Montañas Vacías

It is good to cross out an action from your bucket list but it is most rewarding to enjoy an experience that continue helping my personal growth with a lot of reflection and insights.

I’ve been bikepacking for six days (+365km / +6420m) through the Spanish Lapland, a place in Spain with an area twice the size of Belgium, and a population density similar to Lapland or the Scottish Highlands, only 6,99 inhabitants/km² (visit this website for more details about the route).

“The moments you have experienced are the only possessions that nobody can take away from you”

Day 1 / Reality Check
• Date: 19-Sept-2021
• One-quote summary: embrace reality even if it burns you
• Start point: Albarracin (Teruel)
• End point: Griegos
• Distance: 51,4 km
• Positive Climbing: 1.260 m

Day 2 / Resilience
• Date: 20-Sept-2021
• One-quote summary: only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever achieve greatly
• Start point: Griegos (Teruel)
• End point: Paralejos de las Truchas
• Distance: 79,7 km
• Positive Climbing: 1.160 m

Day 3 / Joyfulness
• Date: 21-Sept-2021
• One-quote summary: find joy in discovering what makes your soul happy
• Start point: Peralejos de las Truchas (Guadalajara)
• End point: Zaorejas
• Distance: 53 km
• Positive Climbing: 770 m

Day 4 / Self-Love
• Date: 22-Sept-202
• One-quote summary: be yourself, an original is so much better than a copy
• Start point: Zaorejas (Guadalajara)
• End point: Tragacete
• Distance: 74,1 km
• Positive Climbing: 1.160 m

Day 5 / The Paradise
• Date: 23-Sept-2021
• One-quote summary: paradise is not a place, is a state of mind
• Start point: Tragacete (Cuenca)
• End point: Zafrilla
• Distance: 41,4 km
• Positive Climbing: 860 m

Day 6 / Closing the loop
• Date: 24-Sept-2021
• One-quote summary: always finish the job, learn to close the loop
• Start point: Zafrilla (Cuenca)
• End point: Albarracin
• Distance: 64,5 km
• Positive Climbing: 1.210 m

“We don’t learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience” – John Dewey

It has been a life-changing experience whilst enjoying nature, meeting incredible people and visiting interesting places (even I´ve been riding in the same paradise!!). Before the trip there was a lot of noise in my mind and, during the ride, I was able to translate it into powerful insights.

  • Your loved ones will always support you in any adventure, even in the crazy ones. It is awesome to be back home and receive even more love than expected.
  • When there is a bigger reason than the activity itself, you can jump any barrier.
  • It’s unbelievable how we loss the capability to use our senses in our day-to-day. The good thing: with a little bit of training is improving exponentially.
  • You can train your intuition; it is a matter to listen to yourself.
  • Non-verbal communication is a universal way of connection, so listen with your eyes too. Be careful what you say or not say with your gestures!
  • Connecting with people is an art that you could master. There is an easy rule: you receive what you give.
  • Even from the person most opposed to you, you can learn something; at least, what you don’t want to be or what you don’t want to see in your life.
  • In a world where speed is the “normal”, the right pace is the one that allows you to enjoy your path; otherwise you are losing the focus.
  • Your activity expands over your day like a gas in a container; choose carefully your daily goals and to whom you spend your time with.
  • We are used to live in a materialistic world. You can’t imagine the few things you need to happily spend your day. Minimalism is a good way of living.
  • When you are living a good moment, seize it! Celebrate life whenever you get the chance.
  • Live to Work” or “Work to Live”? I’ve been visiting towns that, year after year, they are having less and less people due to the move to the big cities but, if you see how they manage the balance between professional and personal life, it seems we are doing something wrong; still a lot to learn from them.
  • It is useless to compare yourself with others. You are riding your own path, you have your own conditions, and you are advancing at your own pace.
  • In the same way you can’t assess your day only by one isolated action, you can’t assess your life thinking on the short-term.
  • If you are not able to learn from the difficult times in your life, you will not be able to enjoy the good ones.
  • If you’ve lost everything you have, you still have the most valuable thing you own: your essence. And the only way to add value to this world is to empower and give more of your essence.
  • Like in biking, in life you have up and downs. No worries, with determination you will go over any situation.
  • Listen to your body! Learn from yourself and give your body what is needed in each situation. Having rest is not only for weekends or vacations.
  • We are not aware of how lucky we are, having food, a bed and a shower. It was long time since I have enjoyed so much for the fact of having food, going bed or taking a shower. Be grateful with your life!
  • The optimal experience occurs when you reach the level of flow. How I know when I’ve reached this level? It is a feeling of losing the sense of time, detaching from yourself, and enjoying the activity you’re completing.
  • There are times that fears blocked you. The only way to get over it is going through the same situation over and over again.
  • You can’t claim victory before the end. Incidentals may happen at any time. Keep calm, flow with the situation and you will find the best solution; there is always an alternative.
  • Being ready for when the occasion comes is important but most important is your mindset about it: hope for the best, be ready for the worst.
  • Resilience is “the capability” of our times. The good thing: it can be trained, and cycling is a good way to do it.
  • If you want to spark innovation, you must allow experimentation without limits, then you will find the right place and boundaries to make it work.
  • I’ve meet amazing elder people through the trip. They have a lot of wisdom and it is transferred by telling stories. Studies confirm that your wisdom is lost within 3 generations if you don’t plan properly. Start thinking how you are going to transfer your meaning legacy, that is your non-financial assets.

Which one resonates more with you?

Looking forward to live another bikepacking experience!

2 thoughts on “Montañas Vacías”

  1. Dificil decir cual resuena mas….creo que todas, o casi todas.
    Me gusto mucho lo del right pace….In a world where speed is the “normal”, the right pace is the one that allows you to enjoy your path; otherwise you are losing the focus. Que Maravilla poder encontrar ese paso…

    Connecting with people is an art that you could master. There is an easy rule: you receive what you give.
    Recibes mucho mas diria yo.

    Gran articulo Atnonio, gracias por compartir tanta sabiduria…habra que subirse a la bici.

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