are many nice landscapes around this village. Then I went down to the Pacific Ocean at Antofagasta. Now, I want to go to Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Northern Brasil, Guyana, Venezuela.
Dear friends, I have sad news... The mountain climber from Argentina, who climbed with me, has died at Nevado Sajama, Bolivia.
Nevado Sajama is the highest mountain in Bolivia (6542 m). It is technically not difficult. The best season is June to August.
On August 17th 2004, I was in Sajama village (4250 m) to climb Nevado Sajama. I rented crampons (spikes for my boots), an ice-ax, plastic boots and mittens from a mountain guide. Then I walked up to base camp (around 4600 m) alone. About 30 climbers and tourists were there. I met 4 friendly mountain climbers from Argentina.
August 18th, I went up to camp alto (around 5600 m), alone, with food and water. Two climbers from Argentina also came to camp alto. We agreed that we should get up at 3:00AM the next day and climb the summit! The weather was very windy and cloudy that afternoon.
August 19th, 3:00AM, I got up. It is -10 degrees - not so cold. But it was snowing. My stomach was not good and I have some headache. I slept again. The two Argentinians didn't climb either. At noon, the weather was cloudy and still windy. My body condition wasn't good either. So, I decided to go down from this mountain.
The 2 Argentinians told me that they would stay at camp alto another day and they would try to climb the summit the next day. I gave them some food and water. They were firemen and they had a 3 month vacation. After Sajama, they wanted to go climb Huaina Potosi (Bolivia), Misti (Peru), Chimborazo (Ecuador) and then go back to Argentina. Their plan is about the same as mine, so we promised to keep in touch by e-mail and join again one day! I went down to Sajama village.
August 20th - I left from Sajama village by bike to go down to Arica, Chile. The weather was still windy and cloudy around Nevado Sajama...
I received an e-mail (September 3rd) from one of the Argentinians who climbed that same day. One of them died on the Nevado Sajama after they arrived at the summit. They were so sad that they went back to Argentina...
This is the e-mail:
Soy Pichi, estuvimos hablando en el campo alto de Sajama, nos gustaría mucho lo de ir al Huayna pero nuestro amigo Alejando murio luego de hacer cumbre en el Sajama. Recuerdas que el tiempo estaba muy malo? El se confundio de camino cuando bajaba y sufrio un accidente...estamos muy tristes y estamos volviendo a Salta.
Buena suerte en tu viaje un abrazo el Pichi
I am Pichi, we met in the "Campo Alto de Sajama"; we badly wanted to go to Huayna, but our friend Alejando died after climbing Sajama. Remember that the weather was very bad? He lost his way during the descend and suffered an accident... We are very sad and are returning to Salta (Argentinia).
Good luck on your trip. A hug from Pichi.
I am in Puno, Peru at the moment. It is about 3800 meters above sealevel. But it is not too hard to cycle. I was declared an honoured guest on the 6th of August in the small town of Pazņa, Bolivia.
I arrived at the summit of Volcano Misti (5825 m) at 7:40AM on September the 14th. It was such a fine day and I could see all around the view from the top of the mountain. I came down to Arequipa city at 12:00 noon. I enjoyed to walk up and down this mountain! This time, I climbed with a guide and 2 other tourists. But I climb many mountains alone.
Well, I may be alone, but I have my personal equipment: my backpack, given to me by a Japanese friend, mrs Yoneyama; my wind pantalon from Canadian cyclists Janick and Pierre; my good jacket from Israelian mr. Guy, my climbing boots from German Roman, Italian Svevo and American Carter; my Japanese flag from mr. Tanaka; and a new digital camera from mr. Nakamura.
So, many things from friends go up to the mountain with me and my heart is never alone! Thank you my friends!
My recent climbing experiences:
January 1st, 2003: Argentina, Aconcagua 6960 m, alone
May 20th, 2004: Argentina, Nevado Acay 5950 m, alone
July 3rd, 2004: Bolivia/Chile, Volcan Licancabur 5916 m alone
July 23rd, 2004: Bolivia/Chile , Volcan Ollague 5870 m alone
July 28th, 2004: Bolivia Cerro Rico 4879 m alone
August 19th, 2004: Bolivia Nevado Sajama 6542 m ...until 5600 m
I am in the Amazon part of Peru right now. The name of this town is Iquitos, it is like an island on the land. Can you understand what that means? The town is in the Amazon jungle, and there are no roads to other towns. So people who visit this town must take an airplane or a ship. It is humid and hot. It is the rainy season now, but it hasn't rained today. I visited small park to see Anacondas (big water snake). That was wonderful!
Iquitos is my last place in Peru. I will leave here tomorrow for the Brasilian border by fast boat. Many people in Peru are agressive. Especially the personnel in taxis, with the bus companies, boat companies and airlines. They think only of money and do not care about the customers. I will take the boat tomorrow, so I must take care of my bicycle and all of my luggages. It will be tiring...
I spend almost 3 months in Peru. Peru is a quite interesting country to visit. I enjoyed to cycle there. People in Peru like bicycle traveller, so I was in the newspapers at many places. This is a list:
Arequipa...El Pueblo, Correo
Ica...La Voz de Ica
Lima...Ojo, Aja, El Bolcon, Libero, Expreso, Extra, El Chino, Men, magazin..Caretas, TV7
Huaraz...Ya, Prensa Regional, TV5
Well, I arrived at the house of French friend's in French Guiana. It is France inside South America. It is also the most expensive place in south America. The road is very good and everybody has nice cars. It is quite a safe country. But the other hand, people are not so friendly like they are in other South American countries. And everything is very expensive! 1 kg of bananas are € 3.00 (US$ 4.00), 1 can of coke is € 1.00!
My next destination is Suriname.
Here are a few publications about me:
Diario Época (in Spanish)
Bike Zona (in Spanish)
Ultimo Segundo (in Portugese)
The distance of twice around the world on the equator is 80,150 km. On my 2755th day of travel, I accomplished to pedal this distance in my 69th country: Venezuela. I am in Ciudad Guayana at the house of mr. Mauricio Peres (Venezuelan cyclist) right now and my destination is Caracas.
I must tell you about my journey... My last plan was to go to some Caribbean countries, USA, Canada, Europe, Northern Africa, Asia and Japan. My trip needs 2 more years and I hope to visit 120 countries, to see more friends and study world peace before going back to Japan.
But I have a big financial problem. My cash card was stolen at Belem, Brasil on the 18th of December. I had only US$ 2000 in travellers checks at that time and I spent that little by little. Even if I still had the cash card, it would be financially difficult to travel for 2 more years. So, I must get some money while on the road. My father wants to send me some money on the condition that I stop my journey and come home. I do not want to ask my father for help to because I want to continue my journey.
I will try to get some money in Venezuela. In each city I arrive in, I will talk to TV or newspaper to collect contributions from people. When I arrive in a capital city (Caracas), I will try to find some sponsorships from big companies. But, if I cannot get enough money, I must change my plan and I will not go to the Caribbean countries. There will be no more chance to visit Cuba and to talk President Fidel Castro. Instead, I will fly to USA to find some money and try again. If I can't find more money to travel for more 2 years, I will finish my journey and go back to Japan.
From where I lost my card to here, I became a poor cyclist and must save money more than before. From the Brazilian town of Macapa to Oiapoque is about 600 km. I always asked the police if I could stay in their building at night. They always accepted. French Guiana was the most expensive place in South America. I was lucky, my French friend mr. Jacques Sirat gave me the address of his friend. So, mr. Jean Benoit Jaouen helped me a lot. Suriname was a quite expensive country. On my second day there I met a very friendly gentleman in Moengo. His name is mr. Robert Obergh. He was an officer of the football association of Suriname. He has a lot of friends in Suriname and contacted them for me to stay their place when I arrived their towns. Mr. Robert also organized to cycle inside stadium of football at half time show. It was an international (friendly) match, so many spectators were there and they gave me a lot of applause and encouragements.
I could sell some of my pictures to newspapers and got some money at Paramaribo, capital of Suriname. Also I was just lucky: I met Japanese student at embassy of Japan and he contributed US$ 100. Guyana was also a quite expensive country. I met a Japanese man who is a chief of a building company and he contributed another US$ 100. I heard that Venezuela was quite a cheap country before, but now it's not so cheap. But military and firemen are very friendly and I met the very friendly cyclist mr. Mauricio Peres here in Guayana city.
I have some ideas on how to make money. I can sell my pictures to newspapers or magazines. I could visit some Japanese companies or Japanese people to collect contributions. I want to find helpful people who have strong influence like Mr. Robert Obergh. It was good luck to meet him...
I hope somebody on this earth wants to help an adventurer. Nobody takes their fortune to their grave.