. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Wheelchair Trip to Madrid

APVladimir Ksenchak rolling down a Madrid street in his wheelchair on Tuesday.
MADRID -- He had to change his tires 11 times and once fell to the ground and spent the night in a ditch. But a Russian amputee finally rolled into Madrid after a 5,000-kilometer wheelchair trip designed to inspire the disabled and to denounce drugs.

Vladimir Ksenchak, 65, left Moscow on June 11 and made his way through Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France before arriving in Spain on Tuesday.

"The easiest part was up until Luxembourg. Then the route was more complicated, and the hardest part was between San Sebastian and Madrid because of the hills," Ksenchak told reporters at the Madrid bureau of RIA-Novosti.

Ksenchak's adventure was a one-man campaign he dubbed "Russia-Europe: Without Drugs," aimed at discouraging young people from using illegal drugs.

But he said he also wanted "to lend moral and spiritual support to all disabled people and help them to keep their spirits up."

Ksenchak had a leg amputated in 1996 because of arterial problems.

Ksenchak said that during his odyssey, people along the way gave him food, drink and lodging. It was near Madrid that he suffered one of three falls from the wheelchair and spent the night in a ditch.

Ksenchak said his original goal was to go all the way to Lisbon but concluded his chair was too worn out. "I don't think the wheelchair can take any more kilometers."