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Two things are infinite: the universe and the human stupidity.
Albert Einstein

 


Travel book

This is my travel book:


At last...Ushuaia
[2008-02-08]
I arrived to Ushuaia after days of biking. Argentina is an unforgettable country where people are very gentle and genuine. I really felt like at home. I had the pleasure to taste the national drink: the mate. Ushuaia is the southern most city in the world where I had the opportunity to be welcomed. When I arrived to Ushuaia I had mixed feelings. I was very happy because I accomplished what I set on my mind. I also was sad because my journey was finishing. Personally, I believe that this adventure has changed me considerably in many levels. Life is full of surprises and I am willing to take the risks. I would like to acknowledge the unconditional support from my family and friends. I also want to thanks my sponsors. This trip would have not been possible without them.

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Northern Peru
[2005-04-21]
Northern Peru After being in Ecuador for a while, I decided to get in to the much bigger country of Peru. I went though Macara-La Tina. To my surprise everybody was looking at me and my bike. I did not know if this was good or bad thing. It felt a bit strange to have so much attention on me and my bike. The north of Peru is mostly dessert: el gran desierto de Sechura. It was a different dessert from what I expected. Sand, stones and some dunes. In this area, there are communities that only have running water one hour per day. I ran out of money in Chulucanas. In this city there is no international bank. Therefore, I decided to change my dollars. To my surprise though, I could not change them because they were a little bit deteriorated. Something to learn: you need to have a brand new bill in order to exchange it!!! I had to take bus to the next big city: Piura. I was in Trujillo, in la “Casa de los ciclistas” of Lucho and his family. It is a house that hosts many cyclists from around the world. Good vibe!. There have been more than 600 cyclists. I had the pleasure to enjoy good food and good conversation with other bikers. The world is full of fanatic cyclists. I am not alone!!! I met a German couple that they are traveling for 4 years around the world. Big hug for all of you, guys!! Following Lucho´s recommendations, I continued my trip towards Huaraz, Cordillera Blanca. The most beautiful thing that I have never seen. I was with communities where they did not have any hot water and electricity. The terrain was hard because of the altitude and weather. Always raining!! The downhill was pretty fun and hard at the same time. In two days that I was there I only met 2 people. It was worth all the effort.

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Ecuador
[2005-04-12]
Ecuador I only have good words for this country and for its people. The first thing that I noticed was the altitude. I had the feeling that Ecuador was not going to be an easy country to bike. Quito is located at 2850 meters. I especially felt the altitude since I have lived all my life at sea level. I had to do take my time for the acclimatation period. From Quito, I went to Cotopatxi National Park, the second highest mountain in Ecuador. I biked until I reached 4500 meters. And yet I wasn’t experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness as badly as I had expected, thanks to the time spent acclimating in Quito. Ecuador is a country full of mountains where there is no easy day. After visiting the National Park this I went to Baños and then from here to Oriente side of Ecuador. It rained every single day that I was there. It is not funny when you try to pitch your tent while it is raining and in the middle of the night. I had the opportunity to meet the Shuarr communities. I spent several days in the colonial cities like Loja and Cuenca. The truth is that all these cities remind me a lot to Spain.

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Costa Rica
[2005-04-12]
Costa Rica From the poorest country in Central America I crossed into the first world: Costa Rica. The first thing that I noticed was that everything is green. I knew why. It rained on me every day starting my first day in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is full of mountains. There are mountain passes of 3000 meters. I went to the Volcan Arenal but I could not see it because of the rain. I went also visited the Volcan Poas. My impression: kind of touristy, but worth it. I spent New Years with my travel partner Jin. In Japan they have many customs on this day. One of them is to eat something long or sticky. It is believed if you eat it you will live longer. Jin ate mashed potatoes with some weird Japanese things. Of course Jin had to taste the 12 grapes in New Years. It was funny seeing Jin eating 12 grapes and saying “Happy New Years” at the same time. In San Jose, Jin and I said goodbye. He was going to Colombia and me to Ecuador after meeting up with Ama. From my point of view, Costa Rica is totally oriented toward and dominated by American tourism. Therefore the prices increase. You can find almost everything in this country. The 99% of the population is white and 1 % is indigenous. There are two beaches I would like to recommend: La playa Uvita y Dominical. Ama visited me for two weeks. We had a great time together. To be honest, it was a welcomed rest from biking. I needed a break. Thanks for this time together. In San Jose I met an andalusian guy called Gabriel who was doing the same thing as I. The only difference is that he started in Mexico. We decided to travel together. It was a great experience to travel with someone from my own country. We traveled together until Ecuador…

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Nicaragua, communist country
[2005-01-16]
A country full of good people and good food. People are recovering form the crisis, civil war and they are open to a new positive social change. In my opinion, people are friendly and open to travelers. In general, Nicaragua is flat country and is quite hot. I visited the typical cities: Leon, Granada, Masaya and of course Ometepe Island. The last one was the best. In Leon, I had the feeling of being in a city with history based on blood and hunger for a better life. The war between somozistas and sandinistas was a huge impact in the present life on Nicaragua. During the civil war, 50.000 people were killed in both sides. I found several people warming me that I was in a communist country. I did not know what they meant by that. Nicaragua was the first country (and hopefully the last) that someone shouted at me: GO HOME YANKI!!. I responded by saying that I am from Spain and I am not a yanki. They did not care what I said. For them I am just a simple capitalist with money in my pocket. From Rivas, we went to Ometepe Island. A beautiful trip by boat. Ometepe island is something special because it has two volcanoes. We traveled around some part of the Island. Jin and I had a major debate about where we were going to celebrate New`s Years. We decided on Costa Rica. We had to take a boat from Ometepe to San Carlos. It took us 20 hours to arrive there. The boat was full of people and we did not sleep at all. We were stacked on board with bananas, coffee and people laid across my bike. We arrived to San Carlos, a border town where the mosquitoes were our main enemy. Thousands and thousands of them. I did not have another alternative than to pitch my ten in the middle of the room to keep them away.

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El Salvador
[2005-01-16]
EL SALVADOR According to my sources, El Salvador was going to be the most dangerous country in Centro America. This was not my experience at all. People treated us with respect. The gave us food and a bed on several occasions. We traveled along the coast. It was hot. Temperatures reached above 95 F. It took us week to go through. El Salvador is the country we passed fastest. I was surprised that the dollar is completely running the country. Not many people could tell me details about this dramatic change. I was glad knowing that everything was quite cheap. I enjoyed one of the typical plates from the coastal area: a good plate of fish. MMMM!! In the border to Honduras I had privilege to meet Rafael, a sevillian living in El Salvador for 15 years. We had long conversation about Spanish history and one of the realities of Central America. Thanks Rafa for your help and advice. Good luck for your future projects.

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Guatemala, volcanoe´s land
[2005-01-16]
GUATEMALA After traveling for two months in Mexico I was glad to visit a new country: Guatemala. So many people recommended that I visit Atitlan Lake. Thus, I went straight to the Lake. I was in San Pedro. It is a little village where one can see an amazing landscape mixed with volcanoes and the Lake. I met two Spanish guys: Mark and Jordi. Two catalane, not typical. We enjoyed a good conversations and good Spanish costumes… We were hosted in an incredible hostel. The food was the best part for me. I gained back the 5 pounds that I had lost during this trip. I also enjoyed swimming in the lake every day. Swimming is something that I miss a lot. The indigenous people of the Lake can be recognize by their clothes and the language used. Their body is different than Mexico’s indigenous. The most bizarre thing for me was the kilt used by the men. The colors are bright . People are not shy at all and were very friendly to me. In San Pedro I met Jin for the first time, a Japanese guy from Sapporo who is doing the Pan-American from Alaska to Ushuaia. We decided to travel together for some time. It is difficult to find cyclist with the same rhythm. Luckily Jin and I had the same pace.

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Chipas, zapatista´s land
[2005-01-16]
South Mexico, Chiapas 11-22-04 Chiapas- zapatista´s land. I have been told about the danger of this area: kidnappings, thieves, criminal activity. Way far from the reality. From my experience, Chiapas is a calm state where people are hospitable and kind to bike travelers. I have found the rough parts are its roads and weather. In South Chiapas, the weather is humid and seems to always be hot. The roads are like a roller coaster. There are serious downhills and, of course, uphills. Expect hard days if you want to travel in this area. I have been trying to learn some words and phrases in indigenous dialects. According to my sources, Mexico has 32 states and each one has 15-17 different dialects. It can be challenging when the language changes every 100 Km. And Chiapas is no different. There are heaps of dialects in the same area. It is fabulous when people open themselves to a gringo like me trying to speak their language with a funny accent. Tztetal is the language that I most used. There are dialects that are getting lost. Even in some of them they do not use the old words for the numbers. I would like to highlite some places: San Cristobal de las Casas, Las Ruinas de Palenque, Cascada de Agua azul and El Cañon del Sumidero. In all these areas there are many tourist, which makes it difficult to connect with the local people. I have learnt an important lesson climbing from Tuxtla to San Cristobal. I definitely need to prepare myself better mentally when I have such a big climb ahead of me. This day was especially rough. In Ompetic, a little village close to San Cristobal, I had the opportunity to talk with the “junta de gobierno Zapatista. My questions were clear and specific and the answers were general and not too clear. One of my questions was about the economical motor of the zapatista movement. The answer was: the coffee and artesany. The most interesting thing was the energy of how they talk. It does not matter of your ideology; it is something to be seen. Something different.

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Central Mexico 11/01/04
[2004-11-23]
After my intestinal problems, I took a ferry from La Paz to Matzalan. Matzalan is a city that reminds me of Cadiz, a city in Andalucia. From this point, I had two options: first, taking road 40 towards Durango and the second taking road 15 to Guadalajara. I have been told that the second is the most dangerous road but the most interesting. Well, I went through the 15 road to Guadaljara. Wrong option. This road is full of cars and trucks. It seems that every single car in Mexico travels on this road. The worst part was before Tepic. The rest was more or less fine. I do not recommend this road at all. I had the opportunity to climb some hills with my bike. It was a good warm up for Peru. I am amazed when traveling by bike that I can see the landscape changing in an intense way. In Central Mexico, the rainy season lasts five months of the year, which makes this part a green place to travel. I stopped in Tequila for a couple nights. I was invited to a barbaqueo by a local. It was a great experience to be with them. I must say that they gave me a personal lesson of humility. I enjoyed good conversations and good company. I ate a lot of meat. Mexican people eat a lot of meat. In this area there are not many tourist. In two weeks I did not see any tourist at all. In Guadalajara I had the pleasure to be invited to stay in a friends house: Adriana and Irma. Thanks. They live in San Juan de Cosala close to Chapala Lake. My room had 180 degrees view of Chapala Lake. The house was amazing. I spent three nights over there. The second night a terrible insect visited me: a SCORPION. In the middle of the night, I woke up with a terrible and intense pain in my left arm. My arm was totally asleep. I do not wish this experience on anyone. I cannot plan any day when I am biking. Things always happen that I do not expect like in Tuxpan. I stopped after riding my bike for quite a while and suddenly a man came from nowhere. He invited me to his house to have lunch. We ate, talk and enjoyed of a good conversation. Thanks Juan. During this trip I have enough time to think about what I am doing. For one hand, I have the feeling that I am immersed in a constant cultural learning experience. Sometimes it is difficult to get to know the little villages when I am spending only a couple nights. On the other hand, there is a personal reason for all this. I experience sensations and feelings that sometimes it is difficult to express. I will make an effort to do it.

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Baja California 10/11/04
[2004-11-23]
I thought that California was going to be the hottest section of travel, but I was wrong. When I crossed the Mexican border, I knew that Baja was going to be a tough test. There is a huge desert called Desierto Vizcaino, where I had to carry more than 10 litres per day. Water is a precious commodity in Baja. At times, the temperature reached 40 degrees Celsius. I had the pleasure of biking with Wim, from Belgium, and Sarah from Texas for almost a week. The roads are unending and there is not much room on them for bikers and cars to share. Overall, my experience in Baja was good. I noticed a big difference between people from the north, where are more used to the massive tourism from USA, and the people in the south. In Baja California Sur, there are also tourists, but not like in the North. From my point view, the best places in Baja California are: Mulege, a little village where there are a beautiful beaches and people are honest. There is also a beach called el Coyote. Baja is the perfect place to camp anywhere. To camp in the middle of the desert was a unique experience. I had the pleasure of diving with Marco, a professional fisherman. He taught me how to catch scallops and mussels. We went down 4 meters deep. Thanks, Marcos, for this unique experience! The most difficult part was my intestinal problems. This is not funny at all. I spent five days in La Paz recovering. In short, Baja is a perfect place where you can camp on beautiful beaches and vast stretches of desert. During the Fall, the water temperature was warm - to the point that it seemed that you were in a hot tub.

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California 9-22-04
[2004-10-19]
My adventure starts… Ideas and dreams become a reality reflecting the bike trip through Latin-America. Latin- America by bike. Am I crazy? Not at all. One of the most important points of this trip is to find myself in full contact with the environment and to enjoy doing what I am doing. What can I say of my first week traveling through California landscapes? During the entire time I felt at home and there was a familiarity with the country side. The first days I wanted to get away from Santa Cruz as soon as possible. I believed the further I get away the better the trip would be. I do not know if this is totally true. The first days I had to use my mechanical knowledge to repair my first flat tire, one of many I am sure, and also the first broken spokes. In Big Sur I enjoyed the spectacular sunsets and days covered with a soft fog. I met with Ama at Esalen Institute where we enjoyed visiting our friends and of course soaked in the tubs. From my point of view, California is a beautiful book where the main characters are the sun and the pacific and the mountains. The State Parks in California are really spectacular. My favorite ones are the Refugio State Beach, North of Santa Barbara and Kirk Creek in Big Sur. While the landscape is spectacular I was disappointed in the lack of bike trails and the amount of cars rushing by. At times I would be cycling on the shoulders of four lane freeways. The best of California is definitely the North. There are beautiful bike paths.

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