2014: The Year That Was

Presenting my passport to the Ecuadorian border official raises a smile as he leafs through my passport and inspects my Peruvian exit stamp, the inedible red stamp reads “En Exceso de Permeanencia”.

In many countries the implications of over staying your visa would result in you being banned from the country, deported or worse. Instead I am relieved of $13, forced to fill out seemingly never ending paperwork and with a slap on the back told not to do it again, with a wink and a wry smile.

3 months ago upon entering Peru, 90 days seemed an inordinate amount of time. Yet the Peruvian Andes captivated me, the seemingly endless dirt roads and sleepy Andean villages. Riding high mountain passes, and descending in to muggy valleys, repeated over and over again.

Somehow time just seemed to slip away. With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, the border crossing episode left me questioning where all that time had gone. Like many of us at this time of year, I found myself in a reflective mood, I tried to piece together where the year had gone since leaving Buenos Aires with a laughably basic grasp of Spanish.

Tying together the months, I decided to pick out some of my favourite memories from the year and put them in a chronological order for friends and others to enjoy.

January: Antartic Peninsula, Antartica


February: Torres Del Paine, Chile

Torres Del Paine

March: Cerro Torre, Fitzroy National Park, Argentina

Cerro Torre

April: Carretera Austral, Chile

Carretera Austral

May: National Park Lanin, Chile

National Park Lanin

June: Santiago, Chile

Street Art

July: Abra Del Acay, Argentina

Abra Del Acay

August: Altiplano, Bolivia


September: Macchu Picchu, Peru

Macchu Picchu

October: The Peru Great Divide, Peru

Great Divide

November: Mining Roads, Peru

Mining Roads

December: Cordeillera Blanca, Peru

Cordeillera Blanca, Peru

Explore. Dream. Discover.


  1. Neil

    Wow – great photos! 90 days in Peru is never enough…gotta make sure you get the 180 stamp at the border!
    Looks like you won’t be forgetting 2014 in a while – enjoy Ecuador and beyond.


    • Mike

      Thanks Neil!

      Yeah a mistake not to be repeated in the future. 180 all the waaaaay!

      Looking forward to leafing through that guide once I am back.

      Hope you both have a great New Year.

  2. Brian

    So solid! Awesome photos and thanks for being such an inspiration. Enjoy moving north.

    • Mike

      Thanks Brian!

      I look forward to following your own adventures in 2015.

  3. Paul vanPeenen

    Great photos. Wishing you an equally great 2015. Keep dreaming!

    • Mike

      Thanks Paul.

      I think 2015 may struggle to compete with this year for out and out adventure. Still I am sure I will manage to pack something memorable in and have a new set of adventures I plan to embark on.

      Wishing you all the best for 2015!

  4. Phil

    Amazing photos Mike. Looks like Im going to have to pick your brains for some ideas for new races. Happy New Year

    • Mike

      Anytime Phil.

      We never did get that ride sorted before I disappeared on my travels.

  5. Søren Tomas

    Wauw….. What a year 🙂

  6. Sean McKinnon

    Hi Mike
    I would like to thank you for sharing your adventures and wish you luck with your new year. I enjoyed two months in Patagonia at the start of the year, went back to work, discovered blogging and followed Cass and you. So a big thanks for sharing your adventure and extending my trip.
    P.S I have recently bought an Ogre on your joint recomendations (Keep Pedalling) and have not smiling.
    Wishing you safe riding.
    Kind regards

  7. paul g

    Killer photos, do you have some sniper like shooting method, stopping your heart beating etc? I can’t get my head round how sharp they are! Pushing the OMD to the max…

    • Mike

      Thanks Mr G!

      I am really happy with the OMD. Next upgrade the EM1 when my bank account is in the black.

      If I’m honest the image stabilization is that good its hard to get a duff shot.

      No real secrets, shooting in manual and using the Sunny 16 rule to determine the best aperture. After that a bit of sharpening in post processing but nothing crazy.

  8. Luzia

    Hello Mike

    Wow, i’m still a huge fan of the March picture, Cerro Torre. All of your pictures are fantastic. I’m following your trip and enjoy your pictures. But the one of Cerro Torre…it’s better than an Alfajor. 😉

    Happy new year, all the best and the wind in the back!

    I hope to see you someday in switzerland


    • Mike


      Cerro Torre was for you and Beat. The kindness and friendship you showed me as we struggled up through Tierra Del Fuego and Patagonia and the many great evenings we spent cooking and drinking wine together.

      I can’t wait to see you both again in Switzerland.

      Sending you all my best wishes for 2015!

  9. Aurora

    Awesome photos — can’t wait to get down there to ride! Hope Ecuador is equally as epic!

  10. Cass

    Internet just kicked out enough speed to load these fantastic images! See you on the dirt, soon.


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