Bike packing adventures in Latin America: 'It was now or never - enjoy the moment'

Sonia and Eloi are biking their way across Latin America, a dream they have long held. It was the Covid pandemic which finally gave them the impetus to undertake the bike packing journey. After all, “dreams are to be pursued”.

The two Catalans set up from San Diego, California, five months ago and headed south. “Mexico was the first country we visited and we had an incredible experience. From the very first minute we entered this country, we knew we would fall in love”.

From there, they continued on to Guatemala, where they still are on their journey throughout Latin America. Their plan for the rest of the year is to continue on to Ecuador and make it down to Argentina. Wheelprint Stories, as they are called on Instagram, are currently in Peru.

Indigenous community

They have had few scary situations but the worst was traveling into an indigenous community, where children, especially girls, frequently disappear and end up in an organ trafficking ring. As they arrived, a missing child had just been found dead, and the strangers were greeted suspiciously. “But finally, some children in town helped us out to find a place to sleep. The family that let us stay in their place explained the hard situation they lived in, the area with organ trafficking and with girls that disappear and run from their homes before they are sold by their own families. Just to put it into context, the kids that approached us in town asked Eloi: ‘How much did your family pay for her?’” With, of course, ‘her’ being Sonia.

The right travel partner

Perhaps the most important factor is choosing the right traveling partner. “Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s hard, we are not going to lie. When you travel with someone else you need to adapt to the good times and to the times that are not that great.”

“We both have different ways to approach things and to deal with difficult situations. The good part is that when one goes down, the other one helps lifting him up and vice versa”.

Colomo advises that if you are considering such a bike packing journey, start small. “I would recommend to start by small adventures on the bike and from here, decide if you want to spend a long period of time living on your bike. If the answer is yes, then do it, there’s not much more to think”.

“Be brave to make this decision, and be aware that adventure is beautiful and also hard sometimes. But no one else can live something like that for you”.

You can follow Sònia’s and Eloi’s adventures via their Instagram channel named ‘Wheelprint Stories’.

Read the full story about Wheelprint Stories in Nafent Magazine vol. 3, now available in our webshop.

The application Komoot helps planning of the most impressive routes, the two adventurers say. “It shows the highlights of areas and allows us to download our creations to use offline”.

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