There are different types of Backpackers, all motivated by a different goal. Hibiscus & Nomada have met with Adrian in Panama City at El Machicho Hostel . Adrian is bike riding 14,500 kms from Santiago, Chile to Toronto, Canada to support the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and their work with palliative care cancer patients. He has been on this epic bike ride since November and has one main goal: to raise awareness and money in honour of his beautiful mom Rosemary Marziliano, who passed away from cancer in 2010.
Marion , Founder of Hibiscus & Nomada has interviewed Adrian by the pool on Monday 27th of March, in Panama, going south from her 6-month backpacking through Central and South America:
Track my journey through the Atacama Desert and up the Peruvian coast.
Support me through the Andes mountains of Ecuador and Colombia, climbing up to 3,600 meters!
M: What happens if you're running out of water in the desert? A: I try not to run out when on the road but sometimes, especially in the Andes, it is hard and it happened to me. I was told by other bikers that I should simply raise my hand and bottle of water and the drivers should give you some. It is kind of like Hitchhiking but for water. I had no other choice but to try and I was very surprised to see that everyone stopped every time I did it. I got even lucky one day when a truck (they can't stop on the road) threw me a bottle of gatorade!
Share my story as I pass through Central America and up the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
M: Does it feel weird to be on the road for some days in the middle of nowhere and then hit some big cities like Panama? A: Yes, this is actually my first "Backpackers" Hostel in a while. I am more used to locals sharing their stories in the villages rather than following a group for a Pub Crawl. But I was on a party boat to cross Colombia to Panama via San Blas Islands and I had such a great time! So I guess this is very diverse depending on where I am on the map. But the Pan-American Highway does not pass by big cities every day so I am more used to comedor and workers cantina rather than Hooters and Wings' Army if you know what I mean!
M. How do you deal with the constant honking on the roads of Latin America for very often no reason?! A. Haha I am getting pretty good at it. In Chile, I could manage to know what they meant by their honk. Small honk means "hey, I'm gonna pass you, watch out", Big honk is "move over I'm coming bitch!", Two honks followed by a wave is "You go boy!". In Peru though, it was a total chaos and I could not figure out any of these honks which some days were driving me crazy!
Motivate me as I make my final push through the United States and enter my home country at Niagara Falls.
M. What's your favorite country or best surprise so far on the road? A. I really liked Ecuador. It has so much so see. People go to Ecuador for the Galapagos Islands but the country has so much to offer and the people are so nice! Chile also was great but I have lived there for 2 years to learn Spanish so this is different!
M. Do you have a tent, cooking utensils, sleeping bag etc? A. Tent and sleeping bag yes, for cooking no, I spoil myself in "restaurants". I think after a day of riding I deserve a good meal and a good chat with the locals!
M. How many Kilometers a day do you ride on average? A. Depends on the roads. I tend to do 50 kms a day. If it is totally flat, I can push it to 90 to 100kms.
M. Have you had some visitors coming to visit you on the way?! A. My cousin and her family came to Lima, my dad and sister met me in Ecuador. My friend in Columbia and the next reunion is next week in Costa Rica with my other cousin.
Celebrate with me as I ride my last day along Lake Ontario and return home to Toronto
M. How much weight do you carry on your bag? A. I probably have 10kg but I think my next trip I will ride lighter. This was my first long bike ride so I was prudent. I guess next time I could do it more "freestyle" since I know now that when you're in trouble or in need for something, people do help you out. Because as a biker, they respect you for what you're trying to accomplish!
M. What kind of geek tools do you use on the road to guide you? A. I have my Garmin GPS, maps and road trackers downloaded on my phone andhttps://youtu.be/fhyApqovfDEa gopro to record unique moments. I also take advice from other bikers I meet on the road, usually on the other side of the highway since they're going South and I am heading North. But we stop for 30 minutes and share our stories and travel tips of what's waiting for each other.
M. Wait a minute, so if you're riding the Pan-America, that means you are sharing the road with trucks and cars? Isn't that dangerous sometimes? Especially in big cities? A. Haha no because there is usually a lane for cyclists or at least enough space to share the road with the big boys!
M. Can you share a funny fact you've experienced on the road?! A. Well, I don't know if you've noticed but in Latin America, Motel or Auto-hotel are not the same as in North America. They're meant for couples who want some privacy away from their parents home most of the time. So if you were to show up at the reception I am sure they would give you that funny look. Sometimes on my maps App, when looking for a place to stay overnight I see Hotel and I get very excited since it's very close. However, when I reached final destination I realise it's a motel so I have to carry on riding. Because the app does not differentiate motels from hotels!