Between 03 and 18 March, the cyclist and bike enthusiast, Rafael Batalha, a miner from Sete Lagoas, wants to travel all along the Uruguayan coast by bicycle, with high resolution footage and lots of photos.
“The idea emerged in early 2015,” says Rafael, “after cycling in Lapinha da Serra, a very beautiful town that I suggest all cyclists visit. The contact with nature was so enchanting that I could not see myself no longer doing that kind of interaction.”
There is already a time that Uruguay has been standing out in the world scenario in relation to tourism, due to its wonderful beaches, its culture and mainly for its cuisine.These were the main reasons why the cyclist chose the neighboring country as a destination for his project. Because there is such an easy access from Colonia, Argentina will also be visited, extending the trip for a few more days to also know the culture of the brothers.
The passion for cycling comes from a small one, but cycling is a recent discovery for Rafael. “I came from a completely different area, where I recently worked in the logistics area for two years in a multinational as a programmer of imported materials, and it was during the vacant hours that I decided to pedal and so, little by little, the bicycle allied with the beauty of nature That I fell in love with cycling. Today, I want to show people how nice cycling is. Since the first cyclotourism, the distances have only increased and I have no desire to stop. ”
Such a trip, autonomous and solitary, requires all planning, “from the legal question to enter the country, where to eat, sleep and possible deviations. I ended up reading a lot about the climates I could find ahead and the best cities for a good point of support until I got the script I’m doing.”
For the expedition was set up a camping kit with tent, sleeping bag, towel of quick drying (there goes a tip! Light, compact and dry very quickly). An emergency kit will be formed with reserve chambers, brake cables and spare gears, flashlights, headlights and appropriate switches. Also, so that nothing is left out, an action camera and camera. And the skinny right? “In this type of situation, as we well know, clothes means weight and with that I tried to take the least possible and the lightest. Thus, I preferred compression fabrics since they are lighter and dry faster than cotton fabrics. Not to mention that they help in muscle fatigue, “says the cyclist.
How to reconcile date with friends is becoming increasingly difficult these days, Rafael decided to go it alone. “And traveling alone is not so bad. Traveling alone will force you to interact and experience things with the sense of freedom even greater. Being able to do what you want in the time you want and the way you think best. Every now and then the loneliness strikes. But there are those who are afraid to face the unknown alone as well as some who are passionate about facing the unknown alone. And I think I’m the second option. So suddenly the loneliness passes and I end up having fun with my own company.The family, initially, was very afraid because of the dangers, the unknown and the unforeseen that can arise and mainly for being alone. My mother pulled the hair out of her head. But which mother would not worry? My sister has said several times that she does not agree, but that she supports me. At the end of the day, I would not change my mind … My friends, my second family, think I’m crazy. But who is not? However, later, as everything is being analyzed and studied, it becomes less turbulent and everyone ends up taking part in the trip as well. ”
Regarding the Spanish, “mine is that famous ‘of hunger do not die’. I think language may be my greatest difficulty during the expedition. However, I have great fluency in English and any emergency, I have it as contingency plan. And I do not think people will be hostile because of lack of language or some other reason. Even because we cyclists, when we come in softly, with humility and with respect, we are always very well received and very welcomed.”
But the biggest challenge is finding companies and institutions that embrace a project that has the bicycle as the main means of transportation: “this trip brings a philosophy of preserving the environment and natural resources, but maybe this is not taken so seriously and my Challenge is to get some funding for the expedition. But I know this comes with time and effort. So, if your company or institution wants to support and embark on this adventure along the Uruguayan coast and Argentina, contact us. It will be fun! And I would like to thank Bike Magazine for the space given to a Cycloturist’s Diary and hope we can be able to bring a lot of cool things to the readers.