In 18 months on the road, Isai Madriz has pedaled nearly 12,000 miles from his family's home in Montgomery through Central America and along the western coast of South America.That alone makes him pretty brave. You couldn't pay me to ride through the notoriously dicey political environment of Latin America. But the kicker is Madriz's story about Patagonia:
The only food available here on the vast pampas of Patagonia is califate, a small fruit that has a center full of seeds. Llamas, emus and hares are the animals in this region, but they proved to be very difficult to trap. The moment came when I didn't have anything at hand to eat and, without any calafates or some succulent insect in sight, I turned to looking for those unfortunate critters who had died crossing the road. Hares adorned the highway, but the majority were flattened or bloated and, without question, I wasn't about to spend another day like that night south of Iquique, in Chile, when I was poisoned by algae. Fortunately I found a semi-fresh hare.I cannot imagine how starved I would have to be to turn to roadkill for sustenance. And that's what makes Madriz braver than I'll ever be!
* I didn't really live in Montgomery, but I had a Montgomery postal address.