The best of 2016
It's the "Best Of" time of the year, so here it's a selection with some of my favorite pictures from 2016.
This year was incredible and filled with some of the most special moments of my life so far. Apart from my bicycle journey through South America, which I hope to resume as soon as possible, I got engaged with a wonderful woman I feel very fortunate for being with.
So here are the photographs, and a little story about each one of them!
I could have included many others here, but I I think these 65 here will tell a bit of the wonderful story of this year...
Our very first night on the road, on our way to Villa de Leyva, Colombia. We had found an abandoned house nearby and had already set up our tent when we got kicked out, so we rode a bit and found this gorgeous spot on the top of a hill facing a beautiful lagoon. We couldn't have found a better place for that night!
The second day on the road. Amazing scenery all along this countryside road. I remember that when I was already feeling a bit tired by the end of the day, after having done almost 100km, we came across a man selling fresh fruits on the side of the road. An orange had never tasted so good, and I'm pretty sure it was the emotional and physical boost I needed to finish that day.
Our second night, at an abandoned train station. We were then just 50km or so away from Villa de Leyva.
Passing over a historical bridge on the way to Villa de Leyva.
Villa de Leyva, where I spent a few days with my friend José and his family. Villa is by far one of the most beautiful towns I've ever seen, and I would say it is a must if you are visiting Colombia.
Time in Barichara goes at a different speed and visiting it is like traveling back in time.
I had done already 100km on that day when I got close to Manizales, just 25km away. However, I wish I had known that those 25km were all uphill, a tremendous climb that took me almost 4 hours to complete. When I finally arrived in Manizales, it was already 9pm, and I was feeling as exhausted as I had never felt up until then.
Salento, another incredible little town. One of my favorite in Colombia.
Gorgeous view during our way from Salient to Ibague through this unspoiled countryside road.
Myself, Band, Raimon and Dean after our first day of ride on the way to Ibagué. We got to spent the night there, sharing a tinny room in the back of a little hospedaje under construction. It was hard to keep up with these guys, but I made it :)
Rainy morning at the Tatacoa desert, Colombia.
Incredible scenery at the Tatacoa desert, Colombia.
Doing the infamous "Trampolín de la muerte" with Dean and Dang. That was an incredible and tough ride under a heavy rain through one of the most dangerous roads in South America.
The "Volcán Azufral", near Ipiales, the last stop before reaching Ecuador.
After hiking to the volcano at over 4,000mts, and got to spend the night at a cabaña and prepared some warm and delicious soup with pasta.
I had these gorgeous páramos all to myself during my first day in Ecuador.
First night in Ecuador, at a ranger station. The perfect place after a hard day of biking under the rain and at high altitude.
Otavalo, Ecuador. I loved their traditional clothes, and their Saturday market is just amazing.
The climb to the Mojanda lake was extremely hard, especially because I was sick on that day, but the view at the end made the effort super worth it!
At the foot of Cotopaxi volcano.
The amazing scenery at the Quilotoa valley.
The amazing Quilotoa lake.
The famous swing in Baños.
At the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador.
Camping at the beach on my very second day along the Peruvian desert!
Riding through the desert in northern Peru.
Got to camp behind a restaurant on my third day in Peru after having done almost 100km through the desert.
The fourth night in Peru, at a gas station. Safe place, comfy grass, good food nearby, and showers for free. I couldn't have had a better deal!
Beautiful Trujillo, the main city in northern Peru along the coast.
Beautiful street art in Lima, Peru, where I met Ale for a little trip together.
Hiking outside Huaraz with Ale.
Gorgeous views of the Cordillera Blanca.
She was our guide during a horseback riding tour we did through the mountains outside Huaraz. That was an incredible experience!
Ale during our hike to Laguna 69.
There she is, the wonderful Laguna 69!
Huacachina, true oasis in the Peruvian desert.
Ale adopted Otto when he was as little as a bat, almost dying. A few months later, we have grown him with so much love that he is now our black panther. I've never seen a dog with so much energy!
Sunrise over Yosemite valley, seen from Tunnel View.
Teaching Ale some photography skills with my beloved Fujifilm X100S. I can' think of a better place to take pictures than Yosemite...
The first picture we took after I proposed to Ale, while the Sun was going down. It could' thave happened in a better place!
A view that is pretty hard to beat...
We had this amazing view all to ourselves during our night in the car, parked at Tunnel View.
Sleeping in the car during our road trip along the Californian coast.
Bike cruising in Huntington beach...
The place we were lucky to have during our stay in San Diego :)
This wonderful woman I love so much!
In the gorgeous Santa Marta, where we are going to get married in 2018! :)
A beautiful sunset in Santa Marta, Colombia.
It was very special to visit Aracataca, this little town where Gabriel García Marquez was born!
I had countless fun moments with Ale surfing and photographing her in the water here in Cartagena. #GoPro
A man cutting a coconut in Tierrabomba island, Cartagena.
Cartagena and its vibrant culture, people and colors.
Cartagena is pure inspiration. I'm not surprised Gabo Márquez chose this place to live and write his timeless novels.
I had the honor and the huge responsibility to photograph Juliana and Matt's wedding here in Cartagena and this was one of my favorite pictures from that special day. I met Juli back in Cape Town, in 2009, and she was the one who introduced me to Ale, now my fiancé! :)
Magical realism in the little town of Arjano, outside Cartagena.
It was not easy to come down to these 65 photographs, and I could have easily included many more I took with my GoPro, or with my iPhone. Either way, it's great to look back at these pictures and re-experience everything they have captured.
This year was wonderful for me and I hope it was for you too!
Thank you very much for following my journey and I wish you a memorable 2017!
Happy New Year, all the best!