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Globe-trotting cyclist hits town

2010-05-11 (GMT + 7)

Pablo Garcia, a 36-year-old Argentinean man who has embarked on an 11-year "world tour" by bicycle, has reached Hanoi and is taking a break to enjoy the city.

Garcia entered Vietnam from Laos by travelling through Dien Bien Phu and Sapa. He has decided to take a short break in the country before moving on to his next destination, China.
He has decorated his bicycle with the national flags of the countries he has already visited. Viet Nam’s flag is currently at the top of column of flags and represents the 66th country he has visited during his adventure. He is currently on his third bicycle of the trip. "I chose the bicycle as my travelling companion over other means of transportation because it allows me to deeply enter the heart of each country I visit and its people. Slowly and calmly, I have discovered the simplest things in life in a more intense and practical way," Garcia said on Friday during a meeting at the Embassy of Argentina held by the Argentinean Ambassador to Vietnam, Alberto Jaime Kaminker.
Garcia said his greatest impression of Vietnam so far was the traffic in Hanoi.
"I have never seen such a bustling city, where there are always a lot of motorbikes jostling on the streets. Sometimes it is really hard for me to pedal along the Hanoi streets, but I find it very interesting."
As an adventurer who has a keen interest in observing people’s lives and lifestyles, Garcia has truly enjoyed cycling along Long Bien bridge and looking down at the activities of the locals under the bridge.
"I like the bridge not only because of its beauty but also because from the bridge, I can see a lot of normal things in the life of regular Hanoians, which is very appealing to me," he said.
After a stint as a tour guide in Maceio, Brazil, Garcia cycled 10,000km back to his hometown Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1999 to prepare for his long and adventurous journey around the world.
Garcia set off on his tour on September 26, 2001 to discover the world on his bicycle. Since then he has pedalled 78,468km to pass on a message of friendship and peace.
Garcia prepared for his journey across more than 100 countries on five continents by preparing brochures, sponsorship requests and mass communications for a year and a half prior to his departure. His aim is to document the differences among the cultures and lifestyles of different countries in the world. With this extensive research, he hopes to help strengthen mutual understanding and friendship among people and countries all over the world.
Garcia has developed a habit of writing in his diary almost every day about his experiences with new customs and events that he encounters every day. When he takes the time to stop in a new place, he tries his best to update information about his adventure by posting it on his website.
Garcia has a voluminous collection of photographs he has taken, and videos and articles that he has developed which carefully describe the countries, people and events happening around him. With this collection, he can share his activities with friends and other followers from around the world.
"Travelling is a wonderful way of experiencing life. Although many people from different countries do not have the opportunity to take a world trip like me, they are still following me on my path through my website and other mass media. They write me quite frequently to share new ideas and experiences," said Garcia.
Garcia said a female Italian partner joined him for more than one year and his brother was with him for awhile as well, but most of his time on this long journey has been solo. "However, I have never felt discouraged or thought about giving up. I meet new people and discover more things with each passing day, so each day brings me a lot of excitement and energy to continue my journey," he said.
Recognised by the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Environment Programme, Garcia’s cycling project has received a significant amount of attention and support from many organisations, companies and other benefactors in the countries he has visited.
This week, Garcia will continue his cycling journey to other Asian countries before finally finishing in the next two years. The last part of his trip will take him from North America back to Argentina.

VietNamNet

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