Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Long Rider Arrives in Brazil after Traveling Two Years on Horseback

It has been many months since I posted an update on long rider Filipe Masetti Leite, the young man you set out from Calgary, in Alberta, Canada, on a solo ride on horseback to return to his home country of Brazil. Now, after more than 690 days on the trail, he has reached Brazil at last. And while he hasn't quite wrapped up his journey just yet, the end is in sight.

The expedition began back in 2012, after Filipe graduated college, and decided it was time to head home. An experienced horseman since he was child, the 27-year old came up with the idea of returning to Brazil on horseback, covering some 14,000 km (8700 miles) in the process. After spending some time preparing for the journey, he set off with his three horses – Frenchie, Bruiser, and Dude – not knowing what exactly what was in store for him.

Over the months that followed, Filipe chronicled his expedition for OutWildTV, making regular video dispatches from the trail. Along the way, he passed through ten countries, crossed several national parks, including Yellowstone, and rode through some incredibly remote areas. He has faced numerous challenges, not the least of which is the difficult bureaucracy of Central and South America, and has been helped by friends and strangers throughout the ride.

On Monday, Filipe crossed the border into Brazil at last. Arriving in his home country brought tears of joy to his eyes, as he now knows he is nearing the end of the adventure. But it is far from over just yet. He still has another 2000 km (1242 miles) to ride before he reaches his home in Espírito Santo do Pinhal, São Paulo. Along the way, he plans to stop at the largest rodeo in Latin America, held annually in the town of Barretos, where he will be honored for his long ride on August 23.

Before he can continue however, the three horses must first pass through quarantine. That process could take up to a month to complete, which means our young rider must sit and wait before he can continue his journey. That's fine for Filipe at the moment, because like most of his countrymen, he is a huge fan of soccer, and he is looking forward to watching the World Cup in his home country.

With any luck, he'll be back on the trail soon. The final leg of this long ride awaits.

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