My World Cup journey: Berkhamsted cyclist aims to ride 5,000-mile across South America for charity

Pete Henderson, 20, is cycling across South America.
Pete Henderson, 20, is cycling across South America.

A former coffee house worker who is cycling 5,000 miles across South America hopes to have reached Rio de Janeiro in time for the World Cup next summer.

Pete Henderson, 20, worked in Berkhamsted’s Make Believe Ideas cafe for two years to save up for the trip, which he is using to raise money for charity.

He said: “Having lived in Berkhamsted my whole life, I was always very interested in local people travelling to incredible places, on expeditions.”

On his own, he has so far cycled more than 1,000km, crossing the South Peruvian desert and then the Andes mountain range. He peddled 100km uphill from the city of Nazca to reach an altitude of 4,400m in the Andes.

He said: “In the two weeks it took me to cross the Andes, I climbed over 11,000 metres in height, I battled severe sun exposure, and ran out of food and water at one point.”

He said he is about to enter Bolivia, cycling for a month through the Altiplano high plains, where he will not drop below 3,500m.

He said: “I will be crossing vast landscapes of volcanos, lakes, and the largest salt flat in the world.

“My trip then ventures further south, through the Atacama desert, the driest place on the planet, before continuing on across the continent.”

He is now a month into his nine-month voyage and is raising money for Street Child World Cup.

The charity aims to unite homeless children from 20 countries for a 10-day football tournament from the end of March in Brazilian capital Rio de Janeiro.

The event will be used to promote the rights of street children globally.

Pete said: “It would be great to have the backing from my home town, and boost the potential of this amazing charity.”

You can sponsor him by clicking here or follow his progress via his blog

There is also a Facebook page about his journey