A Swiss resident, Mike Horn, has completed a 40,000-kilometre trek around the world. The South African has spent more than a year following the line of the equator since leaving Gabon on June 2, 1999.This content was published on October 27, 2000 - 14:11
Horn completed his journey on Friday at Nyonie beach, near Libreville, the capital of Gabon in West Africa.
Horn's achievement will ensure him a place in the record books as the first person to circumnavigate the globe, along the equator, without using any means of motorised transport.
During the course of his journey - which he called "Latitude Zero" - Horn crossed three oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian in a trimaran. He also crossed South America on foot, as well as the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.
Once on the African continent, Horn mounted a bicycle and peddled his way towards the finishing line in the city of Libreville, travelling via Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and then finally, Gabon. He only used "natural" means of transport, including a canoe, hairboat, and bicycle.
Throughout his journey, Horn never strayed more than 40 kilometres from the equator, but ran into some difficulty in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a bitter civil war is raging.
At times, Horn had to push his bicycle through rough terrain to avoid the conflict. He said that this part of the journey was the most difficult.
He will soon be making his way back to Les Moulins in the Swiss Alps to join his wife and two children.
swissinfo with agencies
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