Lake Titicaca Circumnavigation Completed in 38 Days

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An Internet Technology project manager from Brussels, Belgium, and his Peruvian guide successfully completed a scientific paddling expedition around the shores of Lake Titicaca – the largest lake in South America.

Louis-Philippe Loncke and Gadiel Sanchez Rivera embarked on Aug. 17, 2013, paddling 684 miles (1,100km) in 38 days. Both were in solo sea kayaks.

The trip is being called the “world’s first tour of Lake Titicaca by kayak,” and their primary goal was to paddle close to shore in a unique mission to photograph the lake’s boundary with geotagging technology, creating a visual and digital inventory that future scientists will be able to use to study the lake ecosystem and coastal evolution.

Record cold temperatures in September made the trip difficult, but the 36-year-old Loncke persevered. Data will also be used to help scientists study the endangered Titicaca frog.

“Gadiel and I made it,” said Loncke on his website. “It took us 38 days to cover about 1100km. We have 9 hours of film rush, 1900 photos with 979 GPS points and 90 underwater photos to locate better the endangered Titicaca frog. Thanks to our friends and gear sponsors PowerTraveller, Edgar Adventure Tours, Julbo and Select who helped us to achieve this.”

In addition to freezing temps that made paddling and camping dangerous, the duo faced difficulty with international customs, border crossings, navigation, and having to paddle in the dark.

See the images and read more about their adventure at their blog.