An Adventure in Latin America - The Not So Long Way Down - CycleBlaze

An Adventure in Latin America

An introduction

This is a journal about a bicycle trip through Latin America. 

It starts in Mexico and will end, if all should somehow go according to plan, in Brazil, more than a year from now.

The title, The Not So Long Way Down, is a reference to a journal I wrote once on another website, a site that, erm, I probably shouldn't... can we mention it here? No, maybe not. Anyway, it's also a nod to that well known motorcycle drama featuring the famous actor Ewan McGregor and his affable friend Charley Boorman and their own tremendous sequel. They, of course, went down through Africa, not Latin America, and they did it with engines, something I cannot approve of, but there is one thing we most certainly do have in common, and that is our chosen direction. South. We are going down in this journal, way down, a long way down. But not, I'm sorry to say, a really long way down. That would have made an excellent title for a cycling journal, I'm sure you'll agree, but it would have been a gross misrepresentation of our intentions. A great many cyclists ride down through the Americas every year, starting in Alaska and ending in Argentina. To call a journal The Really Long Way Down without disrespecting our fellow cyclists we would have had to start in Prudhoe Bay and end in Ushuaia, at the very least, if not Antarctica. Compared to these cyclists our intended ride through the Americas, from the top of Mexico to the Brazilian city of Santos, is not such a long way down at all, and consequently, the title has now been fully explained.

With the title fully explained, I can now relax and comfortably introduce myself. My name is Chris Pountney, as those of you who read the name written after the word 'by' will have already no doubt deduced. I'm a 34-year-old man from the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and I've been travelling around the world on my bicycle since May 1st 2010. That means I've already been on the road for 3117 days before the start of this journal, assuming I've remembered the number of leap years correctly and/or that none of you will bother to check my maths. "But what have you been doing for the past eight and a half years?" I hear you cry. "Where can we find out about these 3117 days of cycling?" Well I'm really glad that you asked me that, thank you. I have written two books, called No Wrong Turns, and Into the Sunrise, and they are available on Amazon. If you should wish to purchase them you will be able to both congratulate yourself and pat yourself on the back, for your successes will be two-fold. Firstly you will have successfully brought yourself up to speed on the story that precedes this journal, and secondly you will have helped support our journey, for we rely solely on the income from the books to keep travelling. That second success is mostly ours actually, isn't it? But we really do appreciate it!

"But who is this 'we' that you speak of?" I hear you now cry. Well, I'm fortunate enough to travel with the most beautiful girl in the world, which is great news for me. Dea is her name, a name which appropriately means 'goddess'. She's from Denmark and she's lovely, and you'll be seeing plenty of her in this journal, because it's my job to take the photos.

Dea and myself. I should point out that it was not my job to take this particular photo. This particular photo was taken by Jacob Ashton. Thanks Jacob Ashton.
Heart 9 Comment 3
Bill ShaneyfeltNIKTIA is good with a camera.
Reply to this comment
3 months ago
Chris PountneyTo Bill ShaneyfeltTrue and he's got a lot of good stories too: https://www.cgoab.com/doc/niktia
Reply to this comment
3 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Chris PountneyYes, I followed him through South America too! No doubt you noticed his hand... That was quite the story.
Reply to this comment
3 months ago

Some of you will be aware that Dea and I already blog on our own website (www.differentpartsofeverywhere.com) and may be wondering why it is that I'm beginning a new journal on here. Well, we've spent the last six months riding in North America, from Vancouver to Arizona, and, while we had a lot of good times, I also felt like there were times where I was losing my love of cycling and travelling a bit. I used to have a daily online journal like this one that I really enjoyed writing, and I'm hoping that writing something every day again will help me to appreciate every day, to pay attention to the interesting, exciting, to bring my love for the road back to 100%. I'm confident that it will. It's also because we're going to Latin America, which promises to be interesting and exciting anyway, a new adventure which deserves to be recorded. Different Parts of Everywhere will continue, in its steady, occasionally updated, carefully edited format, but this journal, this journal is going to be alive with updates. Its going to buzz constantly with frequent entries full of the energy and madness of Latin America, its going to be a hastily written daily dose of crazy characters, grammatical errors, and mildly entertaining anecdotes. Hold on to your hats, folks, and prepare for the ride, because we are going The Not So Long Way Down.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 16
Comment on this entry Comment 21
Steve Miller/GrampiesJust saw your new entry into the wonderful world of Cycleblaze blogs. So glad that you are here and looking forward to following along with you.
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Andrea BrownWe're so excited!!! For you entering Latin America, and for us, to get to read about it!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Chris PountneyTo Steve Miller/GrampiesThanks Steve, it's great to be here!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Chris PountneyTo Andrea BrownThanks Andrea! We're excited for you being excited!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Chris PountneyOh yes, from May 1, 2010 to Nov. 12, 2018 is indeed 3117 days (8 years, 6 months, 11 days), but that excludes Nov. 12 itself!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Frank RoettgenNothing much to be added to what Andrea and Steve already said, Chris. I am glad you are back on the road, glad you are sharing it with us and happy you do it here on cycleblaze. Safe riding to both of you! Frank
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Scott AndersonOh, hooray! We’ve been hoping we’d hear from the two of you again! We’ve never biked South America, keep wondering if we should, and can’t wait to follow along.

Happy trails,
Scott (and Rachael)
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Bill Shaneyfelt Yay! Looking forward to more critter pictures and reading more of your adventures! I certainly enjoyed your long way around the world journal as you enjoyed/suffered riding around the globe.
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Kathleen ClassenSo delighted you are here! We look forward to all your adventures. South America is an area we look forward to exploring so we will follow with interest.
Kathleen (and Keith)
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Sue PriceSo so happy to see you blog here! I have missed your everyday updates and will look forward to hearing from you in two places! We are headed to the Yucatan at the beginning of December - any chance you'll make it over there?
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Catherine HastingsHooray! Looking forward to the more regular updates here then - although Malcolm feeds me info from your social media updates sometimes, it's really not the same as your more long-form writings! And the other journal, whilst great, is a long time between drinks.
Carry on!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Keith KleinChris! Dea!
What a great way to start the day seeing two of my favorite cyclists back with a new journal. I will be following every step of the way. From my chair of course.
Cheers,
Keith
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Chris PountneyTo Frank RoettgenThanks Frank, wishing you safe riding also!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Chris PountneyTo Scott AndersonThanks Scott and Rachael,
I think the answer is that you should cycle South America. But let's see...
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Chris PountneyTo Bill ShaneyfeltThanks Bill!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Chris PountneyTo Kathleen ClassenThanks Kathleen and Keith, hope to give you some inspiration!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Chris PountneyTo Sue PriceHi Sue, that's great, you'll love the Yucatan. I rode there back in 2011, make sure you check out the cenote at Dzitnup. Unfortunately we won't be there by December as we are planning to take things pretty leisurely and be in Mexico City around New Years. If we go to Yucatan it'll be early next year. If you decided to hang around let us know!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Chris PountneyTo Catherine HastingsThanks Catherine, welcome along. But don't drink too much!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Chris PountneyTo Keith KleinThank you Keith!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Sue PriceTo Chris PountneyWe will for sure check it out! We will be around the Yucatan until we leave for Cuba on Jan 15, so I guess it just depends on where you are and where we are by then. We are blogging here - this one's called We'll Follow the Sun, so keep an eye on it when you're heading down that way and maybe we will finally get to meet up! If not, we will happily follow your continued journey - happy trails!
Reply to this comment
4 months ago
Ron GrumbyI look forward to reading about your South America journey and catching up with your previous travels!
Reply to this comment
2 months ago