VIDEO INTERVIEW | Neskoski: Italy, Chile, England and Macedonia are the only ones who have climbed the highest volcano in the world

Nikola Neshkoski/photo Sloboden Pechat/Slobodan Djuric

Nikola Neshkoski and Ilija Derevjov are the first Macedonians to climb the world's highest volcano "Ochos del Salado" (Eyes of Salt) by bicycle. It is 6.893 meters high, located in the Andes, on the border between Argentina and Chile.

This extreme expedition is different from the usual mountain biking, because the terrain is different, there is more riding, Neshkoski and Derevjov note. The urge for this type of adventure travel among both hikers and cyclists started a few years ago.

In 2020, fed up with "simple" mountain climbing, they started thinking about something different, more extreme. Their practice begins with climbing peaks that cannot be ridden up, but every road allows you to cycle down. This means that you have to find a way to get the bike to the top, by pushing or on your back, there are different techniques, Neskoski explains to "Sloboden Pechat".

- We started with Africa, Kilimanjaro, continued with Damavand in Iran, followed by Etna, Ararat, and according to the logic of things, we wanted to go higher and more extreme. We decided on "Ojos del Salado", which was climbed for the first time by bicycle three years ago. So far, there are only a few cycling expeditions that have climbed it, locals from Chile and Argentina, Italy and now Macedonia - says Neshkoski.

There were a total of ten people in the expedition, all residents of the former Yugoslav territories, the remaining eight climbed on foot, so our interlocutors reveal that they had enormous help from them.

– We were the youngest in the group. It was a lot of fun, we spent a very nice and interesting 14 days, I want to publicly thank them, because they helped us a lot with the bikes, you know, take, hang, hold... the group worked as one - said Neshkoski.

A very strong wind is characteristic in this region. Many give up because of the unpleasant wind. So far, a small number of expeditions have climbed this peak.

– In an expedition before us, a cyclist from Chile reached somewhere around 6200 meters and gave up because of the wind. The previous year, no one managed to climb it. So far, several people have climbed it with bicycles. European and Chilean Expeditions. Among the nationalities, there are Italians, Chileans, Englishmen and us Macedonians - says Neškoski with pride.

See the whole conversation below:

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