Down the Napo River on a Bikeboat.
Over these last few years quite a few travellers have turned up here in Iquitos as part of their cycling tour of South America. All the others without exception got to Iquitos by riverboat because there are no roads to Iquitos, being the largest city in the world without road access.
On Christmas Day 2009 Herve Neukomm from Zurich, Switzerland arrived here on his Mountain Touring Bike and he had come all the way from Tena in Ecuador down the Napo River, then upstream to Iquitos, a distance of over 1,400 kilometers. Herve who has been cycling through South America since 2007 but this was the first time he had to modify his bike to travel on water.
In Tena Herve purchased a suitable 6 meter canoe type boat, fixed up a stand in the boat with the help of a local blacksmith. With the bike in it's stand another chain was linked from the bike to a drive shaft which turned two metal paddle wheels, one on each side.
The intrepid swiss adventurer set off from Tena on the 10th October 2009. "The first leg to Coca was very fast and very dangerous" Herve said but after that it was just hard work. Herve said his "biciboat" could manage over 15 kilometers per hour.
Although Herve arrived in iquitos on Christmas Day he said he had taken his bike up other tributaries of the Napo and stopped and visited with local people, he continued " I could have done it in 25 days if I had not taken detours". Herve has now decided to rest here in Iquitos for a few days and then intends to paddle his waterbike all the way down the mighty Amazon untill he reaches the Atlantic Ocean, a distance of over 3,500 kilometers.
Herve said the hardest part of the trip so far was to keep himself going because the voyage downriver was so long he often thought of giving up.
His only fear about his forthcoming trip down the Amazon through Leticia and Manaus was being attacked by river pirates.
Herve's contact information
Herve Pura Vida
Web site: www.hervepuravida.com
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