OXFORD’s cycling doctor has completed another landmark on his trip around the world.

Dr Steve Fabes, right, who is cycling 50,000 miles in five years for charity, has reached South Africa and is getting ready to start pedalling through South America.

Despite adversity he has found this leg of his journey to be the “most life affirming, the most human, and perhaps the most beautiful”.

Of cycling through the desert, he said: “The world abruptly became a computer screen saver. Only two colours existed in this peculiar and angular world – the blue of the sky and the fierce orange of the sand.

“But I couldn’t help but feel a bit short-changed.

“The appeal of the desert, for me at least, is the lonely serenity, the space and the silence. I found myself amongst a hoard of hysterical overlanders trying to get a photo of their mates doing star jumps.”

The former Abingdon School pupil, who is currently cycling with a friend, said: “I wanted that sense of achievement I’ll experience in the moments where I pull through adversity. I want to be right out of my comfort zone and I want to know how I’ll cope.”

His aim is to raise £50,000 for medical charity Merlin, which sets up clinics in developing countries.

Since leaving the UK in January 2010 Dr Fabes has raised nearly £20,000 and cycled more than 23,000km through 27 countries.

He has also had 113 punctures and gone through eight tyres and three chains.

“I was under-inflating my back tyre towards the start of the trip, the pump had no gauge on it so the tubes ruptured,” he said.

“The replacement Chinese-made tubes were so bad they often exploded while I was pumping them up.

“I got more punctures on the rough roads and some from thorns and the metal wire that comes from shredded truck tyres. Both are all over the roads in Africa.

“I started off using the self-sticking puncture patches that don’t require glue, these all eventually failed and I ended up repairing punctures I’d fixed weeks before.”

Dr Fabes arrived in Cape Town two weeks ago and will be resting until October when he will take a boat to South America.

He aims to time his cycle ride so he avoids the cold weather in Argentina and reaches Alaska in time for summer in the northern hemisphere.

As the medic prepares for the next stage, he said: “For the Americas my timing has to be right. Southern Argentina is a chilly place this time of year and in order to hit Alaska in the summer time I have a couple of months to kill, months I’ll spend mostly in Cape Town.”

To follow Dr Fabes’s progress, or to donate, visit cyclingthe6.blogspot.com