Stab Magazine | The Loneliest Planet, with Kepa Acero
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The Loneliest Planet, with Kepa Acero

Empty road traveller Kepa Acero ain’t into the luxury tents and good food and bright smiles and dancing gals that Stab cherishes so. What is it about hunger and loneliness and danger that thrills Mr Acero and his ilk? The Loneliest Planet with Kepa Acero, 33, Algorta, Basque Country | Interview by Jack Jeffress First […]

style // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Empty road traveller Kepa Acero ain’t into the luxury tents and good food and bright smiles and dancing gals that Stab cherishes so. What is it about hunger and loneliness and danger that thrills Mr Acero and his ilk?

The Loneliest Planet with Kepa Acero, 33, Algorta, Basque Country | Interview by Jack Jeffress

First big trip: I went from Alaska to Patagonia. I just took my camera and my surfboard. I found it hard being so by myself, actually. I got to the point where I really needed to talk to someone. One day I saw some Alaskan fishermen. So I went to talk to them and showed them my maps and told them that I was trying to find waves at these particular spots. And, they said “Okay, let’s go.” So we got our stuff together and made our way to some islands that were a long way away. I only take my camera and my surfboards, but I always find a way.

The difficulty of adjusting to life back at home: I love being home! When you travel a lot, you learn a lot about other places but you get to know your place better as well. But after two months or so I have to leave.

Preferred method of travel: I do everything. I rent cars and then when the money runs out, I’ll go hitch-hiking or catch trains or whatever. Normally what I do is get the maps, find the place I want to go and figure out a way to get there.

Packing: I travel very basically. I have my camera and I document everything by myself. I take three of my surfboards, my wetsuit, and my maps. That’s it. And then the first thing I do when I get to a place is ask the people what you really need in that place. I take other little things, like knives and sleeping bags. If I get my hands on a little kitchen stove top for the car, I will. And then, just ask. The fishermen, the people there. What I do is go with my camera, I get the fishermen to film me, sometimes. And then I edit a little clip. It’s a simple as it is.

Best trip: My first trip to Namibia was very special because now it is well-known. But when I went there no one knew about it. It was one of my first trips and it was pretty intense. I knew nothing! I didn’t know how to do anything. I’d just set up and sleep in the desert.

Worst trip: Even the worst trips teach you so much. You learn something everywhere you go. But if I had to say somewhere I’d say India. A lot of people love India, and I got amazing waves there, incredible rights. But I didn’t connect with the society and the people.

Most amazing place: That place in Alaska, an island, 15 hours by boat from the closest place with people. We were hunting to eat over there but at the same time you felt like you were being hunted, too. I haven’t really experienced nature like that. We were hunting deer and catching salmon to eat at night. It was so natural.

Most incredible thing seen: Being by myself for so long you start to communicate with the animals and that is really cool. Every place I have been, I have had different relationships with the animals.

Most scared: In the Namibian desert I slept in the car every night. One of the mornings, my car wouldn’t turn on. I was really scared because I was in the middle of the nowhere and I hadn’t seen anyone for a long, long time. Luckily, the car was just cold. I just happened to try and turn it on after the sun came up… and it started working. I was very, very happy.

Craziest thing: The craziest moment was in Alaska. I was with one of the fishermen and we were hiking to search for waves with our surfboards and wetsuits. One of the days we realised that we were in quicksand. I was a little bit lighter than my friend because he is very strong. I thought that he wasn’t going to make it. That was so hard to see, watching your friend sink just a little bit behind you but you can’t do anything about it. You can see on his face that he knew it was over. He was so desperate but he knew that I had to go. Luckily, I made it to the mountain in front of us. I was so sad. After an hour, though, my friend appeared out of nowhere. That was one of the experiences that makes you feel so lucky and blessed. I learned to appreciate everyone so much more then. Even though he’s now in Chile we still speak once a week.

Moments of surrender: No, not ever. It is unbelievable how your body deals with it. You have power from, I don’t know where, but you have so much power. You feel like you can keep going forever. You have that sensation that nothing can stop you. You can’t feel pain, you can’t feel anything. You just keep going and going. In Angola, I was walking through some of the cities, it’s hard the lifestyle there. Some of the people have nothing. You understand that you are a white man walking around their cities and people might want to steal you or from you. At one point I had to act like a vagabond. Just super drunk and just walking without purpose. When you are travelling by yourself you have an instinct, you learn to read every situation. It is a dangerous world

kepa_lifeaquatic

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