Spanish traveller cycles across Europe and Asia; stops in B.C. for a visit

Spanish traveller cycles across Europe and Asia; stops in B.C. for a visit

Nestor Yuguero has been pedaling across the world since June to spread solidarity

On Wednesday morning, Nestor Yuguero unexpectedly walked into the Langley Advance Times office and asked if he could speak to a reporter.

The conversation posed a challenge as Yuguero had come from Spain and knew limited English.

Paired up with a reporter who could string a couple of Spanish sentences, the 53-year-old recounted the journey that had led him thus far to B.C.

He had been riding his bicycle since June of last year, pedaling across thirteen different countries before flying into Vancouver just a few days prior to that meeting.

“Friends say I’m crazy, but nothing is impossible,” he said in broken English.

Leaving his home in Barcelona with only the packs on his back, the man said he had traversed Italy, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Dubai, India, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.

The bulk of Canada was next on his list to cover.

Originally from Uruguay, he moved to Argentina and has since resided in a city outside of Barcelona for the past 20 years.

Though this three-continent ride was by far his most ambitious venture, cycling long distances was apparently no foreign concept for Yuguero.

Several years back, he stumbled across the 1990 Akira Kurosawa film Dreams playing on television and grew fascinated by the representation of Vincent van Gogh’s painting Wheatfield with Crows.

Despite never owning a bicycle in his life, he made what he called “a gentleman’s word” with himself to finally get one and peddle the 3,000 kilometers to see the painting in person at the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

He made good on that word, following that ride up with multiple trips around Europe to exotic locales like Monaco and across Portugal; each one with a different cause behind it including poverty, multiple sclerosis, and blood donations.

READ MORE: Lake2Lake ride through the Okanagan gets a head start in Langley

He says his year-long tour across much of the world is to spread “solidarity for people with Alzheimer’s disease.”

Riding in the name of the Spanish organization Alzihimer Bierzo Association, he stressed that the object is not to raise money, but to unite people.

Though the man said he has not had any family members suffer from the disease, he is riding for all of his friends who had parents and grandparents struggle with Alzheimer’s.

Yuguero goes by the title “Grandes Hazanas Solidarias” and posts his progress on a Facebook page and @grandeshazanas on Instagram.

So far, he figures he has clocked off 32,000 kilometers on his old, used, and frequently repaired bike.

The seat has very little padding left, but Yuguero doesn’t what to replace it because that is part of the “trip’s history.”

As for the place that sticks out most for him, Iran – of all countries – was the place he picked for having the richest culture and kindest hospitality.

He crossed Iran in 45 days, sleeping in tents, mosques, and fire halls.

In fact, the lodging aspect, he said, has been no trouble at all.

The traveller has been invited to eat and sleep at seemingly countless homes where curious new friends have become eager to hear his story.

“The world is a surprise to me. I want to know other cultures. I need culture. Every place feels like another world,” Yuguero said.

Yuguero’s stay in Langley was at the Gateway of Hope. His next planned stop is Abbotsford before following Highway 1 to Calgary – though snowy, mountainous conditions has him wondering if Highway 3 might be the better bet.

He is making his way east to Toronto where he’ll fly off to France and make his way back home to Spain in June.

“I’m very happy in this place,” he assured about his short stay in Langley.

With little luggage or possessions slung over his back, he summed himself up to the Langley Advance Times by proclaiming that he was a man rich with time.

Nestor Yuguero simply stopped in the office to share his story and say hello before heading on his way.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Cycling

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The BC Hydro Dam at Alouette Lake. (The News files)
Alouette Lake boaters may be left high and dry

Hydro plans may bring down water levels of Maple Ridge lake in future summers

(Black Press Media files)
Snowfall expected for Lower Mainland on Saturday night, Sunday morning

2 to 5 cm of snow predicted Metro Vancouver, according to Environment Canada

Jim Graham caught the sunrise Tuesday, Jan. 19 along the Fraser River looking toward Mount Baker. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Sunrise over the Fraser River

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Elise Gouin (left), tech peer to Jocelyn McLean, in booth at CEED Centre Neighbourhood House. (Christian Cowley/Special to The News)
New seniors programs at Maple Ridge centre help isolated connect

The CEED Centre Society is offering two new seniors programs

Nobody will be turned away from the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministry in the next couple of days as temperatures are expected to dip below freezing. (THE NEWS/files)
Ridge Meadows Salvation Army calls for extreme weather response

Freezing temperatures forecast tonight and Friday, snow on the weekend

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Abbotsford Police officers investigate the scene after a pedestrian was struck and killed on Friday morning. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Male pedestrian, 37, killed in Abbotsford after being struck by vehicle

Collision took place in 31800 block of South Fraser Way on Friday morning

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

Fire on Yale Road north of the overpass Friday morning. (Progress file)
Early morning blaze guts Chilliwack restaurant

The fire erupted north of the overpass closing one lane of Yale Road

Most Read