Monday, July 26, 2010


Since May 1st, 2005 I carrry on my back far more than a backpack. At times it has been a home, the camuflaged wings of my soul. Technically speaking, La Maga is a Berghaus Khumbu 70, an English-made backpack crafted by the same people who pushed the first internal frame rucsac into the market in 1971. After 7 years of enduring every imaginable condition across 47 countries, five continents and 160,000 kms,  La Maga is still going strong. What follows is a photographic essay, a brief sample of its adventures.


Sahara Desert, on the desolate  road to the Siwa Oasis, Egypt.

Tibet, road 219, pssibly the most isolated and less travelled track on Earth. 2,000 km from Ali to Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.

La Maga likes history: here you can see her over an original, intact Roman road in Syria.

 But she also knows busy, modern European highways. Here in the Netherlands.

Finland: the sign proclaims our goal: "Around the World"

India: cows -or the Gods reincarnated in them- stare at La Maga.

Of course she also feels at home in Argentinean roads. In te picture you can see some of the badges we have incorporated as years passed: Norway, Iran, Siria, Romania, Ecuador and China, all countries where we lived famous adventures.

Ruta 40: 4,667 km of fun from Tierra del Fuego to the Altiplano.

 ....and eventually on April, 10th 2010 La Maga met "El Salmón", Laura's backack. Picture taken in Salta, Argentina.


Having some rest in an old Pakistani house at Chitral.

La Maga is planet-friendly. She easily makes friends among local flora and fauna.... Here in the Bolivian Chaco.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Arrival to Mount Kailash, Western Tibet, after an exhausting journey on one of the least travelled roads on Earth.

Crossing of Afghanistan along the Central Road: 1460 km from Herat to Kabul, where most people bet we wouldn't make it alive.

...but we held faith in mankind, a broad smile and a Peace flag.

Same happened in Iraq. Here La Maga under a sign with the colourful Kurdish flag.

Afghan kids thought La Maga was my parachute, and searched for my plane in the sky.

Crossing of Minapin Glacier, Pakistan. Walking over the ice, sorround by 8,000 meters high peaks is not an everyday setting, but even there La Maga was on duty.

Crosing from Pakistan to China on the Karakorum highway, decorated by hanging majestic glaciers.

Laura, La Maga (on my shoulders) and me just before embarking to Antarctica on board the MV Ushuaia.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Afghan rural teachers can't hide their curiosity and request to try La Maga...

These Bolivian farmers find in La Maga an excuse to kill time with, as they wait for their bus.

Syrian kids in a desert hamlet pose with La Maga, after bringing me food from their own home.

Inside a Bedouin tent in the Syrian Desert, Hasan formaly requests to test La Maga. They are the nomads par excellance.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


La Maga formally posing for Press in Buenos International Book Fair, during the presentation of my book "Vagabonding in the Axis of Evil" (Spanish version)

A very different situation is this one, over a donkey drawn kart of an Egyptian farmer.

La Maga has known every model of car ever produced. Here with a 1954 De Soto.

At times she is picky, and targets sport cars, like this Smart Bravus in Germany.

But generally speaking she is on the humble's side: here my shadow and hers in the kart of a Chinese family.

More often than not she becomes excentric, with a curious taste for the absurd. Look her on board a Paraguayan ambulance...

She is an efficient table as well, both in the Bolivian Andes or in the Danish highways.

In the end, she has been a silent witness of all human activities, from businessmen and Parliament members to the Ecuadorian banana pickers that travelled in this truck.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Laura and I in Alemania, a tiny town in Northern Argentina. That was the place were we decided to continue together the hitch-hiking round the world trip I had started alone in 2005. After visiting 46 countries, I happened to find my road and soul mate in my homeland...

Our two backpacks sharing a roadside. The sign reads "Feliz Viaje" which translates as "Happy travels!".... Right now our plan is to start the American stage of the round the world trip in Ushuaia, Southern Argentina. After that we will bounce and travel north all the way across Latina America to Mexico, the US, Canada and Greenland, where we aim to end our trip.

Laura portrayed over a load of mud bricks, carried by the truck that gave us a lift. Bricks are construction items, such as our drems and the power we feel after having found each other.

Villager from Jasimaná, a tiny community hipotetically reached after walking 10 hours from Cafayate. He wanted to recover quechua language so we promised to arrange the donation of Spanish-Quechua dictionaries for him. All the people in the area are goat shepherds.

From Cachi to San Antonio de los Cobres we got a ride in this 1972 Ford Falcon driven by two crazy French students on their South American tour. It was a rough ride over a gravel road that climbs up to staggering 4.985 meters in Abra del Acay section. One of the roughest rides ever!


A chapter of my book "Vagabonding in the Axis of Evil - By thumb in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan" ends with the following thought:

“… will I ever findwill I ever find a wandering princess? Or will I continue my world tour of spontaneous, dead lane romances? Only distance, centauric breed of will and sentence, caresses the wounded feet of the traveller.

When I wrote those lines I wasn`t aware that thousands of people would read it. I had never published a book before. Words rather unfold as in a cascade of therapeutical honesty towards myself. But I was unknowingly throwing a bottle into the Ocean.

And on the other shore Laura took the bottle, opened itand read it. She bought the book at a buenos Aires bookshop and couldn't avoid thinking in the similarities with his own life. Laura had her own experience in travelling around the world, leaving her footprints in Bolivia, Peru, Central America and India. Always eith her backpack, but never hitch-hiking, Laura would always come back from her trips feeling it hadn't been enough and feeling less than comfortable with going back to her 9 to 5 office job as a travel agent.

In the beginning, she was not to write to me, but then she had that dream, in which both of us where hitch-hiking to Alaska... Then she sent me an e-mail, and we started chatting for over 2 months before deciding to meet up in Salta, Northern Argentina. I was travelling south from Bolivia to participate in Buenos Aires International Book Fair.

The first ride Laura and me got together, in a Renault 4 that took us out of Salta towards the Lerma Valley.

Local men working in the tobacco industry, selecting the best leaves.

Hitch-hiking together to Alemania town, where the spell was casted...

This is the old railway station of Alemania, a town inhabited by 8 families. In this desolate but colourful place I had decided to start hith-hiking around the world, back in 2002. Now, the tiny town was to host another spectacular event: Laura and I decided to join our dreams and bring forth a future together. A future together in the road side. And so we decided to travel from Argentina to Alaska together....

Friday, July 09, 2010


Carrying on with the Educational Nomadic Project Laura and I visited La Emilia, where we talked for over 200 kids from the town's public schools. We have been very busy since we are beginning our Argentina-Greenland hitch-hiking trip next week. But we made a little gap in our agenda to reach this town. School teachers told me there had once existed a carpet factory in town. Having walked up and down the Middle East and considering the warmth welcome we recieved in la Emilia I imagined that were there once was a carpet factory there must be hospitality still around...

We were also delighted to meet Alberto, the director of the local Museum of Paleontology, and Alejandro and his girlfriend, local journalists who had helped us to bring the event there.
The Educational Nomadic project is coordinated with the People's Health Movement (PHM) and supported by donations from readers.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


Laura and I organized yet another educational event at the Escuela de Eduación Media Número 7, at San Nicolás, Buenos Aires province, Argentina. We felt really welcomed. The entire school worked like a big family...

In public schools students give you the impression that they really appreciate that you arre there, bringing activities, contents, ideas, etc.

It's rally rewarding to have the chance to acceed the educational system core, be allowed into classrooms and then tell kids: "You know, as soon as you finish high school it's really easy to get a back pack and go out to see the world regardless you are planning to study afterwards or not". I was lucky enough to have a professor who awakened a sense of freedom within me. Now I am the provider for other. It's nice to be on the other side.

We were even granted diplomas certified the accomplishment of the conference.