LA PAZ - A reed raft, built in Bolivia, will cross the Pacific Ocean in the first half of 2017 as part of the Viracocha III expedition. The raft will travel nearly ten thousand nautical miles from Chile to Australia.
American adventurer Phil Buck told Efe that he wants to show that it is possible to travel that distance with a raft that the indigenous Aymara people build in La Paz, using the plant called "totora" that grows at Lake Titicaca.
"Few people have traveled with a raft made of totora plant over such long distances," said Buck, before adding that the raft is expected to weigh anchor, between January and February, and sail from the Chilean port of Arica to Sydney with a multinational crew made up of ten people.
The hull of the raft was built by ten men and the rest will be completed by Buck and his team of helpers in Arica.
Buck acknowledged that there are "many dangers" in this journey but the greatest risk is the collision with another vessel at night.
The cost of the journey is around $250,000 and they will get financial support from organizations in the United States, Europe and Bolivia's state television channel of Bolivia TV, which will make a documentary about the journey.
Buck's expedition shares the same goal as the journey of Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl and Spaniard Kitin Munoz, who tried to cross the Pacific using the totora raft as they tried to prove the connection between the ancient peoples of America and Asia.