First Times, On The Altravesur

Neža Peterca took her first bikepacking trip on the challenging Altravesur route through southern Spain. It was also her first solo trip, her first singletrack ride, her first wild camping experience, and many other firsts… watch the film she made along the way.

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Words/photos/film by Neža Peterca, Edit by Tina Lagler (OSM Films)

Growing up as a girl, I’ve been told regularly not to trust strangers (men), to be careful and avoid situations where I’d find myself alone in the middle of nowhere. So when I announced to my family and friends that I was going on a solo bikepacking trip through mountainous regions of southern Spain, they replied with “are you crazy?” questions and all kinds of warnings about possible dangers that I might encounter. But I knew I was not going to be the first one to endeavour on such trip, and I was determined to overcome fears that I had about solo travel.

  • First Bikepacking Trip, Altravesur bikepacking route
  • First Bikepacking Trip, Altravesur bikepacking route

First Bikepacking Trip, Altravesur bikepacking route

The Altravesur is a bikepacking route through highlands of Southern Spain offering stunning landscapes, isolated villages and mouth watering Spanish food, all in exchange for long and painful days in the saddle. My version of the route was a bit shorter, starting my journey in Málaga ending it in Valencia.

Yes I was afraid, yes I was freaking out while wild camping in pouring rain, and yes I got stuck in the mud, but these are the things that made this trip memorable and adventurous.

  • First Bikepacking Trip, Altravesur bikepacking route
  • First Bikepacking Trip, Altravesur bikepacking route

First Bikepacking Trip, Altravesur bikepacking route

I needed fear to quiet my ego, focus my mind, and expose my true strengths. I needed solitude to reflect on how those strengths shaped my identity.” – Jill Homer

  • First Bikepacking Trip, Altravesur bikepacking route
  • First Bikepacking Trip, Altravesur bikepacking route
Neža Peterca

About Neža Peterca

Neža Peterca is a Slovenian photographer and a graphic designer living in Budapest, Hungary where she runs and co-owns a backpack brand Blind Chic. Cycling has been a big part of her life since early age and many big decisions she made were somehow connected to bike. She and her brand are big supporters of women cycling and are hoping to inspire more women to get out there and explore the world by bike.. Follow Neža on Instagram @t.w.w.c or her website nezapeterca.com .

Learn more about the Altravesur bikepacking route. Also check out the GR247 loop that shares some of the same trail…

  • Peter

    I did my first solo bike packing trip this June in Ecuador (parts of the Trans Ecuador Dirty Trail route); it was also basically my first bike packing trip, and the first time being alone out in the wilderness. I can very much relate to the “funny” feeling of being all alone out in the middle of nowhere and worry about shelter/food/water, and the reward of conquering/managing these fears/worries :)

    Looks like you had an awesome time. I will be doing another solo bike packing trip in Andalusia this December; wish me luck :)

  • Doug Nielsen

    Easy easy… there’s a lot of strangers (women) that I don’t trust either lol.

  • What a joyful and wonderful film! I think we can all relate to the fear, the rain, the mud, the sense of determination. And I love your pointing finger :-)

    Thank you for sharing.

    Joe

  • I too loved the pointing finger bits…

  • Cinco de Mayo

    This film was short, simple, beautiful and powerful. I loved it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Cinco de Mayo

    Agree. Loved how it expressed something so simple, yet not easy. “I started over there…” (points to mountain in the distance). Awesome.

  • SRANSOM

    Looks like a great time! I tried part of it in September, WAY too hot!

  • SpanishFly

    It’s too crazy, to trust any of them actually :P So many golddiggers nowadays :(

  • Thanks for sharing so honestly that you were afraid and that you cried a lot :-). Such a great inspiration to do some rides solo!

  • Samuel Schlicht

    Broken sunglasses are the worst! One time I broke my derailleur and after I put my bike down trying to fix the issue, my sunglasses fell down in the middle of taking a step. They happily landed before my left foot and of course I accidentally stepped on them. Worst moment of my life by far xD.
    Cool trip though, looks like you had a blast despite the broken shades!

  • NezaP

    I was really like with the heat. Most of the time I was wearing my ‘warm’ outfit.

  • NezaP

    Thanks Franzi, glad you liked it!

  • NezaP

    Not the worst but definitely devastating (for the first 15 min). :)

  • NezaP

    Thanks Joe!

  • SRANSOM

    Good to know it is nice that time of the year (we were often riding before sun came up to avoid the heat). Hopefully I will have a chance at the route again someday. :-)

  • stefanrohner

    that little bridge up to Campos Hernan Perea! beautiful

  • José Luis Cortés Caamaño

    I need to do the same!

  • Simon Chandler

    Wonderful movie, congratulations on your “firsts”. Something tells me this adventure will be part of a much longer list…

  • sebastien touvier

    its cool to see same photos i ride last october!!! i did a mix of altrevesur to the border Basque!!!nice one
    sebastien vagabond cycling

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