The world’s most epic pub crawl!
Photo credit: Alvaro Andres Pinzon
We’ve all gone to the local store for a quick beer run, but this just may be the ultimate beer run!
Beginning at the most northerly pub in the world, a man drove a sports car across 21 countries and ended his epic beer journey at the southern most pub in the world. Ben Coombs, a 38-year-old beer enthusiast from Devon, England, drove more than 20,000 miles and across three continents, from Norway in the Arctic Circle to Puerto Williams in the world’s southernmost city.
Starting at the island of Svalbard in Norway, Mr. Coombs visited Pyramiden for the inaugural stop on his journey; this old abandoned mining town has a population of only four people.
“Pyramiden is less than 700 miles from the North Pole, is the northernmost settlement on earth with a permanent civilian population, and has only one bar,” said Ben.
“The residents all live in the only building still functioning – the town’s old hotel – which happens to have a still-functioning bar.”
Photo credit: Ben Coombs
Mr Coombs was able to find the northernly and southernly pubs by looking for licensed areas that serve alcohol where anybody could walk in off the street and buy a beer. According to Ben, Antarctica does have bars, however, they are located on bases and are not accessible to the public or are not licensed.
With Antartica out of the picture, Mr Coombs turned his attention to Puerto Williams in Tierra del Fuego, Chile, which is the closest and southernmost settlement before Antartica.
From the northerly pub of Pyramiden in Norway, Mr Coombs drove his green 1998 TVR Chimaera (nicknamed Kermit) from Europe to Southampton, then shipped to New York in August. From here he traveled across the U.S. to California, and traveled south through Mexico to Central America.
Photo credit: Ben Coombs
Throughout his journey, many of Ben’s friends joined him at various stages and helped pass the time in his two-seater convertible car. From Central America, the car was shipped around the Darien gap from Panama to Colombia, according to Ben.
“Then it was just the small matter of an 8,000-mile drive across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina to get to the last bar on earth.”
On 12 February, after seven months traveling, Ben reached his final destination at Puerto Williams for the final stop at a local “dive” bar.
“We’re talking plastic patio furniture inside, Chilean line dancing on the TV, and a menu which consists only of lager and cheap whisky. There are probably more appealing places to travel 20,000 miles to get to, but that’s not really the point. It’s the journey that matters, not the destination,” said Ben.
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