In August 2019, during my trip to South America, I followed The passionate adventure of Lolita Gomez. Lolita took on a great challenge: cycling and solo. Five weeks of reported travel on his “Direction Horizon” Facebook page, 1500 kilometres traveled, sometimes difficult weather conditions, moments of discouragement but a guiltless determination and enthusiasm that allowed him to overcome and achieve his Objective. Dreams! So today, I am pleased to offer you this interview that you may discover to this inspiring and motivating young woman. Good reading !
Lolita, in August 2019, you went alone to cross Iceland by solo travel. Your journey has fascinated me! But while surfing the Internet, I realized it wasn’t his first act of gunfire. You came to Edinburgh by solo travel from London, went to Rome for a marathon and, in addition, returned to Iceland with the Reykjavik Marathon in August. How would you describe your travel style?
Three years ago, my first solo travel, London-Edinburgh, was a personal challenge. It’s been several years since my entourage told me I couldn’t succeed on this kind of trip because I didn’t have a plan. The day I arrived in London on my bike, I had a vague idea of my itinerary because I had identified cities I wanted to visit, but otherwise, it was unknown. I didn’t know how many miles I could ride a day, I didn’t know if I was going to ride a bike, I didn’t know if I was going to get to Edinburgh … And finally it was really good because I didn’t have pressure
I had seen on a map that Edinburgh was about 600 km old, I thought it would drive a maximum of 500 km because it already looked huge. And finally, I drove at my pace, I discovered freedom, I walked a little every day zigzagging from city to city, took twice the train in small portions that interested me less, travela total of 700 km and get to Edinburgh.
Returning from the trip, everything seemed possible to me and I signed up for my first marathon, Rome, which took place eight months later. And again, at my own pace, as best I could but with great enthusiasm, I finally crossed the finish line in 6 hours. My arrival in Edinburgh and my arrival at the Rome marathon line are some of the best days of my life. So it’s true that now when I think of a solo travel, I’m looking for a marathon to go.
So, despite myself, my “travel style” has naturally become nature thanks to the freedom offered by cycling and sport with the marathon.
On July 16, 2019, you started on Iceland’s roads solo on a 1500 km route. How was this project born and how are we preparing for such an adventure?
In early 2019 I told myself I had to redo a solo travel with a bike. I wanted something more “difficult” than London-Edinburgh, to see what I had in my stomach, and I really needed nature.
In February, a friend told me about Iceland, we looked at pictures on the Internet together and bingo, there was everything: the distance was perfect for the duration of my summer vacation, the beautiful nature, the wind and the rain brought difficulties, the idea of touring the island me liked it and had never been there … Fate was chosen.
Step 1: I took my plane tickets in the wake. It wasn’t about going back.
Step 2: I immediately knew that the material I had was not robust enough. I had an old mountain gigs, there weren’t enough saddlebags, there was no vivac business and I still didn’t know how to fix a wheel in case of puncture or whatever. So I didn’t do physical preparation, but from February to July I spent a lot of time looking for travel wears & accessories that would suit my trip (and when we know nothing about it, it’s the jungle), I’ve looked for a lot of practical information about the country (change type, camping list , notable sites, clues to borrow …). The biggest headache was how to get the bike to the airport and especially how to airlift it.
Finally, the week before the game I didn’t have all the answers to my questions, but I was eager to land in Iceland and make way for improvisation.
Iceland is a country known for its difficult weather conditions. What were the difficulties encountered during your trip to Iceland by alone? How did you get over them?
I did the tour in 5 weeks, but after the first week I faced all kinds of weather and a small elevation, so I was able to quickly draw some rules:
When the wind is strong in the back: we roll as much as we can! Left to complete two stages in one because the next day you can turn.
When we have the strong headwind: both to rest one day 🙂
When we have the side of the strong wind: we know that we will fight to advance, which is quickly dangerous, but we still move forward.
As for the rain, I stayed hours and hours underneath, my clothes could not withstand the commotion, it was often soaked … It is necessary to grit your teeth. The problem is especially to get all this dry when it rains again the next day.
Travelling alone was not a problem at all. Despite some very difficult days, I was happy to live these moments and see on the map I was moving.
You’ve embarked on a physically attractive journey. Has your relationship with your body evolved during these 5 weeks?
The first day, I drove 50 km from the airport (Kelflavik) to Reykjavik, and planned to make my first step the next day. But it was the first time I would roll with my full luggage (about 30 kg) and the next day I had phenomenal body aches. It got off to a bad start! Then, instead of driving, I attacked my trip with a day off to visit the city center … Finally, the next day, it was good and the stage went smoothly.
I didn’t feel tired until 10 or 15 days later. Maybe I didn’t eat enough too. Then I realized that when my body flanks, my morality also flanks. And I had a great sadness, wondering if I was really going to finish the round. That day, I only drove 13 km, at least to advance to the next camp. I slowly regained confidence. Doubt is always present, but the thrill of discovering new places and meeting new people every day drags him. My rule is to move at my own pace.
And during the weeks, my trained body, I no longer felt the weight of the luggage. But on the climbs, my body often pushed the bike!
How do you feel when you finish such a trip? How did you feel when you arrived in Reykjavik and when you realized you did?
The last day is always strange. At the same time, I can’t wait to get there and at the same time I crawl all day on the bike, to take pictures, to make stops here and there … Strangely I realize that I arrived alone when I am at the foot of the bike. city panel and i took a picture. Right after crying a lot as I drove to the camp, at the same time joy, fatigue, nostalgia for having lived intense and magical weeks, also pride because each time it is a victory for my life as a woman. . I lost everything and at night I sent a lot of SMS to my relatives.
You left alone but reading your travel stories, I feel like you’ve done a lot of meetings! Which ones have affected you the most?
When you leave alone, you can choose to run away from people or, on the contrary, go to meet them. I love moments of loneliness, feeling lost in a country I don’t know, but as soon as there are people I tend to chat, sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 5 hours. They are local or travelers. In Iceland, I was marked by an Icelandic couple who helped me a lot. I had a problem in my eyes, they gave me medication, a pair of glasses, homemade cakes … The contact was so good that they made me visit their house, showed pictures of their house drowned under the snow during the harsh winters, told their daily life … Sigga, the woman, even showed me how to make the cake she had made me try and was very proud of. A simple moment but at the same time very strong for me.
I also met three young Italians whom I met every night in the camps for 4 or 5 days. On the morning I left earlier, they folded me during the day and we had dinner together early in the evening. I felt welcomed in her group as a little sister. They did a lot of service to me. We keep in touch. They also gave me their solar panel to charge the digital devices on the tour.
Some meetings are ephemeral and some are not. We can keep in touch with the people we know while traveling. Many beautiful friendships were born in London-Edinburgh, and many are growing thanks to Iceland. In the future, I would like to take a trip with travelers found on previous trips.
Do you have any advice for people who want to embark on a similar adventure but still doubt?
We will always find people to dissuade us (those who fear us, those who are frustrated by not living their dreams, those who really think we can’t …). We will also always find excuses not to throw (money, time, security …). If you have a limited time and capabilities to travel solo, take a small group tour or escorted tour. Keep in mind that the only thing that really prevents you from doing it is you. I am convinced that we are all capable of realized our dreams, we must desire it. Go for it! It’s a great way! Glaciers, volcanoes, geothermal pools, and landscapes from Iceland the land of Ice and Fire fascinated me every single mins
What’s your next project? And what can we expect for you next?
In 2019, I plan to walk around Mont-Blanc with a very good girlfriend. And in 2020 I’ll take the escorted tour, this time to Asia, for a month-long trip. I shared the daily life of my trip to Iceland almost every day on my Facebook page and occupied an important place on my trip because the virtual exchanges were rich. There, I start the organization of the next trip and I think I also share all the preparation, because this is where the adventure begins! Wish me long bike trails and I hope to see you there! We’ll talk 🙂