Her Odyssey Pioneer a Hiking Route Across South America

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.
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The Darién Debacle

Written by Fidgit

The Darién Gap has been crossed on foot thousands of times. The trick is, you have to be desperate to do so, thus most of the foot traffic through the region are people fleeing their native countries. Whether you attempt it legally or illegally, a crossing means accepting a high level of risk, investing a lot of finances, and complicated logistics. Continue reading

Armenia to Turbo

Written by Neon

Armenia was a great place to recharge and plan for the upcoming mountain section. We tried to rest as much as we could before heading into the mountains. After Armenia, we walked up to the small tourist town of Salento, at the edge of the Parque Nacional Los Nevados. We felt ready and excited, though unsure about the route we were looking at. The trailhead at Valle del Cocora had at least three trails heading into the mountains with no maps showing which went where, and we weren’t able to find a physical map for the area. Continue reading

Women of Colombia

Written by Fidgit

Connection both takes and creates energy. This is how an individual is able to keep on giving, when she has nothing left. Thus begets the irony: in becoming weary and guarded I have less energy to engage and with less engagement, I have even less energy.

As we have been pushing bigger distances and longer days, feeling less certain of our safety in the frequent cities, and generally becoming weary, our interactions with people have become limited. Still, the moments of connection shine.
These are a few. Continue reading

Safety in Colombia

Written by Fidgit

It can be difficult for travelers to get a judicious read on safety in Colombia. The rest of the world tells you it is incredibly dangerous, paramilitary are just waiting to kidnap you, narcos will murder you just as soon as look at you. Meanwhile, locals and people who have been there tell you how wonderful it is, that it is as safe as anywhere, absolutely no reason to be concerned. So, what is the truth? Continue reading

Every Long Traveler’s Journey

Written by Fidgit

Daniel pedaled up as we walked along the Pan-american Highway in southern Colombia. We spent a day traveling side by side along an open stretch of road, he riding his brakes, us walking at a strong pace. It would have been broiling in the sun  but the day was mercifully cloudy and the company and conversation was grand enough to push us over the 50 km mark by dusk. Continue reading

Ibarra, Ecuador to Pasto, Colombia(!)

Written by Neon

We stayed in Ibarra for a week. Our route in, through, and out of the city was along roads so we were able to chip away at those kilometers while having a home-base to work from. During our time in Ibarra, we got a ton of work done including (but not limited to) catching up on writing, updating and adding to our different social networks, walking over 60 kilometers, planning routes through Colombia, and I had the opportunity to cook and bake – a happy place of mine. Continue reading

Venezuela Part 2: Surviving the Crisis

Written by Fidgit

This is the largest human displacement in Latin America’s history. Teenage boys sit perched atop the cargo loads of semi trucks passing us in Colombia. Mothers carrying babies, walking toddlers, lying in the grass alongside the highway. The areas surrounding the city bus stations are tent cities. A young father bounces his infant daughter on his knees, cooing as she stares wide eyed at him.
This is the life into which she was born.
There is love within the wreckage.

Networks and selflessness like what I described in the previous blog are how the people in Venezuela are surviving the current crisis. Some of the first people to offer and actually provide on the ground support for our walk across South America were Venezuelans. Now, as we walk past groups pulling wheeled airport luggage down the side of the highway, displaced and forced into a desperate position, our hearts ache. Continue reading