Thursday, June 7, 2012
German World-Traveler Completes PHL Tour in Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Globetrotting in his 1988 Mercedes-Benz G-Class for the past 22 years, Gunther Holtorf finally arrives in Philippine shores—the 199th on his continuously growing list of countries in his round-the-world journey.
Gunther’s ever-reliable G-Class named “Otto”, his companion since he began the world tour, has already clocked in 800,000 kilometers—approximately 20 times the length of the equator. Gunther and Otto have shared many memorable journeys; especially that he eats, sleeps, cooks, showers, and practically does everything in his car.
Start of an adventure
Gunther was a former manager of Lufthansa Asia, and has probably flown in to countless countries during his stint. However, jet setting wasn’t enough for him.
It was in 1990 when Gunther and his late wife Christine decided to crisscross the African continent. Having travelled from the northernmost tip of Algeria to South Africa to Tanzania and everywhere in between, both realized that they wanted to see the rest of the world, too.
True enough, the husband and wife team had gone from the southernmost tip of America in Tierra del Fuego all the way up to Canada and Alaska, crossed all the way to Australia, and circled the Middle East and Asia.
Unfortunately, Christine succumbed to cancer in 2010, and Gunther continued his tour with Otto alone since then.
Gunther stayed in the country from April to May to complete the Philippine leg of Otto’s Round-The-World Record Tour. His tour of the Philippine archipelago started towards the southern region, where he hopped from island to island in Visayas and Mindanao via a RORO (roll-on/roll-off).
The trip down south included visits to famous tourist destinations like Mt. Apo, Mt. Mayon, Taal Volcano, Bohol and Puerto Galera. He also continued his tour to other Mindanao provinces like Zamboanga, Cotabato and even ARMM.
To wrap up his Philippine expedition, Gunther drove Otto all the way up to Northern Luzon, where he and Otto trekked the Bontoc-Sagada-Banaue area and visited other provinces in the region.
“I really enjoyed my stay in the Philippines. Apart from the beautiful scenery and the rich culture, what made my trip here worthwhile is the warm hospitality of the people I met along the way. The Filipinos are very friendly and are always willing to lend a hand. Now I know why ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’,” Gunther shares.
After the Philippine leg, Gunther is planning to continue his Round-The-World Record Tour in Japan.