— This post was edited by Jonathan Maus based on an article by Jen Sotolongo
After two years on the road pedaling across Europe and South America with their adopted Australian Shepherd, Sora, Jen Sotolongo and Dave Hoch of the Long Haul Trekkers will be returning home to Portland.
If they sound familiar, it’s because we covered their story about their ride from Oslo, Norway to Athens, Greece via the Balkans and Turkey last year. Since that piece was published, Jen, Dave, and Sora finished another continent: South America. They started in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, in Argentine Patagonia and finished in Medellín, Colombia. The adventure took them through six countries in South America (Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia), 23 in total and some 6,000 miles over the two years of their journey.
The original plan was to ride all the way back to Portland, however, two years of bicycle travel left them in need of a break and wanting to explore other aspects of life than just cycle touring. The constant up and down of the Andes with steep grades can wear out even the hardest of souls. “We spent entire days pushing up steep mountain passes that brought me to tears,” said Jen. “I certainly had moments wondering whether I would prefer to be back in my old life behind a desk. Then I’d look around me at the beautiful view and shake my head that the thought had even entered my mind.”