Odyssey even better than the dream

Taking one of the more than 6000 photos he has already taken two and a-half years in to his seven...
Taking one of the more than 6000 photos he has already taken two and a-half years in to his seven-year round-the-world odyssey, Japanese cyclist Ryohei Oguchi poses outside Dunedin's Railway Station. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Ryohei Oguchi has a dream, and he is living it.

The 29-year-old financial planner's dream is to cycle around the world.

In the past two and a-half years he has covered about 42,000km and cycled around four countries - Japan, Taiwan, Australia and, for the past three months, New Zealand.

Planning to visit a total of 96 countries on his trip, he estimates it will take him at least seven years to cover the globe, heading from New Zealand to Asia then Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Starting from his hometown of Nagano in Japan in March 2007, Mr Oguchi cycled around Japan for a year, before cycling through Taiwan and then down the east and south coasts of Australia, then to Ayres Rock.

He arrived in Auckland in September and plans to be in New Zealand until March.

He has so far cycled from Auckland to Cape Reinga and back, down to Wellington and south to Dunedin, via Westport, Christchurch, Mt Cook and Central Otago.

After a few days' break in Dunedin, he intends to cycle to Bluff and Stewart Island before returning to Auckland via Fiordland and the east coasts of the South and North Islands.

He spent New Year's Eve in the Octagon and had stayed with locals who had been "very nice", he said.

"I really like Dunedin.

"It is very nice; very nice."

His trip was the realisation of a dream he had when he was at university in Japan seven years ago, Mr Oguchi said.

"I kept holding it in my heart and it happened."

After nearly five years' planning and four years' working to save enough money for his self-funded trip, Mr Oguchi was on the road.

And the reality is proving even better than the dream.

"I am very happy.

"Every day I enjoy cycling and I talk with and meet many people and I can see many beautiful sceneries."

So far, the trip had gone relatively smoothly, with only a few problems.

A group of drunk Australians knocked over his tent and frightened him off one night in a small town just north of Sydney, and after travelling 2300km of virtually straight road to Ayres Rock with the same view and the same head wind for days, his bike, and his knee, broke down in the middle of nowhere.

But that was part of the challenge, he said.

"I want to achieve my dream and challenge my life."

When he completes the trip he plans to become a motivational writer and speaker, using his experience to inspire others, particularly children, to aim to achieve their dreams.

"Having a dream for a good life is very nice and I want to tell many people that."


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