Sunday, 30 May 2010

Face your fears, live your dreams

Now and then we find out about people that leave everything behind and jump on a great adventure to pursue their dreams. That makes you judge your own life, stop and ask your self if you are doing the right thing. Should you maybe do the same?

Some people would say those "pursuers" are crazy, lonely birds, or maybe just lucky to have the freedom to do it. I recon almost everybody is able to change their life. Most of the time is just a matter of priorities and more than anything else, guts.

I’m sure, even the bravest and most adventurous souls feel scared before their trip. And by trip I mean travel, change of residence, work, lifestyle... Just a few seconds before jumping on board suddenly this fear hits you and you think "Is it worth it?", "Am I doing the foolest thing?", "What was I thinking?"

But this fear is just a sign that you are just about to cross the line of the limit you marked to yourself. But nothing stops you from raising your limit higher up. And then you´ll be moving comfortable in an area where you never imagined you would be. Sounds easy, but it requires a big effort.

In one way or another everybody raises their limits as you grow up. It is part of the process of maturing. Although some steps are bigger that others.

I’m just about to take one of those big steps. When I took the decision I felt scared, doubtful, weak... and again very scared. But if you look around, you find that there are plenty of people that have gone or are going through the same process. That made me feel accompanied in my trip and gave me strength.

One of those people is Kepa Acero. He has just started an amazing trip on his own that will take him to surf the five best waves in five continents. I’m sure he felt the same way as me before jumping on the plane. What he is doing is inspiring for me.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Off to Nigeria!

I'm sitting in Heathrow, just about to get on the plane lo Lagos. It is ment to be boiling there!! 33 C in the South but up to 45 C in the North! I'm going to melt... I just read on the guide: Do not travel to Nigeria in March or April! Great...

I'll tell you about it in a few weeks. Nigeria. Yeah!!!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Globe Trekker/Guias Pilot on TVE2

Hello there!

Finally, three years after we shot Globe Trekker Paris, it has been broadcasted in TVE2! Finally, my granma could see my work on tv, yiiha!!!

I hope you enjoyed it. It was my first time as a presenter and English not being my first language didn't help much to make me feel confident, but I had a lot of fun, even though we worked our a... body off around the city. What a crazy shoot it was...

My very very first piece to camera (known a PTC in the bussines) was the one in the backstage of Vivian Westwood catwalk at the Paris Fashion Week. There were about 100 photographers, tv crews, presenters and beautiful and super tall models around me and I was feeling very intimidated. We didn't had much time, because the show was just about to start, so the pressure was quite high. I was so nervous!! It was one of those moments where you think: you can't spoil it, man! But in the end I think I came out quite well, didn't I? A bit stiff, but it's not too bad given the situation.

Anyway, I hope you keep watching the show, because this is only the beginning. The next episode I present is Crete and it will be on TV very soon! For the ones who still don't know when Globe Trekker (Guias Pilot in Spain) is broadcasted, I hope you make a big red cross on your agendas every Friday at 15.30h .

Enjoy it!! And thanks for watching!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Next destination... Nigeria!

The only thing I know about Nigeria at this moment is that I need 6 different vaccinations + Malaria drugs to go there... This doesn't make it very inviting... or maybe yes. That means it is a pretty unexplored destination, with some risks and where Nature is still pretty uncontrolled. Mmmmhhh... Nigeria, yes!

It is going to be the most hard core destination I've ever been to and I'm very excited about it. I'm off in about a month for my next Globe Trekker program. The producer already advised me there is some fighting now and then between Muslims and Christians in the country. In the Niger Delta, the interests of foreign large oil corporations such as Mobile, Shell, Chevron etc have resulted in immense poverty and environmental destruction. There for, tourists are a usual target for kidnappers in that region.

We will avoid the Niger Delta, but we can’t do much to prevent getting in the middle of a fight between Muslims and Christians, because it can happen anywhere at anytime. We will be guided by locals who know how to move around, so I’m pretty sure they will keep us safe.

Anyway, I think it is an English thing to be so preventive and protective with these kind of issues during a shoot. In Spain, we are a bit more adventurous and self confident. Maybe I should say unconscious? Probably yes. That is why I feel safe going to Nigeria with an English crew. Every risk has been measured and it will be avoided as much as possible.

I will start doing some research about Nigeria. I tried to find a guide book, but even Lonely Planet doesn’t have one because it is not a usual tourist destination at all. I don’t like going to a country without knowing anything about it. It is an opportunity to expand your knowledge and you understand things better if you have some background about the culture and history of it.

The good thing about not knowing much at this moment is that I don’t have many expectations nor an opinion about the Nigerians and their homeland. I hope my reading doesn’t change that. There is nothing worst than thinking you know everything about the place you’re going to.

Any advises?

Saturday, 30 January 2010


Has everybody seen this movie? You should!

It is pure beauty, a treasure. It is hope. It is about time we think in what we are doing. What are our preferences? Compfort and money have been the most important things for too many years.

This is the official website:

Watch the movie and spread the message:

What do you think about it?

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Live Web Chat TODAY!!!

Hello everybody!

Today, at 5PM - GMT (9AM - PST) we are having a LIVE WEB CHAT session at the Pilot Guide web site. I'll be answering your questions, curiosities and telling lots of great stories from my travels around the world.

You can start posting your messages now at:

Remember to check the website at the right time and we will be having a live converstaion on the net. Join the session!!!

I hope to see you there,

Monday, 18 January 2010

The Rebel Quintet - Part II

We were staying in a beautiful mountain lodge at the entrance of the Sierra Maestra National Park. The old geezers had come from the nearby town of Bartolomé Masó, as they usually do to perform for other visitors. As the light was fading away, when they finished their music, we went to the bar area to share some Cristal beers and some mojitos. A pig was being roasted in the backyard and we were very happy with how the shoot was going so far after two especially good days. Food, drinks and a great story: What else could we ask for?

As one of them was telling me I translated to Ian, Mike and Martin:

They were born and raised in those mountains. His father, Rafael Medina, had a nearly isolated coffee farm up in the mountains. An uncle of them used to play the guitar and they learned from him very basic cords. It was 1956 and they were teenagers.

At that time, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, joined by 80 fellows, had landed of a nearly drowning leisure yacht in the nearby coast, following their plans of joining Frank País in his uprising against the Batista illegitimate government. Two days later, they were discovered by the soldiers that shot them forcing their way into the sugar cane fields and later into the mountains. Only 12 of them survived, including Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara. In the chaos they separated in 3 groups, thinking all the others had died. After days of wondering through the jungle with no food and injured, they finally found help in the peasants of the Sierra Maestra Mountains. With their collaboration the 12 survivors reunited two weeks later.

Fidel Castro, Sierra Maestra, 1960 ca. (Picture by Raul Corrales)

Fidel Castro needed a hidden refuge to think about their next moves and the thick jungle was the perfect environment. The Medina’s house was the closest inhabited field. And so, the life of some coffee farmers was about to be part of the Cuban history.

The Medina’s house was a forced passage from the rebels’ base camp to the road leading to the village, where they found food and materials to build their huts. They used to stop there for a coffee and a quick chat, while the teenagers amuse the conversations with some music.

Further up in the mountains the rebels’ camp was growing quickly. They built a little nursing and they founded a newspaper and a radio station: "Radio Rebelde". When they came up with the idea of finding a band, the solution was not very far away.

The old headquarters in Sierra Maestra. 1962 (Picture by Alberto Korda)

Fidel Castro hired the Medina brothers to play on the radio to encourage the rebels and tease the enemy. As their knowledge in music was so poor, they parody popular songs with very simple revolutionary lyrics. When the battle was taken in the jungle the rebels hid loudspeakers on the trees to demoralise the Batista soldiers. The songs, with gibing critics against the government and based on guajiro (countryman) music style, were very accessible to the peasants and soon the Rebel Quintet was well known in the area.
Here you can make a secure and free download of "Soy Fidelista", a song from the Revel Quintet album.

The Medina brothers were happy with their success, but firing arms and killing soldiers seemed much more exciting and heroic than playing old guitars and maracas. They encouraged Castro to let them fight, but Fidel answered them their arm was much more powerful: ideology.


From the right: Cuban Guide, Mike Lerner, Martin Herring, Ian Wright and Adela Ucar at the high point where "Radio Revelde" was set up in Sierra Maestra.

Analphabetic and ignorant as they were, they thought Fidel was going to give them a special super killer weapon with some massive firing device called “Ideology”. They waited for it, but it never arrived. Only after the Revolution succeeded and the Medina brothers were sent to a school founded by the new government, they learnt what ideology was.

We were stocked as the story was coming out of their mouths. Obviously, we had done our research and we knew who we were going to meet. But having in front of you some 70 year old soldiers that shacked Fidel and Che Guevara’s hands in those early days of the Revolution and speak about their part in history with so much passion, gives the information a different dimension.

That was one of our best nights in Cuba.


I love this picture of them. We gave them the release form to sign. They got together in a corner and all of them listened carefully as the older one read the form. When he finished, he asked “Do we agree?”. Everybody said yes and they signed. This form of consensus made me smile.