NZ trio first to skateboard from Peru to Chile through the Atacama Desert.
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – New Zealand trio Alan Carnaby, Troy Bilbrough and Guy Parsons have returned home from an adventurous trip through Peru and Chile. The New Zealanders traveled between Arequipa, Perua and La Serena by longboard. In doing so they crossed through the Andes as well as becoming the first people to skate in the Atacama Desert, the driest in the world.
So why did they want to skateboard this route and what did they want to achieve?
“Our primary aim was first and foremost to have fun and make a few people smile along the way” explains Alan. “We wanted to do something that had never been done before and we did a bit of research and found that no one had ever skateboarded this area before and in hindsight probably for good reason!”
As well as ‘having fun’ the boys also “wanted to raise a bit of awareness about sustainable travel and how, with a little effort you can make more environmentally sustainable choices”.
In order to walk the talk, the guys got their trip carboNZero certified in which they were required to measure, manage and offset the carbon footprint of their trip. They also are trying to raise some funds for a charitable trust called Project Litefoot. The trust aims to inspire New Zealanders to become environmental champions and is helping sports clubs reduce carbon emissions and reduce costs, helping them put more money back into sport.
The adventure wasn’t without its hazards though. “We also had a bit of drama” says Troy. “Halfway through the trip I was attacked and bitten by wild dogs (and needed rabies injections), Alan got sick, Guy pulled a muscle in his leg and we had to survive on just eating biscuits for three days. Needles to say we had a few tough times, and not to mention having to deal with the raw elements: the wind, the altitude, the hills, the potholes, the sun scorching your back, the wild jaguars in the jungle… but overall we had a heck of a lot of fun”.
Traveling light, with just the longboards and all the equipment on their back meant getting the chance do experience some things that are a long way off the regular tourist paths. “We encountered some rather interesting situations when we would arrive in a remote village which does not see many tourists. Often we would arrive in a village after coming down a hill on skateboards with parachutes deployed, helmet cameras going, the works and the shocked and confused expressions on people’s faces were certainly a sight to behold” explained Guy Parsons.
The adventures will continue for the boys from the “land of the long white cloud”, with the Skateventure motto being: “Skating the world, one country at a time”.
To donate to their charity please go to https://www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/litefoot