Ridden routes: Shared in the end of the stories.
Current location: Mendoza, Argentina (24.12.2017) onwards here real time! Updates every 30 minutes while riding.
Upcoming routes: Backroads and trails toward north
The route across the world
Red line: Actual route from Finland to Bali (2014-2016), planned route marked on green. Blue line: Route plan from Patagonia to Alaska (2017-2018). Yellow line: Route plan back to Finland across Siberia (2018-2019)?
The Silk Road and Southeast Asia (2014-2016): Route changes
Visa problems caused a delay which made me late for the Karakoram Highway. When I reached China the high border pass was closed already because of snow. Therefore I rode across China, through the Taklamakan Desert (the second biggest sand desert in the world) and the Tibetan plateau to Southeast Asia. I missed Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar, but saw some incredible landscapes that not many people get to see, and experienced the fascinating Tibetan culture.
The Americas (2017-2018): In search of a perfect bikepacking route across Patagonia and beyond
For many the route plan for Patagonia is clear: Carratera Austral. But a growing number of stories are reaching my ears with people feeling dissapointed by their experience of this road. If half of the verdicts of the cyclists I have met are true, it seem too busy with tourists (cars and cyclists) and a bigger and bigger part of it is paved. Do not get me wrong, it still sounds like an excellent biketouring route for many, especially for those who prefer to stick with the better roads and not minding the people and traffic.
To be honest, I know I would enjoy it too. However, always knowing what is right around the corner, staying on the beaten path would be pity. This is Patagonia, one of the few large continuous wilderness areas on the planet. The horizon is vast, why would I not try to find a better route across this beautiful land? Especially considering my unexplained urge to ride as small roads as possible and avoid paved surfaces. Especially because I finally have a touring setup that allows me to ride single tracks and what ever trails I happen to find on satellite pictures. (Let’s see how true that turns out to be.)
Finding a perfect route across Patagonia is a big challenge, though. Much of the land is owned by estancias, the massive cattle ranches, which means that the perfect route would run partly on privately owned land. Other bikepackers have given various verdicts on this.Riding across private land is sometimes prohibited or allowed only with a hefty fee. Additionally, the perfect route would cross the border of Chile and Argentina multiple times in remote locations, where there is no border control or the border would be open only during the ‘season’. Border crossings must therefore be organised in advance. In practise the exit stamp in the passport needs to be organised in the bigger town before exiting and similarly you need to get stamped in again in the first big town in the new country. How all this would work out for me, I do not know.
After Patagonia a couple of routes on my mind are: the Peruvian Divide, the Equadorian Divide, the Baja Divide and The Great Divide (though getting the season right seems unlikely). For northern Argentina and Chile I would be partly following routes on andesbybike.com, partly following dirt tracks I have found on satellite pictures.