First stage completed as Sarah Outen dips toe in Pacific

Sarah Outen celebrates her arrival in Tokyo

Sarah Outen celebrates her arrival in Tokyo

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HER arrival in Tokyo on Monday marks the end of the first stage of adventurer Sarah Outen’s London2London Via The World challenge.

It is 227 days since Sarah, 26, from Oakham, set off from Tower Bridge to circumnavigate the globe using manpower alone.

She has so far cycled 11,000 miles and kayaked 300 more, traversed 12 countries, had 35 punctures to her bike Hercules and received three marriage proposals.

She is spending the winter cycling the length of Japan before setting off for North America in her boat Gulliver next spring and expects to return to London in the spring of 2013.

In 2009 Sarah became the first woman to row solo across the Indian Ocean and she has already broken records on her latest journey which covers 25,000 miles in total and includes crossing three continents and two oceans, a feat that has never been undertaken in this way before.

Obstacles so far encountered include the searing heat of the Gobi desert, difficult mountain terrain in China, camping in bear-inhabited forests in Russia, carrying her bike through mud and across rivers in Kazakhstan, enduring close encounters with poisonous snakes and braving freezing seas, giant waves and strong currents in La Perouse Strait.

She landed in Japan on October 7 and has cycled and kayaked from Cape Soya to Tokyo.

She said on her blog on Monday: “It is a very happy Outen-shaped pedalling and paddling grinning machine writing to let you know that at 12.30pm local time today Hercules and I arrived in glorious sunshine at the British Embassy in Tokyo, seven-and-a-half months and 18,700km of pedalling and paddling since Tower Bridge, this first leg is now complete.

“Nelson, my kayak, had arrived a few weeks ago so I was able to get a ‘me and my boys’ shot too. Yesterday I cycled to Choshi Marina on the east coast to dip my toes in the Pacific and officially close the leg – I start out from here next spring with Gulliver, bound for the other side.”

The second leg of the journey for the explorer, who has a fear of deep water, will be a solo ocean row from Choshi to Vancouver in Canada, a distance of 4,300 nautical miles.

She will then cycle and kayak across North America and then row across the Atlantic to the UK.

Her expedition is raising funds for Coppafeel, the Jubilee Sailing Trust, the Motor Neurone Disease Association and WaterAid.

Schools from around the world are connecting with her on her journey and she is also working with Digital Explorer to provide downloadable curriculum-based lesson plans via her website, www.sarahouten.com