Americas is (already) great
Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry – Jack Kerouac.
Disclaimer: I will use the term Americas referring to the whole continent. Americas to me is the whole of North America, Central America and South America. Where I come from in school you learn there are five continents like the Olympic Rings, one is America or Americas.
It’s been almost a month since I arrived in Ushuaia, the world’s southmost city in, in Patagonia and the point of arrival of my crossing of the American continent from tip to tip. From the coast of the Arctic Ocean in Alaska to the Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia.
It’s been a month already, but a hectic month of preparations, change of equipment, change of continent.
I thought that arriving to Ushuaia and ending the American stage I would have had some time for myself, to savour the moment, instead it was a gruelling succession of organizing everything again; even from Ushuaia I left in a hurry.
Crossing the Americas was an epic adventure, I am very happy to have decided to leave and I am even more pleased to have held up the first month and a half, persevering towards such a distant destination. Alaska and Canada were tough but also a good training to get used to what would come later. I am happy to no longer experience those extreme moments of discouragement, though I do sometimes feel uncertainty and fear. I think it’s normal when you go through wilderness and unknown places. For example, you do not know if the water will be enough until the next village, or maybe you are in a deserted place swept by a blizzard and if you do not find a sheltered place you cannot pitch the tent to rest. It’s normal to be afraid, it’s part of the survival instinct, but over time you learn to manage certain situations, you understand more and more that there is always a solution for every occasion. This does not mean that it is always easy-peasy. There are days of pure exhaustion. There are days where the rain and bitter cold almost induces hypothermia. There are other days where the wind digs a worm in your mind. And yet other days where a moment of inattention or misfortune breaks a piece of equipment that is impossible to replace in many parts of the world.
The Americas gave me so much. First of all, many new friends, the humanity that I have met across the continent is simply touching. Many people have adopted me in their families, they have hosted and shared with me many moments of their lives. And this is precisely the most important aspect of the journey, of the nomad’s life. The wandering is not alone but comes into contact with a multitude of different people. I always try to learn, to understand: different cultures, customs and ways of life. My travelling at low cost often forces me to have to depend on the reception of the people I meet every day.
The overwhelming majority of people are good and from this goodness sometimes my survival also depends: some water, a meal, a quiet place where to camp the night.
The memory of Americas I carry with me is just that: the smile with which people welcomed me. Many of these people are still in touch with me. To everyone I give my gratitude and I know that the universe will reward you in-kind.
I had the chance to experience a truly wild nature, from the tundra in Alaska to the Patagonian steppe. In between: deserts, plateaus, warm seas, sea turtles, crocodiles, pumas, bears, tigrillos, snakes, howler monkeys, millennial glaciers, salt deserts, Amazonian forest and tropical fruits of which existence I was unaware of.
They were 954 days well lived, in a simple and frugal way yet intense and they made me a bike traveller.
There are those who ask me the statistics, how many chains I have changed, how many times I have got punctures, or how many tires I have used. I do not know and maybe they are things that takes away the time from real feelings. In the future I will try to keep some accounts. The mileage distance is about 35.000Km (21,750miles) through 16 different countries.
Americas have given me so much, and I will be eternally grateful. The only thing I can humbly do is to say thank you. First of all, thank you to the PachaMama that I tried to respect as much as possible trying not to leave traces of my passage. And thank you to all the inhabitants of the continent for welcoming me as one of the family. And it is with this gratitude in my heart that I continue my adventure.
Americas have given me so much. It gave me a new dream: to continue my nomadic adventure crossing all the other continents on my bicycle and to turn the project that was Alaska2Patagonia into a real round the world expedition.