Kiwis' epic skateboarding adventure

TRUE GRIT: Skating through the Atacama Desert.
TRUE GRIT: Skating through the Atacama Desert.

Dog attacks, sickness and three days eating nothing but biscuits were not going to deter a New Zealand trio from being the first to skate through the driest desert on earth.

Alan Carnaby, Troy Bilbrough and Guy Parsons spent five weeks from November to January skateboarding 1600 kilometres through Peru and Chile on their longboards.

They wound through the Andes, the Atacama Desert and down Chile's coast, carrying everything they needed for the trip in their backpacks.

People have skate boarded long-distances throughout the world, but Carnaby said the group believed they were the first to cover this area.

The Auckland men, all aged in their early 20s and originally from Christchurch, have been friends for several years. They decided to embark on the skateboard journey through South America to have a bit of fun, and raise awareness about sustainable travel.

"We encountered some rather interesting situations when we would arrive in a remote village which does not see many tourists," Parsons said.

"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."

The trio want to inspire New Zealanders to travel light, and to think about the way that they travel. They also hope to raise some money for the charity Project Litefoot, which aims to inspire kiwis to be environmental champions and helps sports clubs reduce their carbon emissions and costs.

Troy Bilbrough, Alan Carnaby and Guy Parsons at Machu Picchu in Peru.
Troy Bilbrough, Alan Carnaby and Guy Parsons at Machu Picchu in Peru.

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