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A Photographer's Journey Around the World

Map showing Helge's "10 Years on 2 Wheels" travels.

South America


Every time I had to cross from one continent to another I contacted Norwegian shipping agents. It was not easy to get a ride every time, but with persistence, I did manage to get free rides. They call it WorkAway and I only actually had to work a few times. One of them was the first time in 1985 when I crossed from Oslo to Buenos Aires, a 28 day journey. In the picture you see me working hard cleaning the valve covers on a huge 10 cylinder engine.


My little BMW handpump needed about 500 strokes to properly inflate my rear tire. That's plenty of work, even under normal circumstances. Try the same operation in a altitude of 5.200 m above sea level. It was hard work fixing the flat tire, but at the least there wasn't a snow blizzard.

At the time I was on my way to a ski resort just North of La Paz, Bolivia.

Sea urchin

Riding along the beaches of Brazil, I stopped for a little snack. These people were eating fresh sea urchin. They could not have been fresher as they where actually still alive when you put them in your mouth.....Mmmmm... delicious! I had eaten these in Chile earlier and found them to be very tasty.

French Guiana

When there is no more road, not even a track, one has to take local transportation. At this particular place I had just entered French Guiana from Brazil. I had to wait a few days for a coastal supply boat to come along before I could get a ride to the nearest road.

By avoiding the main stream of tourism, I found my experiences to be much richer. People were more open and friendly and I found a sense of acceptance that I would not have had at a typical tourist trap.

Jungle Food

A typical camp while crossing the Darien Jungle consists of a hammock for sleeping and a mosquito net to protect you from mosquitoes as well as vampire bats. The food was cooked on a Coleman Peak 1 stove and I used gasoline as fuel. This was very practical since I always seemed to drag the bike along wherever I camped.


Very seldom did I use hotels or other lodging that would cost money. Most times I stayed by myself along the road or quite often I was invited to stay with people I met wherever I traveled. For over a year, I never used my tent., preferring my hammock instead. Made in Brazil, it was a great, tightly woven bed, and provided plenty of room... even for a big gringo. I also enjoyed having a campfire where I could make my food and enjoy the peaceful night.

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