*** WHY A PLAN B? ***

Why did I take the decision of extending my trip on a bike through the American Continent for another year?

The last few weeks I felt a bit overwhelmed by the whirl of activities that involved me while riding, always running to fulfill my compromise of visiting the SOS Children’s Villages, without being able to enjoy to the max the roads, ending up exhausted to get from one place to the other, leaving my diary and the webpage to the side.

While in Colombia I had the sensation of passing by many things due to the fact that I had to get to Ushuaia before the southern winter sets in. I found myself giving excuses and explanations to everyone of why I was running and that made me feel bad.

When I arrived to the SOS Children’s Village in Floridablanca, Colombia, I was totally exhausted, with a fever, my lymph nodes inflamed, my body aching everywhere, wet by the rain, depressed and beaten. While I was telling my story of how harrowing had the last four days been in order to get to the Village on time and that after that I had to continue without pause to Venezuela, I realized that something was not well. I wasn’t only taking a really fast pace, but my body was also telling me that if I continued that way, it was going to give up on me. Not in vain I was at the edge of turning 35!!

I was diagnosed with an acute pharyngitis that forced me to spend a few extra days to recover and at the same time to think about this situation. I realized that it was time to take a radical decision: I coulnd’t continue that way. I felt that my visits to the SOS CHildrens Villages was to short and I had learned that the experience was well worth it of a few extra days at each site.

The idea came as a sudden hit on my head: what if I extended the trip for another year? That way I could include other countries that originally were out of my itinerary, visit South America more deeply and visit a bigger number of SOS Villages and in a more intense way. It wasn’t something trivial. It meant, among other things, to stay away from my loved ones for a longer time, from the home I left behind when I undertook this trip and that, on the other hand, the original budget would be reduced in half and I would have to “adjust my belt” once more….
La cartita de Nubia

While I was debating what to do, a girl at the Village, Nubia, got near me and gave me a letter. In it she said beautiful things about my visit to the Village and how happy she was from knowing me, but at the same time how sad she was because I had to go and I couldn’t stay for another day with them. It was the little push that I needed. Without knowing, she gave me the main reason to take this step: it was for the boys and girls of the SOS Children’s Villages.
Emotional and moved by Nubia’s gesture, I knew deep inside that everything was decided: this trip was being extended for another year, to visit every South American country where there is a SOS Village and I would increase sharply my visits, dedicating more time to each of them. Because of that, the trip is not longer linear and direct to Ushuaia and I has become more erratic, without a fix north. It’s mostly defined by the social aspect of the trip that little by little has been taking control of my pedals to now govern my path completely.

From that angle, I thought that it is fundamental that I visit all the SOS Villages in my own country, so that has resulted in an itinerary with many turns and that will finish at the SOS Children’s Village of Mar del Plata.

In many occasions I have been compared to the mythical trip of Che Guevara and Alberto Granado that has been popularized with the movie “Motorcycle Diaries”. Even though I feel that I’m far from figures like them and the circumstances of our trips are very different, I like to point out something in that respect. At that time, both left on the “Poderosa” (their motorcycle) to follow the roads of South America in search of adventure, emotion and without a definitive plan. On the road, they

Nubia (centro) y su familia
faced the different realities that are endured in our continent and they came back as different persons, with other ideals and a new objective in life. In my case, the process has been the same so far and I believe that the social work with the SOS Children’s Villages I had found my true compass and pathway for my tires. Would you come with me to keep on going on this humane, cultural and natural trip?

 July 2008

Paseando con Nubia