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Pedal Power

Irishman Hugh Bergin recently completed an eight-month bicycle journey from Ireland to Burma. (Copyright H. Bergin)

Inspired by the resilience of the Karen people he met at refugee camps along the Thai-Burmese border, Irishman Hugh Bergin decided to undertake a once-in-a-lifetime journey across Europe, the Caucasus, the foothills of the Himalayas, through Pakistan and India, and finally to Burma – by bicycle.

Hugh set off from Ireland on 27 April last year. Armed with little  more than a couple of changes of clothes, a few litres of water and a camera, the 54-year-old, who works in international development, would face cold nights in a tent, long sojourns across deserts, and many hours alone to his own thoughts.

After more than eight months and nearly 15,000km of pedaling and perspiring, the intrepid Irishman’s adventure came to a triumphant finale when he arrived at the Nu Poe refugee camp at the Thai-Burma border where he was met with warm hospitality by hundreds of Karen refugees.

Hugh’s epic cycle was not for masochistic pleasure alone – he used the journey as a platform to publicise the plight of the Karen refugees, and to collect donations for them and a hospice in his home country.

You can read more about Hugh Bergin’s trip or donate to his cause on: https://www.facebook.com/BicycleToBurma

DVB’s Helen Regan interviewed Hugh last week while he was in Rangoon. Watch out for the interview on DVB TV and on INTERVIEW INTERNATIONAL coming soon on www.dvb.no