On October 27th, 2018 the two woman Her Odyssey team of Bethany Hughes and Lauren Reed, completed crossing South America. In 730 days they walked and paddled 12,913 km (8,024 mi) across six countries; Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. This completes the South American portion of their five-year endeavor to travel the length of the Americas by non motorized means connecting the story of the land and its inhabitants.
They divided the crossing of the continent into three portions. In November 2015, the two women began walking north from Ushuaia, Argentina. They became the first people to walk the length of the Greater Patagonian Trail, a long-distance route network across the southern Andes. In the second and third seasons, they followed the Qhapaq Ñan, the Inca Empire’s road system, remains of which run from central Argentina to southern Colombia. In this third and final stretch of the continent, they completed the Qhapaq Ñan and integrated paddling 500 km of the Marañón River, the ‘Grand Canyon of the Amazon’ across northern Peru. Colombia was crossed primarily following the Pan-American Highway due to safety concerns.
Besides its core mission of traversing the length of the Americas and connecting stories of the land and its inhabitants, one of Her Odyssey’s values is to promote understanding and appreciation for natural resources and systems. Bethany and Lauren write about their trail experiences here, use what they learn to produce teacher resources in the form of mini lessons, contribute scientific data to Adventure Scientists and trail data to various mapping projects.
Over the next few months the team are pausing to rest, recover, and plan. Next season is set to begin February 2019, when they take to the Caribbean in brand new Trak 2.0 kayaks with Richard, a guide friend, to paddle the first section of Central America. Switching modes of transportation enables the team to tell the story of the Americas from the mountains to the seas.
Thank you all for joining the journey and those of you who are subscribed can still look forward to a couple more posts wrapping up the route and experiences of this season.
Learn more and follow their ongoing journey at her-odyssey.org.
[This post is also viewable on the Her Odyssey blog.]
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