I’m recently back from an epic 10 week trip in South America. A journey through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Brazil doing the first 3000miles on my BMW F800 GS Adventure!
I was with a crew and together we were filming for an adventure travel series.. details to follow!
Our schedule was very full. It was such a busy time. So many places, people and experiences.
We kicked things off with long days and late nights in Buenos Aires – that city really does not sleep – and it was a mistake when I thought that things would calm down after that.
On day seven a World First and a World Record were attempted and….. you’ll have to watch the show when it comes out to see if we got it!
Argentina is a beautiful country and I felt really at home when we reached Patagonia in the South and got into the mountains.
Crossing the boarder into Chile was spectacular and we met some impressive British cyclists who were cycling around the world, they were 18,000miles into their journey and I was utterly amazed when they told me they were baking their own bread!! They were carrying with them a camping bread oven – genius.
The winding, long and smooth roads through the Andes were just perfect on the motorbike. We rode into Chile and all the way to Pichilemu on the coast. A surfers paradise; great waves, hanging out on the beach, camp fires, stunning sunsets and the best cheese and tomato empanadas I’ve ever had in my life!
Chile is so diverse, we travelled from the chic and bustling international city of Santiago into the vast emptiness of the Atacama dessert – where I had my first experience of boiling eggs in geysers for breakfast! (Photo – Matt Irwin)
The trip changed gear in Peru – it was like entering the Twilight zone! There’s a magical energy about the place and I just loved it. I had a meeting with a Shaman who read my coco leaves, visited the wonder that is Machu Picchu and had an absolutely brilliant time running wild in Cusco – literally. Our final stop in Peru was Lima which, at night, is easily the most dangerous place I’ve ever ridden a motorbike!
From Lima we flew to Colombia and into the Amazon where I had a few unexpected treats and again confirmed to myself that I am definitely not a hunter! The cities in Colombia were fun and the local food is delicious but that’s probably because it was either fried or full of sugar.
Our final destination was Rio de Janeiro and what a place to end the trip. From the poverty in the favelas to the riches of the Copacabana beach front, Rio’s got it all going on. We arrived just as the carnivals were finishing but we still found parades and bloc parties!
The final scene we filmed was flying over the city, it was a rather scary take off and landing on the beach was incredible but there were mixed emotions. I was happy, of course, I’d just landed safely from a wonderful flight but it also marked the end of the trip.
It’s often hard finishing an adventure or a journey, especially when you’ve made strong bonds with your team and been through so much together. It also really hard to put your experiences into words. When people ask me “Squash, how was South America?” I struggle because the answer is a long one and there’s so much to say about it…
“Amazing” sums it up pretty well though.