Sunday, October 31, 2010


The dark side of driving your car... After reading optimistic points of view at Puerto Madryn's wildlife interpretation center it's funny to see this video, occurring in Patagonia, not too far away. At the interpretation center we could see the logos of Total, a multinational oil company, sponsoring a center aimed to arouse awareness of ecological issues.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


This series of photographs briefly describe some situations and episodes described more properly in "Vagabonding in the Axis of EVil", my book. In this picture: a villager from Kirmun, in the isolated region of Hazarajat, Central Afghanistan. This goat herder watches time go by. His surprised eyes detect the hitch-hiker passing by -unexpected- in front of her eternal eyes...

Islam Qale village. My first host family in Afghanistan, just 5 km afeter crossing the border. Being my first night in Afghanistan I couldn´t help sleeping with my Swiss Army knife under my pillow, just to wake up with this honourable man bringing me breakfast to bed. I hadn't been robbed, nor kidnapped, on the contrary, the flower of hospitality opened up again under the guise of new friends....

Fourty horsemen competing to hurl a beheaded goat into a goal. That's bushkashi, the Afghan national sport. Some say it's a portrait of the Afghan soul because of its brutality. I would say it mirrors the Afghan soul rather for the fact that players don't form teams but play each for themselves, showing this historical Afghan distaste for anything resembling teamwork.

Another adventure featured in the book, hitch-hiking from Bamian to Kabul with an Afghan police jeep patrolling a valley infested with Talibans. I was not alone. I had teamed up with Justin (picture) for that precious piece of travelling....

This little girl in Dowlat Yar school shows the influence of the sorrounding desert in her eyes.

The Afghan Central Road, 800 km of unpaved dirt road between Herat and Kabul, crossing som of Afghanista more isolated but wonderful regions. When stepping ion this road, I couldn't imagine myself arriving safely to its end. However, I had to cross it if I was to prove that terrorism and agressivenes were mainly media generated stereotypes.

A kuchi nomad tows its camel along the Central Road. I was actually waiting for a truck but I couldn't resist the tentaion to walk with one of the last nomads on Earth.

Every day at 6 p.m. a dust storm sweeps across Chaghcharan, the infamous capital of Ghoor province.

Kids playing with derelict Russian military vehicles. At least, the war machine is redeeming its karma and accomplishing a more human mission than the one it was designed for.

Roofless schools are shy witnesses of the war. Talibans who didn't support education as a mean of huan improvement would frequently burnd down schools. Especially if they admitted female pupils.

Face to face. Sometimes when you are in Afghanistan you don't know what century are you exactly in. While tourists frequently seek in Egypt the reminiscence of eras gone by, camel trasnport has still good health in Southern Afghanistan.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Laura and I arrived to Puerto Madryn with the depth belief that anecdotes would be connected with the amazing wildlife. We would be surprised to know that the main event would have to do with the people we met...

Since Laura had worked for 4 years at a travel agency we managed to get the whale watching tours for free...

Penguin barely bothered at the human presence in Punta Tombo.

At Puerto Madryn we were hosted by Karina and Marcelo's family. Marcelo and Patricio were both basketball coaches, and the entire family spinned around that sport, with both children shortlisted for the provincial team. Karina's family found in us inspiration for their own hunt for freedom, while we really appreciated the family atmosphere and care.

Karina helped me to print the original manuscript of my new book, "Vagabonding in the Axis of Evil" available to order from this site. Clic on the menu tab "THE BOOK"...

ALUAR is a aluminium factory which pollutes Puerto Madry's waters to the point scientists have found bisexual snail among other out-of-catalogue species... People justify the struggle by saying the plant has employs a sizable workforce and has allowed the town to grow into a city.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Just imagine you begin a hitch-hiking trip like no other, the trip you have been dreaming of for years and the firs truck you get a ride with is called "Dream". That happened to aura and me last week, when we left San Nicolás, a city that had been our headquarters for four months while prepearing this Argentina to Greenland hitch-hiking trip. IN the picture you can see the IVECO truck in which rear you can read "Transporte El Sueño"....

Dropping by Mar del Plata to see my family. We are not meant to come back fo a couple of years. So in the picture my parents, Laura, me and "La Maga", my backpack. Grab a Spanish dictionary and access its wonderful meaning....

Necochea is 125 km away, and we reach it in the elegant 1975 Chevrolet, property a Guillermo Petersen, Sport Secretary of Necochea, who also took us to his home to drink some mate.

IN Necochea we stayed overnight at Juan Carlos's place. Juan Carlos is a reader who once bought my book at the Ma del Plata Book Fair. We have become friends ever since. He is crazy enough to ride a tall bike, and practices a finnancial ascetism. If you want money, you just need to ask te universe.

Waiting for a ride at a gas station. We carry wit us a world map, with the previous and present trips marked on it, so as to convey a sense of trust to our drivers. IN tha map you can see a newspaper articel about us attached.

After a fast ride in a Fiat Punto from Necochea to Punta Alta we had to take a short bus ride to Bahía Blanca. The bus company's name was my surname (Villarino). If I am to take a bus, I expect the company to pay me some homage...

Meeting readers at Bahía Blanca. Raul, Nilda and Gladys showed up to buy some books and postacards, giving us cmore power to continue our quest.

Travelling south in Route 3, we got to Villalonga town, where it got dark. We someow got to talk with José, who was parking his large Scania. He was waiting orders to load his truck but instructions never came and he had to stay overnight as well. He had a big truck but was alone. We had no more than our smiles and conversation to offer, but had nowhere to go. So eventually he invited us to drink some mate in the cabin. We talked there for hours, listening to amazing stories. Truck drivers really have blues-like stories. José's ife was a never ending road, wchi from time to time included brief stopovers at his home to see his family, and then back to the road. That night, the Scania protected us from the wind, in a motherly attitude.