All the images, songs, accomplishments and mistakes that you are about to see in the following documentary
Have all come from this bike and from the old equipment hidden in its panniers
Years of filming and months of editing, This is a project without producers or sponsors.
Now, enjoy the documentary for free You determine its worth at the end
Tourists visit the places,
travelers know it,
and the nomad lives them.
Based on real adventures
songs and edition
And one day, you're full of energy
so you load everything you need,
go on a quest to discover the planet.
Even when sometimes it feels like some kind of dream
or a stage
reality splashes you in the face.
Those wallpaper that you used to dream with,
are now your home.
And your home is a "place with no keys"
with the greatest garden in the world
where you carry panniers worth of Mary Poppins
in which you can fit pretty much everything…
And you score a time machine
because in the LIFETRIP
time is relative.
Six years of nomad travel can look like a lot,
but turns out is not that much
if you're just at the beginning of the rest of your life.
And cycling 70km per day it's a lot
when you're towing your home
and the fare is for free.
Same story with money,
you need so little,
that you become a time millionaire,
And with this in your posession, if your steps are humble,
you can reach unique places and experiences.
I'm gonna crash!
This could be a "selfie" documentary
that lasts for more than one hour
telling about how marvelous the world is.
And it's going to be like that, partially,
because many incredible things happened
that you just have to share.
But in such a big endeavour,
you have to read between the lines,
and learn lessons from the somber moments
which contrast with the bright ones.
From storms and fears,
or unexpected plot twists
that turn your world upside down.
Both sides, as for me,
are pure pannier treasure.
And while I was riding those worlds,
VIDAJE was whispering me
songs, ideas and lessons
that it's about time to share…
Dreams become true.
Well, not one hundred per cent,
but let's not begin on a negative.
27yo and without any experience,
I stepped into a stage
and the magic started.
I recorded two albums and shared great moments
with excelent artists along the way.
That begged the question:
If dreams come true…
What's the next on the list?
And the next one was seeing the world
and to live intensely.
So, before I got tangled back into routine,
I cross the strait and went to Morocco.
Morocco was the perfect initiation,
it was just a small geographic hop
but a giant cultural leap.
To divide and conquer was the plan.
To embrace a doable adventure
before facing the big challenge
of changing my life-style.
I totally nailed it and it was an amazing trip.
Every new step lead to new songs to born
and also the sensation
of reaching a point of no return…
My retinas were becoming addicted to those new landscapes,
and at the end of those three months, the nomad was born
let's call him "Albereber".
But there was another last desert to cross:
The Desert of Fear.
The ones I had, in which I was picturing adverse conditions
and pitch black labyriths,
or the prejudices and awe,
luckily all those were disappearing one at a time.
But a different type of fear was stalking:
An alien invasion…
No, the ones that others put on you,
with their comments or disbelief
It's not easy to imagine your friend or relative
living on his bicycle,
it's a lifestyle so different…
Back then, even myself couldn't imagine
how simple was it at the end…
I didn't even had to give up with music
I even recorded a third group of songs,
thanks to a crowdfunding.
Thank you all!
And also the typical questions were asked.
Like in example: How are you going to earn the money?
The truth is that, the little I need,
I get it from small audiovisual jobs
for tourist places,
or even towns and villages.
Creative work in unique surroundings.
What else can I ask for?
But people kept asking
Where are you going to take a shower?
What will you do so far from friends and relatives?
How're you going to cook?
What if you fall in love?
Where are you going to dry your clothes?
And your friends?
And your neighbours?
And the list goes on…
Let's begin once for all from the beginning…
Not there, move forward, where the bike…
Not that one! Move forward!
From Barcelona, my city, flew to São Paulo,
where a second hand bicycle was waiting for me.
I called her Ona,
I'll introduce her to you a bit later.
First days flowing along asphalt rivers
left me a but stunned.
But it was all about to find myself in the map
so I headed to the coastal highway of Rio-Santos.
The journey begun creative,
improvising a pannier
with an old bike basket.
The fix worked fine while Ona and I dazzled
by the views we spotted by the side window.
Steps were relaxing.
And sometimes I had to stop
to believe I was actually living the dream.
I remember the colonial streets from Paraty
in which I earn my first money playing the guitar.
Entered in Couchsurfing community,
making new friends
with people that open their homes to the traveler
to trade colour, friendship and culture.
Tiny pieces of a home spreaded all over the world
that doubtlessly helped everything to be
way easier and warmer.
On a side note, trip important moment:
At the beginning I was pursuing safety,
the itinerary was kind of a tunnel.
I jumped from a host to another like a squirrel
jumping from one branch to another
rather than just trusting in the forest.
But one day in the afternoon, while cycling,
I just realized I wasn't worried anymore
thinking in where will I sleep.
I relied on the trip's inertia.
You can't imagine
the freedom I felt right in that moment.
It was a breaking point.
And then, the next lesson came:
Do not plan, be surprised.
And that's how, even though I wanted to avoid it,
I ended up in Rio de Janeiro.
The prejudices, the tourism allergy and the fears
crashed with the natural happiness
and exuberant culture
that beats in the most
spectacular city I've ever been in.
The carioca's joyful way
captivated me and I wondered:
Why don't we come back
to that island that we skipped
that everyone speaks well about?
Said and made:
I went to Ilha Grande (In portuguese).
Once there I felt living a dream already within a dream.
A green island, no roads and no cars,
pure jungle, beaches and a perfect sea.
The famous dog racings…
Kiddin. Haha. Malú I miss you!
A paradise filled with rhythms that were new for my european eyes.
I also made new friendships
that became family after some time
and that I would reencounter in the future more than once.
Those weeks were just a perfect sequence.
Days of relax that plunged me
into the crystalline sea where to spy the nature from.
The rivers seem so pre-historical,
I wouldn't have been surprised spotting a dinosaur.
I was there enjoying paddle surf,
staring at the waves' panties
or surfing with friends…
Also the first audiovisual jobs arrived,
but right in the greatest zen moment…
The Ghost of disaster appeared.
I made a mistake calculating the dates of visa renewal
and I had to leave Brazil on the run.
In Santiago de Chile, my friend
and maestro Marc was waiting for me.
The one who back in the day discovered
the world of bike touring to me
and that arrived there cycling for years all the way from Alaska.
I learnt from his vast experience as a bike tourer,
he advised me about camping and photography…
while pedal after pedal
we were diving in Chile,
a country that was a constant in-crescendo
of curiosities and wonders.
At the gates of Patagonia,
Marc and her fiancé had to fly back to SF.
I kept on my way and my speed to the south of the south
But before enjoying the brutality of Patagonia,
In this area is very common to zig zag
between Chile and Argentina
and you suddenly find in the middle of:
– How did those argentinians treat you?
And from the other side: – Che, they played dirty during the war… (Malvinas)
And in some other places, more labels such as:
– You spanish came here and took the gold…
Preconceptions and assumptions…
intelectual bureaucracy that leads nowhere.
At the end, an argentinian from River, doesn't know if a chilean
for more curse, Boca supporter,
is going to save his life on a given moment.
Cultures are meant for enrich yourself,
but thinking that your culture or flag
makes you any better than somebody else
is a bad attitude that impoverish yourself.
Science already proves
that we are just different apes
coming from the same root.
Why not rising the flag
of humanism and empathy
higher than all others?
Or is that, you can tell if this sand,
that green or that sky
belongs to Chile, Argentina or Norway?
What a silence… play some music…
And if I was already baptized,
Patagonia meant the communion of the bike tourer.
Temuco, Villarica, Pucón, Panguipulli, Pitrufquem…
Lakes, vulcanos, waterfalls…
Each step was a therapy that swamp me in another world.
The green balsam healed noises from the past.
Patagonia was indeed, healing.
Once in the argentinian side,
ashes from Puyehue vulcano
increased the surrealism touch even further, if possible.
Flowing through the wonderful path of Los Siete Lagos
appeared out of nowhere
more bike tourers to share kilometers with.
It's a MUST route
that fills with crazy and adventurous
who you share such a special stage of your life with,
and bonds are created forever.
I remember camping between ashes
and dinners with lots of laughs,
traveling recipes and anecdotes.
Later, on route,
it's always good to have someone close
so you can complain about the pain in the ass.
All this enjoying a perfect weather
and a long way steep down for thousands of kilometers
by a mild asphalt without any mechanical problem.
Attention! We've been informed that they bought it.
I repeat. They bite the bait.
Pedalmount presents: Reality.
And tough and steep climbs in which the bugs do abuse of you.
Also downhill on dirt roads,
in where the mechanics of the bike suffered a lot.
Good thing is that one himself was wildering
becoming just another bug from the Patagonia.
By the way, in all that time,
it hasn't been my "myself" in the past the one talking,
I mean, him,
well, I'm also now in the past
because this is being recorded…
Ok, I will just let yourself with me, with him…
It'll be good for the share,
to fall off the bike live…
I'll do it, we will have some mattresses ready…
Well, I'm just here in the middle of Patagonia
it's been like eight months and a half
that my trip started in Brazil
and after a bit more than three months there
two cycling and one working…
Cut! What a fiasco,
I'm basically repeating myself…
Let's continue with Carretera Austral.
Narrator mode on:
The, quotes, pain, in the VIDAJE,
were paid with obvious treasures,
while some others, more subtle, were being forged in silence.
As the minimalism,
maybe one of the most important gifts.
Minimalism embraces you same as a progressive climb,
you have to force your legs at the beginning,
but you start feeling yourself strong enough
and you join into a virtuous circle.
As in example,
you can't imagine the tranquility of knowing
that if you loose everything you have in this world,
you can recover it in just three months
working on anything.
You also discover that without microwaves
or electrical stove you can cook anything you want
in awesome places.
You learn that, snuggling on a corner, tent,
cave or abandoned building…
Agh! I'll leave the poetry for now.
I have a sentence that says:
To eat is to eat, and to shit is to shit.
Translated: At the end of the day we all do the same,
either in a five stars hotel,
or under thousands of them.
From Bill Gates, to you who are listening this,
or even myself camping at Dra's valley,
we're so lucky
for having basic needs covered.
Everything else is just optional.
What really matters is what do we do day by day.
And is that you don't really need a washing machine to do laundry.
And when you have a lot of time,
you can learn how to repair or even create things.
You have maps even without GPS.
You have firewood if you don't have a kitchen.
If you don't have a drone, use a stick,
if you don't have electric power, you have wind, pedals,
also the sun at your disposal to recharge your
smartphone batteries that do absolutely everything.
You can use it to keep fresh seafood
or even fruits…
If you don't have a sail, you have creativity. If there is no fridge, buy fresh food.
If you have time, you have it all.
There are rivers, fire, wood,
there's even natural hot springs…
and if you lack of a fishing rod, you can use…
So you can see the ancestral technique
And now to recover
At the end, time to enjoy the time itself,
and time for yourself
and not for working for paying unnecessary stuff.
You just discover the paradox of being the more millionaire
as the less things you possess.
Besides, a today's minimalist person
would be a multimillionaire in the past.
You can record and produce a music album
lost in the middle of a beach in the nort west coast.
You can carry Alexandria's library
in your pocket wherever you go
Tiny drones that follow you recording on HD?
Is this a kind of joke?
To purify water with just UV light
you recharge using a solar panel?
Most of the luxury houses I find
I can imagine the owners busy
on their city offices,
while I'm here enjoying their "holidays views".
Minimalism can look as an involution,
but… isn't it a revolution indeed?
The people I've met with the highest life quality
is the one who owns or needs less stuff.
As for me, I just need a small place
where to mount my camping tent
and that's it.
Words are worthles, aren't they?
They reminded me to another Albert, Albert Casals,
he's traveling the world since he was a child
with a contagious optimism
riding on his two wheels.
Thank you for your example and motivation, Albert,
you put a huge gran of sand
in the beach of my dream.
Let's keep analyzing the VIDAJE.
Moving on to the south of the south…
I couldn't resist to take a look at Caleta Tortel,
so I could check if it was true what I heard about the wood hanging streets.
And from Caleta, cold and wind,
rain and mud, made it harder day after day.
Who have visited that part, knows that the
very end of Carretera Austral is wild and demanding…
but you have your inertia and you can handle it.
look at my cadence, on the lowest gear
Even in there, in the middle of nowhere,
some fellows appeared so we could share
the way and the laughs.
you go first, so cougars hunt you down first
And after the epic pass O'Higgins,
we reach the final stop of Carretera Austral.
But adventure is not over,
so at the very next day
already heading to Chalten,
we passed close by Fitz Roy,
who was a bit shy, hidding behind the clouds.
After, sunny gift, Laguna Torre with clear sky
and me astonished looking at the peaks and glaciers…
And a twist of the wind blew us
on our way to Calafate at top speed.
Back winds make the trashy bike tourer become Armstrong
But again time to pause it to digest:
Would it be for real that I was having all those adventures?
Because it's like you open your eyes and…
Perito Moreno glacier standing right there.
Close them and open and…
Torres del Paine,
A place from tales that left me speechless…
And yes, all those famous places are incredible
and I feel highly fortunate for having visited them.
But I'll rather keep anonymous nooks
like the one in this valley,
from which you can contemplate the Earth
as it looked like eons ago.
And the most crazy fact about that, is that you live in there,
where you prepare your morning coffee.
That's your garden, home,
with no time limit and no mortgage.
Now imagine that one day, on the TV,
you hear that a new planet has been discovered,
in which you can find enormous forests
being irrigated from huge glaciers water.
Amazing waterfalls and never-ending rainbows,
majestic peaks, kilometric mountains,
ice walls of around 70 meters height
and tens of kilometers length.
Boreal auroras, shooting stars.
that only one person in the world
could go and visit the place by winning a drawing.
You got me already, don't you?
you've won the drawing
and the planet is Earth.
We only have one chance to see,
smell, walk and enjoy of its landscapes,
cultures and animal wildlife.
I remember when I was taking this picture of Perito Moreno, I was thinking…
But, how could I even
think of the possibility
of never come and see this in the only life I have?
Virtual or real dreams?
I have my mind clear about it.
But there's a bit of everything and now is time for the silences
I'm over, my knees are hurting and I may stop, so...
Look at this, it's downhill...
Austral wind and specially cold defeated me.
If you remember, adventure started in Brazil,
so my gear wasn't appropiate
for such latitudes and seasons.
I experienced two terrible nights in which I felt fear,
It was about time to accept I won't make it to Ushuaia.
Right there is Torres del Paine
Very tough, I can't find a place to camp, and it's cold...
The good thing about defeats is that they usually come with
morals and future victories.
One moral is that nature rules,
and if you're not tecnically ready,
don't even try it.
Other important one, is to overcome the taboo
of stepping off the bike and ask for help.
After two nights of extreme cold in which I could barely sleep,
and two days cycling with a knee tendonitis
against the strongest winds,
there was no more choices…
and also I could get rid of a projected character
without any mark on his history.
Remember that about "do not project"?
It also applies to ourselves and our own dreams.
Sometimes reality arrives
and it just doesn't fit with your estimations.
You have to keep an open mind and accept what comes,
to not be prisoner in the present time
of a "future" you imagined in the past time…
It is absurd, yet so common.
It happens with our lives and with our relationships…
When sharing path with other bike tourers
you learn that each and every travel is unique,
not only in the personal side of it but…
Do you think that someone on their holidays
and a nomad, spend their time the same way?
What about those who go around the globe
but they have a date in which to come back?
That's why I decided to add the caption:
THE SLOWEST TURN AROUND THE GLOBE IN HISTORY.
It is a statement of intentions
just so I can savour each step at the right speed,
flowing rather than planning.
If I can share, OK, but if I can't…
I'm staying with Ona.
That, by the way, is about time to introduce her to you.
Yes, I admit it, I speak to her.
We spend many hours and live many adventures together.
She grew a belly lately,
looks like she has lost
that minimalism I told you about before…
Or maybe she earned it.
Because traveling slow and with no hurry
is another shape of minimalism
Ona, in catalonian, my mother language,
means “sea wave“.
I've been surfing seas, lakes,
oceans, rivers and water streams with her…
We have jumped into boats so we could cross to villages
that are in peninsulas, islands, mangroves…
Ona comes everywhere with me.
She takes her baths,
takes sunbaths too next to the palm trees
and even asks me to take her some pics in the viewpoints.
We've crossed wooden bridges, others of asphalt,
viaducts over big valleys, and even
♪ briiidgess of blueees, that switch off… ♪
She even jumped into a cargo ship that took us to Canary Islands
where we took a sailing boat
in which we crossed the Atlantic.
But let's save that for later
since it happens years after my home visit.
AdventurOna dares to anything,
cycling in the desert,
or by the beach, far away from the road
or in the mud in the middle of the jungle.
Well, there was a time we fought and I went riding
a poweful mountain bike,
but we spoke already about that and it's all fine now.
With her we have crossed mountain ranges and forests
reaching places from tales.
Also, as Heinz Stücke says,
your bike is your "good person" document.
Sometimes she gets rid of her panniers and we go "touristing" together.
She's also in for naps. How lazy of her.
Ona is the true main character.
I got asked about her story and peculiarities.
Kids fall in love with her in less than a second,
and also to some other bikes.
We're Sansopanza and QuijotOna
having adventures around the world,
from the far west to imaginary planets.
The ship has even control panel.
As maestro Marc said:
There's a moment in which you become one with your bike
and it feels easier to cycle than to walk.
So that's it, that's Ona,
my faithful companion,
and we could say that
the love of my life.
At least for the moment…
Let's continue, either when I stepped off the bike,
and in so many other way crossings
I've been into this years.
I took advantage of the inflection point
to mutate and evolve.
From cyclotourist to vital adventure,
from traveller to nomad,
from accounting kilometers to sing about and feel them.
From looking at maps, dates and countries,
to intuit and discover them.
Even the chaotic and carefree touch of this documentary
reflexes that spirit of go beyond the rules
and flow as much as I can.
And well, now, let's continue on the right,
well, not, better on the left…
you know what? I'll just put you here a video
of six years ahead of that time.
Hold on I'm loosing signal, maybe here…
Here we're in one of the best moments of the day
for me, that is the beginning
not just because my legs are not in pain yet
but for this:
the fog, the day awakening
I've just went out of the town,
bakery shops opening,
the smell of the firewood
specially in small villages
and take a look at the landscapes
light is also pretty…
Hold on, let me put you in situation.
After the stop in Carretera Austral,
went up to Bahía Blanca, where some friends were awaiting
and one videoclip was about to be recorded.
And from here to Buenos Aires, Rosario, el fernet, the roast…
and the visit to the "little country" Uruguay.
And what a cold che, you're a gaucho.
...several hours wondering wether to start or not and finally I did
I feel like the sky will clear out a bit with the sun
How long to Montevideo? 200 Km?
Third day here in Uruguay
A pretty wintry day I arrived to Montevideo,
a city that treated me very well and where
I could play in a very special musical concert
that I keep in my memory.
Great, Sunday morning wandering around the city
...on harbour's market there is a Empanaderia
which is very famous and authentic
The empanadas, the mate and…
the classic Albert's escape.
Cities usually try to tangle
you down with opportunities,
jobs, kisses, but
I slip between its fingers
so I can come back to my dear VIDAJE.
El Pinar, Maldonado, Punta del Este,
jogging like a gaucho by the northern coast
between lighthouses and the last palm trees
of “El camino del indio”
Sight gets lost in the map,
La Pedrera, La Paloma…
Until I open my eyes and find
one of the “tops” of the VIDAJE.
just another planet:
In the cape, the reference is the lighthouse,
it's the only place with electric power
and you can't but count if it's actually twelve seconds of darkness
between each beam of light,
as Jorge Drexler sang in one of his songs
that apparently was composed from one of this ranchitos.
And the plague of sea wolves and lions,
the marine postcard photo that you can spot from the windows,
with whales getting closer to the beach,
as if they wanted to listen the candombes
that are being improvised.
Or the tangos
or the roasts,
What else can you ask for? Surf?
Then surf surrounded by sea wolves that stare at you,
enjoy the hyptonic sunsets
And all of this just by my beloved sea,
my favourite garden, that is overloaded with life in el Cabo.
Whales, dolphins… and on land,
the famous Sapito de Darwin.
I even made it to get a barter-job,
what a great move, the next thing to do was to fall in love.
And well, under that skies is like… very hard
to not fall in the temptation of flying to the clouds
and fly around with a huge smile in your face
heading to the south of Brazil.
And now that you're all paying attention to the soap opera
I'm going to pour an important though for me:
Remember at the beginning of the documentary
About those tourists that are only visiting the place, etc.
OK, so traveling, our eyes
very often only focus on the evident,
and after comes the click,
sharing, hashtags, likes…
with all that noise sometimes we miss
things as important as
That enters on a feedback loop and then the tourist becomes money,
becomes a souvenir that buys souvenirs.
I'm rising my hand the first,
sometimes I take a look at a tourist postcard picture
and I don't realize that next to it
I have a painting from the Renaissance
full of everyday scenes from which to learn.
At the other side, maybe, an elder woman doing the laundry
that can know about that place way more that the best guide,
and her grandsons can fish you a better dinner
that the one in the restaurant.
I've nothing agains selfies, etc.,
I'm again the first one who shares
when I catch the bug.
But, why not dive into details
rather than staying just in the surface?
As in example, on an island, besides beautiful postcard pics,
some social issues can be visible
or infrastructural ones.
Is like just watching the movie trailers,
isn't it better to watch the whole movie?
And is that there's a tough periphery in the paradise,
where locals live and work,
in services or maintenance
partially hidden or totally behind the scenes
and so often is not their choice…
Us the tourists just stare at
the frontside of colorful houses
in which probably nobody lives in anymore.
Or we just apply filters to an, already incredible, sunset.
We put the focus on what's big, and ignore what is not,
the things that make us uncomfortable or harm.
Our brain is so good at making up reality
and proof of it are social networks
that distort reality even more.
We love the goal, but we do not connect
with who we're sitting next to.
Who have you looked at first? Surfer or fisherman?
We lie down in beaches,
but we do not talk to the ones who just come back from work,
or to the ones who stitch up this hammock.
We take our appetizer, but we know nothing
of the people who made it possible,
nor what its consumption implies, for good or bad.
Everything ends on a last step,
And I propose: let's take a bath in the golden beach in the morning, fine.
But in the afternoon, let's go to the river with the kids,
or with the fisherman and talk to them, getting involved.
Otherwise we won't be able to make the difference
the green of a forest from the green of a cultivation.
Since I'm traveling,
I observe, doubt, ask and learn,
as I think that's the only way to sum up
real steps to the path.
Blue team, what do you see:
Horse, forest or city?
Dolphins or garbage in the beach?
Sky or tough scene?
Sight focuses on what's nice.
But the ying has also its yang.
Life, has its death.
Winner also leaves a looser.
All the colours in the rainbow relay
of the gray scale to exist.
Concluding, same as roses
life and VIDAJE
are formed by lights and shadows.
And I choose to contemplate, learn and share in here
a bit of both sides.
And if you add the time factor,
you have what I call: The visitor effect.
When you're traveling around the world,
everyone treats you great.
You're like the eternal guest,
a distant cousin who came for a visit.
Besides, arriving by bicycle gives you a tale aurea
that makes everyone smile, and hug you.
Parties, birtdays, meetings…
Days, nights, roasts, wine, music
and good vibes.
The contrast of the vision you get by the media
and by your fears is absolute.
That's why the most common impression of the traveller
is that everyone is fantasic and nice.
And I agree with that mostly, but again,
shall we take a closer look?
As a travellers,
if rather than jumping from one side to another
tasting the sweet nectar of hospitality,
or rather than just stoping in some branches to have a rest
as a migrant bird,
we would just slow down the rhythm
and take a look at the root of the places,
diving in the depths of those people,
for good and for bad…
Some of them, will become soul mates.
Others, disappointments or surprises.
But they'll all be more real.
That extra time you would be spending
allows you to live a hundred lives,
as that one in which I was a fisher man,
in a lost beach in the north west coast.
And so lending my hand to pick up the
fishing nets in the reef early in the morning,
a bit different subjects appeared
to those of the firsts welcoming days.
Their reality just pops in,
their needs, their problems,
what you discover by becoming just one of them
in the morning coffee.
It's just like if you could read their minds
so you can spy the hidden side of their routine.
It's obvious that there is corruption in every country,
authority abuse, maleness…
And is that even in the most bucolic towns,
there is another face, very tough one.
You can spot lacks in education,
alcoholism, drug addiction,
assaults, ecologic crimes,
and a long and sad etc…
But I don't plan to depress you
neither to make things look on a color they're not
or raising a glass to toast naively.
You could think, what could we do with that issues?
And I don't have the answer, I'm an egoist light years away
from Doctors without borders,
but we can always contribute on a small scale.
If you're diving, keep one day to go out cleaning
the water and the beach.
If you're allowed to spend the night in a school,
stay a bit longer so you can share a bit of time with the kids.
- Do you know kids, that in the mountains of Chapada Diamantina
the flower of Candombá
appeared again after being lost for 17 years?
This just happens after the forest fires,
as if it wanted to tell us, that one at a time, as every flower,
can completely change a desolated landscape.
Leaving the tales on a side,
Optimism, because despite that not so beautiful side of the things,
having a walk through the world and meet its people
is totally worth it.
Ahh, you're all waiting for the opera soup, aren't you?
Maybe next time,
our story ended up and even though we had unique moments together
and that we keep a beautiful friendship,
each of us followed its own way.
Finding someone to share your life with
it's already difficult, so imagine adding up the requirement:
And as I was so close already
my steps lead me to a place so I could heal
with the green and the blue
of my beloved Ilha Grande
And as that tiny ant with a withere heart,
came back to find the love of my friends.
The laughs, the tranquility,
the adventures and vertigo again.
Dancing a bit of forró and drink pinga.
Although I'm aging up
so I'm also seduced by the repairing naps
in the island's wild beaches.
To reborn in cachoeira da Feiticeira
Or just stare at the trees,
so a Bujío ape appears
to have its meal of fresh leaves.
Leaving Ilha for second time was very hard,
but it's so easy to imagine going back
to climb to the Papagayo peak
that I left pending as an excuse.
And how easy it was to take the wave in Rio for second time
even more in that time.
I can assure you that everyone at least once on their lives,
should go and know the city
during the Carnival.
It might be the most similar to dance in heaven.
And form there, to Edén's garden:
There's no better way to get into a new country
than by this triple border.
What a memories, it felt like moving
back to another time or epoch
The refreshing and addictive tereré,
the roast, the soup, the chipa.
I got invited to levitate over the giant Paraná river,
I passed by the mastodontic dam of Itaipu,
and by the fascinating Jesuitical ruins.
Hold on! I'm again idealizing…
Arriving to Ciudad del Este by one of the bridges
where a lot of smuggling takes place, was a chaos.
Then, the contrast of the great shopping malls
with the tiny local markets.
More contrasts. City wakes up sunny
and out of nothing a heavy rain
such as in the Bible, arrives.
In the south east, green and humidity,
in the north, El chaco desert.
The traditions of the guaranies handled by german heritage
that arrived here one hundred years ago
that make you wonder if you are in… Baviera?
Many crops of wheat, rice,
but also mate.
I spotted huge piles of mate
that would have made
my argentinian friends become crazy.
Mirá vó que lindo, cebate unoh mateh che…
Then the atomic 'trend' bomb of soya,
that takes all the space from left to right
The so called organic farming are anecdotic
and everything is totally exploited.
Paraguay suffers of an endemic bad luck,
it's always targetted for intrusion.
Even the pretty Salto Monday,
that would be a piece of gold anywhere else,
here, so close to Iguazu,
looses the match agains it.
On my way, I try my best to step
into the few jungles that resists.
Just same way I try to find the bucolic,
things that haven't fell into globalization networks just yet,
that make no difference if you're standing in
Asunción, Milano or Barcelona.
I get attracted by findin a new flavour in the street,
or a guaraní improvised sing
or change from asphalt to the always addictive red dirt.
Ah, just a silly thing from an urbanite,
this was the first time I saw cotton on its flower.
It just feels great to cross the river on a tacky boat
and arrive to a town in which have passed many years
since the last time a new someone appeared.
No doubt time was passing by slower in Paraguay.
So my pedalling too,
going from firestation to firestation
as the one in Santaní
where I stayed for quite a long time
until the heavy rains of the season were gone.
I keep travelling alone to the Chaco,
Leonardo stops me and interviews me on his radio,
where the hens,
climb up the antennas so they're safe from predators.
I stop in Ibi Yau, where a family lends me some space to camp
next to the place in which they made mandioca flour
(or so I hope…)
Same as I hope that this house
without windows or ventilation is not what…
ok better I'll keep on my way…
Jokes on a side,
at a human level is a tough place to pass by
you have to keep your eyes on the road.
Pedalling becomes sad.
Luckily some trees kiss passionately
so they make me smile.
As this crazy fireman showing off
his Paris-Dakar pilot delusions.
Day after day I beat the record
mounting faster my tent.
The visa. Hurry up!
Following up parrot's advices I head towards Concepción,
crossing Paraguay river
infested with alligators,
that the fireman invite me
to taste during that same night.
But you know in this place we're more afraid of…
you can imagine…
At the doors of El Chaco I have a mechanical breakdown.
this is the road
the desert runs over and nobody fix this
let's continue in El Chacho, 23 kilometers
Zero km/h right now
Pedalling in this desert zones
it's both nice and crazy.
You can be sweating a lot under the hard sun,
but during the night the water will freeze.
Shadows become such a treasure
as the food and water supply to keep you hydrous.
Wildlife is very spectacular,
but it's either hunted down or ran over.
El Chaco is a tough place for everyone, no exception.
And that hardness it's mean for tough and loner guys
as the lands protectors.
Here we're with Agustin
Born Argentinian but half Paraguayan since he's been here for a long time
You can barely see women or kids, and if you see them,
they know how to shoot.
Nobody hides their guns on hanging from their belts.
Or Agustín carrying his shotgun on his shoulder
is not an exception.
Been many years around with his bike...
Either a horse or a bike, no need for gas
But the thoughest in El Chaco, was to find out
how some Mennonites are very classist towards the paraguayans,
and some of them
were also racists towards the indian natives,
and pretty much everyone was maleness towards the women.
The worst part was to join Doctors without Borders to the settlements
and discover that, beyond the situation of oblivion,
their own sorcerers forbid them to take medications,
with delusions about doctors stealing their souls, etc…
and the irrational thoughts taking lives.
Gasps. Religions and beliefs,
they're present even in the most remote place in the world.
When it appears you'll see me going out of the frame.
I think they're the result of not accepting
the variable of death in our lives.
So natural and human outcome, I know,
but I think at this point of knowledge and development
we should be able to get over it.
So many times imposed, some others inherited,
and some others a business or a tool to self-forgive.
- I may drive as a crazy guy, but gods will protect me.
Many believer people
and specially in latin america ask me:
– But how comes you don't believe in God?
So I say: Imagine that we put each and all
of the 30,000 gods that have ever existed into a bottle.
You've picked one god, and discarded 29,999.
I've only discarded one more, you're almost as much atheist as me.
I think it's just a shelter
and not a shelter for camping,
but a shelter for filling the glass of ignorance
that so often is hard to accept.
First we deify the sun, then the moon.
But we have been progressing and gathering knowledge
putting gods agains the corners pushing them to the boundaries of the universe.
– OK. So who created the Universe?
– God did.
– And who created God?
– Nobody. God is infinite. Writtigns say so, my son.
– So why couldn't the universe be infinite as well?
– It's impossible. Nothing is infinite.
Well you're right about that, patience is not infinite…
So yes, each of us with our beliefs,
but in the prisons, in example,
there are proportionally more believers than atheists,
so a God telling you what's good or bad
apparently is not very effective.
Well, I will shut up for now
because I don't want to talk about pseudosciences,
ot the homeobullshit,
or the New age Horsemen of the Apocalypse
otherwise I will run out of spectators…
So, let's see what I can come up with to fix this…
Look at the light. I will count to three,
and you will forget the last three minutes of the film…
Three, One… Ouch! They made me forget
the number 2 on an hypnosis session…
Let's keep pedalling.
As you see a bit of maintenance would be nice
to trim the tips
on the road's shoulder
And now in Bolivia, I entered by a border
slightly gray and lonely,
but as in Bolivia everything is so colorful, suddenly:
colorful people, colorful streets,
in the markets, in the clothes…
Oh, the markets, I totally love them.
I think it totally worth it to spend a while talking about them, right?
They're my favourite place to feel the beat
of the village or the country.
Early in the morning they show me some gestures,
the good and the bad,
the salt and the pepper,
the sea and the mountain…
And the time for lunch arrives
and when the meal is ready the whole town appears
and also the workers to they can refill the energy.
If you're a bit of an expert,
you'll be delighted by unique recipes.
But don't get me wrong. I would never say no to my stove
and to my recipes 'from the road',
and if I have the chance,
yaya style omelette,
or the paella double "Sans" style.
The fideuà "Kayak tour" style
or the cooked dish "crossing the Atlantic on sailboat" style.
But of course I'm also taking invitations
so a torta frita in Misiones
after pedalling in the rain,
or a steak in ship cargo-stop.
Also the stew on a mountain shelter,
murcian migas, fresh brazilian coconut,
german stew in Paraguay,
Pirinee wild boars
pesto shrimp from the island,
roast from Sierra de Córdoba in Argentina,
tapioca and beiju in the north east,
torta in the argentinian Rioja,
crab in Fortaleza,
yakisoba in El Capao,
fresh fish in Paraná river,
cane juice in La Chapada,
or an meal prepared on a machine
invented by my friend Ariel,
And overall any of the pastas
that my beloved Sorrentinas in Abraâo prepare.
My mouth is watering right now…
So often in the middle of nowhere,
people offer me a meal and a talk,
when they see me carrying such a heavy load.
Pure culture, enrichment and exchange.
Time to eat
Here you have Chuchu and pork meat
But as I said, I'm not changing my stove
and my dining room with panoramic views out for nothing.
Well, on a second thought some hot coal…
Let's keep in Bolivia but without the charango,
it was my first time playing it and it was terrible.
Better if we let the professionals to handle the sound track.
I witnessed scenes worth of a Berlanga movie.
I tried the platico of food for the foreigner,
the priest and the musicians from the comparsa.
Wearing a tattoo with the smells from
the fermented corn in the Chicha
that made me stagger around
to the town plaza continuing the party.
Bolivia, some times elder, some times so young.
And me, the kid with the eyes wide open
staring at that new show.
Full of colours and new culture
with some indigenous touch that made it even more exotic.
And then facing the Andes
on dirt roads, it's quite challenging
but I totally love'em.
Shall we go see the condor flying, don't we?
Even though that means keep up climbing,
and then down, and then down-up… and down again
so I can pick up the camera so years later
you can be watching this image.
And there are secret elfs in the climbs
that help you up…
And the beautiful routine of finding a place where to bath and camp,
or ask the birds
to sing you a song for sleep…
So the very next day I can keep loosing myself
in lost towns,
or visiting La Higuera, were El Che was captured.
Pauses, breathing, waving at people…
Reaching the t op.
Those moments in which you reach the top
and you catch a glimpse of the way down
Meander on extraterrestrial planets
where entire mountain ranges fit between enormous mountains,
is just crazy…
As keep up rising and rising
until that good day in which…
Attention! It seems that Albertito
is about to blackout…
I've eaten a bit but I've blacked out and I'm over
so I've eaten, I stopped for a meal and..
and.. and what?
We're here on an abandoned town
no one is around
and I don't know… I'm just far away from everything
I might rest a bit and to take…
So lucky I've filled the thermos with hot water today
besides it's cold, it's raining… drizzling…
well, it rains, then stops…
tough day, very tough, the truth is that
I don't remember such a tough day I think, because
it was really physically demanding,
and also I feel a bit sluggish today
the knee is starting to hurt…
I'll have a rest and cheer it up a bit…
on such a situation i'll just camp
will recover and tomorrow will top it off
Ona is dead too
one of the panniers has just released, or the holder
I thought it was broken… what a show…
when it was all already disassembled
I just realized that, it was indeed just a bit loose…
so I tightened it up and done
but why am I not looking to the camera?
Oh and… you can't… you can't… you can't…
trust in the people
when they tell you about routes and so… people…
they go by car and think…
they don't pay good attention, do not compare…
it's OK, I guess I would do it as well
and I would tell people: Yes, it's right there, so close.
But is not, is not going down and is not close by.
When on a car, the terrain is smooth, even the small uphills…
and I have barely stopped,
up, up… I just run low,
no more energy left.
Regarding about not trusting people,
I'll tell you an anecdote:
At the end of the Carretera Austral,
I cycled for around 3 days alone on a very isolated area.
I could finally spot a huemul,
a kind of a deer
that is one of the most iconic animal from Patagonia.
I was just resting, drinking some water when suddenly
I saw one specimen going down the road to pasture.
I could get quite close and it was staring at me as curious as me.
But at the next day,
I found some gauchos who told me…
well, you better hear it by yourselves:
and that's why there are no huemules left…
because there're a lot of cougars hunting them down
on the same right places I've been cycling those days
lacking of energy, if a cougar just tried it
he would have hunt me down…
..cougar will leave if it sees you
well, yes, but it could happen that somebody is around…
To people.. I don't think so. They don't attack people
they have to be hungry
There, in that sector, there used to be 6 or 7 huemules
But not anymore, it's strange if you see more than 1 or 2
And that's the reason, cougars eat them
Attention to what they say, according to them,
cougars do not attack humans, right?
So three years later:
Unsual: Spanish bike tourer suffers the attack of a cougar…
Does the bridge sound familiar to you?
Well, let's keep going…
We did a quick trip with a friends from CouchSurfing
to the carnival at Cochabamba.
It's a colorful party inside of a big city
with a small town spirit.
As the day is passing heat increases,
because at that heigh, mornings are freezing cold
and streets a hard nut to crack.
As hard as some of the scenes we could watch…
Remember about appearances?
Look at this, a girl dancing. You could think:
How sweet, she may be happy…
But not really, she's getting money.
They're used to gain money.
Right there is when your heart freezes
and you don't feel like having more carnivals anymore.
And another escape, but this time
above the clouds.
The high secondary routes
that take you inevitably to Sucre city
and from its little market, what else,
I stop to think and I feel that
after more than two years being nomad,
it's about time to go back home for a visit.
So I take an inca take off lane and…
Could you imagine your brother
that you saw last time three years ago
serves you a coffee?
Genuine meeting with my family,
meeting my people, my idol,
introducing Ona to everyone
and right at the moment when I was packing up the panniers to continue…
I won a crazy competition that took me
to travel in a motor home for four months
from one adventure to another among the Pyrenees.
For a sea wolf as me
that was a whole lot to discover at small steps.
Pedaling new surfaces,
getting to know mountain science,
and of course ups and downs,
going down to the very bottom… Ouch!
So many years playing hockey were worthless
I remember to arrive skiing to
the door of the Aigües Tortes mountain shelter.
And also to keep climbing up and up.
That's what mountains ask you for if you want your reward.
And climb even further,
until some little friends stretch you out a hand.
Weeks keeps going and snow start melting and…
time to get your butt wet.
Also time to fly in the water
and in the sky.
To enjoy of new experiences
and new points of view,
even if you feel like:
I'm going to sh** on my pants!
But the bad shot was totally wort it
and it wasn't all that difficult, but exciting.
I also enjoyed of my discipline, the bicycle.
Even though the one the lend me was hairy and super weird…
Hold on right there…
You may be thinking: -Wow! How lucky,
what a wonderful experience, isn't it?
So I think that, again,
thinks are not what they look like.
It was more bittersweet that you can imagine.
I remember having the intuition
one of the very first days of the project.
When I met one endearing elder man
that was telling me stories as if I was his grandchild,
suddenly I realized I had no time
either for him or anything else.
I was getting asked for a new blog post,
to response to the press… and above that I should
plan the agenda, next events and activities,
edit video, pictures, driving, charge batteries,
water, do the laundry…
My most valued asset, time,
was already purchased, or sold, depends on how to look at it.
Experience started to be uphill,
I felt myself lost.
And for more drama, a toxic ego
of which name I don't want to think of
was putting sticks on my wheels.
The mountains became Mordor.
But there was good people
that pointed out the path to follow
and put bandages on my wounds and bring happiness.
Anxiety was lowering
and the affection was healing.
And that's what I remember after some time:
that people, with what I've learnt,
the adventures, the hugs,
what a places!
So you could think: well but…
Is is seriously that tough to take pics of the Pyrenees?
And it was not that, there was a lot more, but the key is
that I just came back from a trip in which I was enjoying
the life and the days without time,
with the freedom of a child one afternoon in the summer.
In the VIDAJE, time stops, it's entertained.
And for what it respects to experiences,
they come alone, you don't have to look for them.
As in example: be a dolphin in the paradise,
or jump as a frog in a waterfall from dreams.
Walk above the water on a pirates island,
or be a bird flying over the jungle.
Be an astronaut in the blue galaxy
or a tiny fish in the most
crystal-clear waters that you can think of.
Travel in kayak between islands for days.
Play matches in the best fields in the world.
Discover Iguazú as nobody else
or paraglide in Canoa Quebrada
playing with the same wind
that some day will take you sailing through the Atlantic.
And all that without having to leave after finishing.
Without selling anything, just flowing,
going faster or slower as you want to.
Getting in all the places
and adventures as long as you know how to get out from.
And all that waves without changing your small budget,
without half truths, hurries or conditions.
Do you understand right? Among all prizes,
the best one is: the VIDAJE.
So I came back to VIDAJE, and from my beloved Baix Empordà
passing from Blanes to Barcelona.
The best part was to take Ona in
and give a concert at Astrolabi,
place in where I had so many good nights.
That's unpayable, as it is my sister
cycling with me some kilometers.
And from there, looking for small towns, green ways,
clearing the incognito of
how would I feel cycling in Europe.
Mediterranean in vein and in the Ebro river
going inland, pursuing memoirs from the old past…
Santa Pola, Tabarca…
And changing the smell of sea for the one of las migas
that my family in Alhama de Murcia prepared for me,
in the towns of my missed grandpas.
Hey Ona, what if rather of roaming in Europe
we make our dream real
and we cross the Atlantic sailing?
We need a cargo ship
to take us urgently to Canary Islands,
because trade winds are about to end.
Yes, I know it's difficult, but I may insist…
Besides that guy that knows that company
that told us that...
So we went sleep that night
having just a bit of hope and…
Eureka! We got on board exchanging
required insurance for a photo report.
Wow! the movement of this marine giant
A modern ship was taking me
to the quest of finding a classic sailing boat.
The black and white dream of a kid
wanting to become one in full color.
And it wasn't boring at all,
the young Polish captain was showing me the guts
and the brain of the ship.
Music, how else, was decorating our endless
talks about travels and life.
I love living other lives…
I remember when I was a sailor
on a cargo ship in the strait…
It was endearing to get to know Russian sailors,
and the lives that
those sea nomads hide.
El Peñón on our starboard,
and the strait with scenes taken
from a movie about space shuttles.
And then the question… Am I dreaming?
Once in the middle of the Atlantic, the groundswell
pushes us for days until…
Land in sight!
The king Teide with Santa Cruz at its feet.
The civilization and the paradise that should be
the trampoline to cross the Atlantic.
After making sure that there wasn't happening too much in the harbor
we decided to go to Las Palmas
Between routines of load and unload,
Ona and I stepped down of this unique experience
full of illusion trying to accomplish the big dream:
Crossing the Atlantic on a sailboat.
Time to walk around the harbor
in there I found a family of dreamers
and crazy artists looking for the same ticket
as Ona and I.
Competition makes you more creative.
I did a jazzy poster and started looking on
harbors others than the main and saturated one.
Bingo! In Puerto Rico,
a tiny harbor in the south of the island
I found a norwegian sailboat
that was planning to cross to Brazil.
They accepted me in, and in the blink of an eye,
we were already saying good bye,
setouts and tests…
Unbelieavable. Another dream that VIDAJE was making it become true.
Captain Magne and young Roy,
Ona properly stored
and myself with the camera, the guitar
and recipes ready to go.
The size of the dream made that the first day
everything looked unreal,
and the second… just imagine waking up from the nap
listening the dolphins
through the boat's hull.
Going up to the deck and notice there were tens of them
dancing from far away.
We were around one month in the sea,
passing by Cape Verde and the paradise of Fernando do Noronha,
that was another dream to fulfill to me.
But, you know what?
I haven't spoken about specific dates until now.
Crossing the Atlantic is about the half of the VIDAJE,
a bit more than three years of seven that have passed
until the moment in which I'm narrating this words.
That's the rhythm of the history's slowest
turn around the world… Do you remember?
What was important is that I've lived more intensely
those three first years
that almost the rest of my entire life,
and that, I had infinite ways ahead
to move by very slowly
flowing with the intuition and happiness.
As well as hundreds of jobs to learn,
goblins to know,
songs to compose,
rehearse and record.
A heart to patch up and suns to suffer,
rains to battle, landscapes to film,
islands to conquer,
adventures to share,
horizons to meet,
stories to listen to,
demons to defeat,
cousins and brothers to meet,
mountains to climb,
deserts to cross,
turns and decisions to make,
look over viewpoints to dream in
or remember the ones lived.
But above all, to appreciate the luck of
living such a free and intense life
but just simplify and defeat the
fear of taking the first step.
And getting a personal trainer as a gift,
because the VIDAJE balances:
The sedentary Albert is now pedaling with a heavy load.
The shy one is now getting involved with unknown people everyday.
The messy one is now doing the bags everyday.
The lazy one is waking up by the sun now
or the one lacking of studies that writes a book
edits a documentary
or records an album.
The frugal one that has the greatest life.
The fearful one that embraces new adventures now.
The apprentice one is now taking full control.
Dear Ona, we're reaching the end of
this first bite to the VIDAJE.
Showing this dream fulfilled
we only pretend to add up our grain of sand
for someone else's dream,
whatever they are.
And have no fear, there'll be tough moments but…
It totally worth it!
How pretty is this!!
It's hard to spot but, there are some birds flying
There's still water there.
El cachoeirão is not dried yet
But there's a waterfall there, I can hear it
Besides the adrenaline of being here hanging...
Ona and I will be waiting you in the next episode
with the panniers overflowing,
see you all next, if you want, in
VIDAJE - After the madness of the nomad.
For the grandpas and Paula.
Dedicated and grateful for those who lended a hand or a corner during the Vidaje,
and to that four-cats-army that hide close by even a thousand km away...