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Russian motorcyclist riding round the world stops over in Cuba

Moscow resident and motorcycle enthusiast Oleg Kharitonov has already spent 1,226 days on the road, covering nearly 150,000 kilometers

HAVANA, December 29. /TASS/. Moscow resident and motorcycle enthusiast Oleg Kharitonov, who is travelling around the world on his motorbike, has arrived in Cuba. Before taking a tour around the island, he met with the Russian Ambassador to the country Mikhail Kamynin and other diplomats.

Ernesto Guevara, the youngest son of the legendary revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who is a motorbike lover and runs a tourist agency, arranging bike tours around Cuba, also attended the meeting. His company is named La Poderosa after the motorbike that Che Guevara rode during his famous trip across South America in the early 1950s.

1,226 days on the road

Kharitonov, 46, has already spent 1,226 days on the road, covering nearly 150,000 kilometers. He arrived in Cuba from Jamaica.

In the coming weeks, the Russian biker plans to travel around the island, particularly visiting Che Guevara’s tomb in Santa Clara and the grave of Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Santiago de Cuba. In early February, he will head off to Mexico, then to the United States and Canada, returning to Russia via Alaska. According to the biker, he has no precise travel plan because he constantly has to change his route for various reasons.

People are the reason

Kharitonov says that meeting new people is the most exciting thing about his travels. "Sights are nothing compared with the possibility of meeting different people. If I have changed during my trip it is because of these meetings," he noted.

When asked which country he liked the most and was impressed by the most, he had only one answer: Russia. At the same time, in Kharitonov’s words, Cuba made it to the top three of countries, which appealed to him the most.

Trip route

Kharitonov started off from Moscow on August 20, 2014. He crossed Russia from west to east, drove around Southeastern Asia and the Middle East, travelled the whole of Europe then went down along the African west coast, starting from Morocco and reaching South Africa, and then moved to the New World.

Kharitonov has visited 70 countries so far. During his round-the-world trip, he ascended to an altitude of 5,360 meters in the Himalayan Mountains, travelled in 44-degree-Centigrade heat in Pakistan and covered more than 1,850 kilometers in 24 hours while travelling in Russia. The biker spends nights in his own tent, cheap hotels or at the homes of other Russians.

According to Kharitonov, the African stage of his trip has proved to be the most difficult so far. He was diagnosed with malaria in the Republic of the Congo, attacked in Nigeria, faced a robbery attempt in Namibia, while in Burkina Faso he had to escape from elephants.

The biker intends to return to Moscow in August 2018 in order to be able to accompany his daughter on her first day at school.