Alfonso and Lucia are travelers from Argentina. They roam around the world by bicycles exploring the human soul along the way. Last month they made it to Belarus.
Make a Russian face
“Make a Russian face for a photo!” a couple in love joke around and frown a bit. But there’s no way they can hide this knockout Latin American smile. “What does the Russian face mean?
The Slavs have such a look… Passers-by on the street seem serious: it’s scary to ask them about anything. But as soon as you start talking, it turns out that everyone is ready to help.”
This spring Alfonso Sisamon was as a physical education teacher in Argentina and Lucia Lopez Benitez worked as an English translator and teacher. For the sake of travel, both quit their jobs.
“We met a few years ago. It was clear to both of us, we love our work, but not that much. Besides, we didn’t mind changing something in life. We love to travel. And what was stopping us from leaving?”
You only live once. I’ve always dreamed of seeing the world,” adds Alfonso.
The couple decided that so hard-to-reach Europe and Asia is the perfect option. From Norway to the ferry in Denmark, then Germany, Poland, and finally Belarus. Why did they choose bicycles when traveling by car is obviously easier and faster?
“A bicycle is the best way to travel. You gradually explore the world around you, meter by meter. In cars or on motorbikes, one should look on the road ahead. The bike works differently!
You ride a bicycle, admire landscapes. And then, to understand that you got to the place only by yourself is amazing. When we look at the map – so far we have covered 4,000 km – we understand that all we needed was just the strength of our muscles.”
After Belarus Alfonso and Lucia will go to Moscow, where they will take the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway and spend three days in an ordinary compartment with locals.
China, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines are also on the must-visit list of the daredevils from Argentina. The endpoint is India. Where traveling by bike is not possible, they will take a ferry.
Meanwhile, the duo move across Belarus, talk to locals and collect adventure stories they usually get in, when looking for a place to pitch a tent and fall asleep.
“The first night in a new country is always scary: you need to figure out where it is legal to put up a tent legally and where it is not. You can do that in Norway, while in Denmark, it is illegal.”
In Belarus, the Argentines also sleep outside. One time they spent a night at a construction site after asking for the owner’s permission, another time – at the church.
“But you know what struck us the most? The emptiness of the Belarusian villages. We haven’t seen anyone at all! There are houses, the streets are empty.
Sometimes when I come across a stranger, he carefully examines you. When you compare Minsk with these villages, it is two different worlds, you know?”
Tanya and John treated them to local food. Lucia and Alfonso approved borsch, halva in chocolate and… dill. There’s another thing about their trip, they ask the same questions to people of different countries and shoot this on camera.
“What is happiness for you? How would you change the world? What advice would you give to next generations?
We want to show the film in Argentine schools. People are used to thinking that the rest of the world is far from them. But it is close and the people in it want the same things.
They want to be healthy, to have their loved ones nearby. Nobody needs a lot of things to be happy.”