Wednesday, 20 January 2010

2010/01/20: Brazilian starts the last leg of his trip Paris-Johannesburg on a pedal kart

Pedal Joe’s contact in Angola until 25 February:

Luanda – José Geraldo de Souza Castro, 52, a native of Viçosa, Minas Gerais (Brazil), better known as “Zé do Pedal” (“Pedal Joe”), will leave next Friday (the 22nd) from Luanda, the capital of Angola, bound for South Africa on the last leg of his trip from Paris to Johannesburg riding a pedal “Go-Kart” (children's tricycle), which can attain a top speed of 10 km/hour.

The pedal go-kart that is being used was manufactured specially for the trip by the Dutch company BERG Toys.

Pedal Joe remained in this city during one week, with the logistical support of the Brazilian Embassy, in order for him to be able to renew his transit visa.

The last leg of this trip is of approximately 3500 kms, and Pedal Joe will visit Namíbia and Botswana before reaching South Africa. It is a leg with some physical difficulties, principally due to the mountainous terrain in Angola and Namíbia. The Kalahari Desert between Namíbia and Botswana is another difficulty.

A photographer and tourism professional, Pedal Joe said that his interest for adventures using bicycles began in 1982 when he began his first trip, from Brazil to Spain, and there followed another adventure, which lasted 4 years and took him through over 56 countries.

A member of the International Lions Club, recognized by the UN as the largest Non -Governmental Organization in the World, Pedal Joe thinks that several countries of the world, principally African and Latin-American, should orientate the education sectors to include primary health care in the respective curricula.

“With my messages on the necessity of prevention and combat congenital blindness (cataract, glaucoma and Onchocercosis - river blindness), I am doing my part. However I believe that a little political will in this aspect would go a long way in resolving a great part of the problems related to health in the less favored countries. If the teachers were instructed by the ministries of health of all countries with a basic understanding of health care, especially on how to treat the water before consuming it, at least 40 percent of the diseases would be avoided”, says Joe.

Pedal Joe admitted to have gone through enormous difficulties during these adventures, mainly due to the fact that potential sponsors alleged an uncommon risk to life and to the stress of great distances that he is subjected to while riding his bicycles. “When I finally will arrive in South Africa I do not know how I am going to enter the stadiums to assist to the games Brazil is participating in, and when the World Cup is over I do not know how I am going to return to Brazil. I am trying to get more sponsorships, but it is rather difficult” he commented, before indicating that he had already in the past used eight bicycles, three children's tricycles, three pedal boats, one of which made from 240 plastic bottles, used in the crossing of Guanabara Bay (Rio de Janeiro, October 2007), a distance of 15 km, to demand the application of Kyoto Protocol about the defense and preservation of the environment.

Besides France, from where he left on the 10th of May 2008, Pedal Joe crossed Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo until he reached Luanda (Angola), a distance of more than 13.500 kms.

From Luanda, he will head for the cities of Benguela, Lubango and Santa Clara, and then on to Botswana and South Africa, where he hopes to be present and cheer for Brazil at the World Cup in June of 2010.

According to the cyclist, his arrival in South Africa will end the last leg begun in the city of Luanda.

The previous stages were: Paris/Dakar (1st), Dakar/Lagos (2nd) and Lagos/Luanda (3rd).

For more information about SigthFirst:

Friends who have collaborated with the project:

Rosfrios Alimentos * supplements
BERG Toys * pedal go-kart
BERG Toys do Brasil * logistics
Deuter do Brasil * camping material
Foto Universitario * photographic material
Buynet * ISP - Internet Provider
Albergues Privados do Caminho de Santiago * food and lodgings
Caminho do Sol-Brasil * travel products
Fernanda Paz - Mindo Falcão * travel products

"In the last 70 years, the World's population has tripled. The demand for water increased six fold. If the present patterns are not modified, in 2025 four billion people will not have access to water."

"Water: a drop, a life... preserve them. For me... for yourself... for our Planet..." Pedal Joe (Zé do Pedal)

1 comment:

João Carlos Aguiar said...

Mas foi afinal a Portugal ou não? Pelo mapa, não.