The Patagonia region of South America is not only famous its stunning nature and spectacular views, it is a bike-packing rite of passage (more on this later). The Carretera Austral route and the last 1000km to the End of the World can only be described as an epic adventure. The route navigates through the Ruta de los Parques (National Parks Route) and I highly recommend checking out the resources on there first.
I jumped on my bike and set off from San Carlo de Bariloche in Argentina (map of the route).
My initial thoughts were to bumble along, meet people and discuss the environmental challenges they are facing. I did this but I changed my tack thanks to travel journalist and Lonely Planet author Mark Johanson’s suggestion to read In Patagonia. Bruce’s book is a historical travel guide, but I felt it was a Western perspective of Patagonia. The ‘Think Global Act Local’ mantra had resonated with me since I started my journey. I didn't want to be just another middle-aged white Westerner narrating the challenges of communities living in these remote locations.
This begged the question: ‘How can we support new generations of environmental storytellers in the communities visited?’
Next Generation of Environmental Storytellers
With help from numerous people and organisations, in partnership with MPB.com (traders of second life camera equipment) I delivered cameras to a few schools and universities in Patagonia, (Chile and Argentina) so that homegrown talent could share their stories of challenges and action with the world.
We will cover these young storytellers later through our Space2Evolve COP28 challenge, to be launched over the next few months. This will also provide an opportunity for you to meet some of the special guests who our young environmentalists and future media creators will interview as part of our programme.
As for my journey, I had some incredible experiences. The remoteness of some locations, huge skies and incredible wildlife exist in some of the most inhospitable locations. Here are a few of my cycling photo favourites (wilderness photos to come) as I got to grips with shocking weather (heat stroke, wind, sand storms, torrential rain) and became familiar with new camera kit (excuses, excuses 😁).
All photos are taken are property of Space2Evolve (unless stated) using a second-life Sony A7c donated by www.MPB.com or a second-life Google Pixel 6 phone running Graphene operating system. I will go into the kit I took and what worked later in our ethical consumerism blog.