López explains that he had always liked cycling, but had never really taken any trips. His first real journey was the Camino de Santiago from Salamanca. “That seemed too short in the end. Then I started trekking around Spain. Then I went to Morocco and the Atlas Mountains. There I decided that I wanted to make a much longer trip.
Sel López decided that he wanted to cycle from Madrid to Nepal. A journey that, according to his schedule, would take him to 41 countries in 39 months. He would have to cycle a distance of 65,000 kilometres and take a boat here and there. “It is clear that I do not want to fly,” he says.
“I’ve always been very curious about Nepal and the countries I would go through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore…”, explained López. His first international bike ride was through Europe to Bulgaria. There he made the jump to Asia via Turkey. Once there, he headed north, through Georgia, Armenia and Iran, where he spent four months.
After crossing the Strait of Hormuz, he also visited the emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman and then Central Asia. After crossing China, he then reached Southeast Asia and finally, Nepal.
A new journey and now with a travel companion
Despite the many kilometres he has already covered by bicycle, Sel continued to long for more. He decided to repeat his feat, but this time with some company. “I would do Madrid-Tokyo alone because I didn’t know I would have a dog yet. My trip was planned for May 2021, but because of the pandemic, I had to cancel it. At that time Keico came my way. So I decided to adjust my journey and focus on my dog”. Thereupon Sel bought a trailer for Keico and started exercising with his dog. “It was important to get him used to the noise. I did that in the Canary Islands. He then cycled to Huelva and through Portugal.
In preparation, Sel López had to have his dog vaccinated, dewormed and tested. Keico’s passport had to be applied for and all other relevant permits. “Japan is a strict country in that sense – that seems very good to me. If I do everything right and keep it under control, I don’t think I will have any problem,” says Sel.
The initial plan was to begin his journey to the Japanese capital in May. Finally, he decided to recharge his batteries in Mallorca and leave on October 1 instead. First to Central Europe and then to Asia. This time López also wants to see Mongolia and eventually visit all the islands of Japan. “Once you arrive in these countries by bike, you also want to at least get to know them better,” emphasised Sel.
Do you want to follow Sel and Keico’s journey? You can do that on Instagram via @keicoxelmundo