Earlier today Swedish explorer Christian Bodegren completed an epic paddling expedition across South America when he reached the beach not far Buenos Aires, Argentina. Over the past nine months or so, he has beeb navigating his way south along numerous rivers, often paddling upstream, in an effort to explore the rich biodiversity that inhabits the continent.
Bodegren’s journey began last September when he started paddling up the Orinoco River in Venezuela, which eventually led him to an interconnected series of other waterways that included the Guainia River, the Rio Negro, the Amazon, the Madeira, and more. Eventually he reached the Rio de la Plata, which led him all the way to the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Argentina, where he sent his triumphant dispatch proclaiming the completion of the expedition this morning.
That final dispatch is a good one to read as it shares not only his joy in being done but sadness in leaving behind the jungles and rivers that he has paddled over the past few months. He’ll be returning home to Sweden shortly and will once again enjoy the comforts of modern living. But it is clear that he’ll miss this adventure and that it will only be a matter of time before he sets of again.
Christian’s little paddling excursion was certainly a challenging one, both in terms of logistics and the things he encountered while on the water. Crocodiles, piranha, biting insects and a host of other critters were constant dangers along the way and the dense jungles of South America are not easy places to visit for months on end. On top of that, he spent weeks paddling up river and often didn’t have the luxury of having the current work in his favor. That had to be incredibly challenging at times when progress was slow and he was physically drained.
Congrats to Christian for completing this amazing journey.