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Los Angeles to Buenos Aires

By Serdar Sunny Unal -

Touring & travel

 27 March 2013 16:12

When photographer Serdar S. Unal left Los Angeles a few years ago for a five month expedition to Latin America, little did he know that there was no going back.

In the following years, the epic adventure now nicknamed "LA2BA" would cover 42,000 miles through 15 countries, providing a vast supply of exceptional photographic opportunities and a rare chance to meet the contrasting cultures of an entire continent.

"By the time I found myself on a sailboat heading to Colombia, I'd already realized that a new chapter in my life had begun, and things would never be the same." he would later write.

The absence of any roads through the rainforest called the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia had made it necessary to sail the Caribbean in a storm, but the real obstacle would prove to be the destination itself: "I did have worries about riding through Colombia.

"It was supposed to be this dangerous place where you would get kidnapped if not killed. I instead found a paradise, and the challenge was to move on."

The adventure continued through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, all the way to Ushuaia, the Southernmost city in the world, where he would spend his second Christmas on the road with a fever.

"The summer in Ushuaia was the coldest winter I've known," he said. "And unless you've known the winds in Patagonia, you don't know what a strong wind is. This is where 600lb motorcycles fly off the road and trees grow horizontally!"

The journey was supposed to be concluded upon his second arrival to Buenos Aires, but by that time there was neither a "normal life" to go back to, nor a desire to stop.

He could already feel the call of Samba from Brazil. When pressed with the question "why?", the 41-year-old candidly shared with a smile: "I suddenly got terrified by the speed of time, and decided not to wait for tomorrow to live my dreams. And once I managed to get out the door, there was no reason to ever go back."

Since having sold his motorcycle in Colombia in January 2011, Serdar has been working on what he called "a project close to my heart, something I had to get out there before I got back on." The result, LOS ANGELES to BUENOS AIRES, is the most ambitious project of its kind, and is available in the form of a Universal App for Apple's iOS devices.

A "shortcut" edition covering the Mexico and Central America legs of the journey was also released shortly after, and reached 800 downloads in its first two days.

Serdar (http://www.serdarfoto.com) is a professional freelance photographer with over 20 years of experience, specializing in people, lifestyle, and travel images.

His work, represented worldwide by Corbis and Getty Images, is routinely published for uses ranging from national advertising campaigns to editorials.