As we have reached one year on the road on our Bike4WesternSahara tour we are taking the time to reflect on what we’ve experienced and learnt so far. Since it’s so much to cover we will share our insights in several posts.

This is part two about our time in Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia. In part 1 we reflected on our time in Denmark and Germany.

Czech Republic

After having biked through three flat countries in a row our bodies had a chock already at the border into Czech Republic. Our first day we had to climb 1000m and were met by lots of fallen trees blocking our path, so we had to carry the bikes with all of our bags over and under.

Even though the roads were rough we had a lot of nice experiences in the country. We stayed with several families that learnt about Western Sahara during our meals together. We stayed with an amazing couple, Olga and Sasha, a Russian and an Ukrainian, in Prague. They were attending one of our lectures when some Moroccans showed up and started interrupting us and haggle us with fake news and inappropriate commentary. Sasha said that they spoke just like the Russians invading his country, using the same type of fact distortion,

We also spoke at several bike kitchens, met a film maker who had been to the camps and visited the only Roma museum in the world to learn about the history of oppression against the Roma community (let us tell you that it’s been severe from the Middle Ages and still is today).


In Austria we finally got a visit from family members and got to have a break from the intense schedule that was starting to wear us down. It’s not easy doing a solidarity project from the bike. There is always things to do. Organizations to meet, media to contact, lectures to be made and documenting to be done.

After our break we felt re-energized and were honored to meet a famous Uzbeki poet, Yodgor, at his apartment in Graz. Yodgor had to flee his country barefoot from the KGB because of his revolutionary poetry which he read to us. And even though we don’t speak Uzbeki we understood his message.

We also met an activist from Hong Kong who we interviewed for our documentary. It’s always interesting to learn more about other oppressed groups fighting in their own way. In Hong Kong the activists, most of them young students, were so severely repressed after protesting that the fight had to be put on pause. We learnt the importance of taking a break and gathering up new energy to fight again.


In Slovenia we had an amazing support group that helped us organize a lot of activities for Western Sahara. We did an interview with a journalist from one of the biggest newspapers, and the biggest radio station, had a panel discussion in a bookshop and spoke to a lot of Slovenians about the issue of Africa’s last colony.

When Benjamin walked to Palestine he was hosted by an amazing hostel in Maribor, Slovenians second biggest city, called Pekarna. From what he remember they started out as a squat in an old military area and as time went by they became more established. Now they are one of Maribors most popular hostels and they’re hosting activist events all the time. When we were biking from Graz to Maribor Benjamin suddenly remembered this place when we were talking about where we should stay the night and he even remembered how to get there. Once we arrived he explained that they’d let him stay 5 years ago when he was walking to Palestine and that we’re now on our way to Western Sahara. They remembered him and let us stay again and not only that, they even called up the local newspaper that came by to interview us so we could share the story of Western Sahara with Maribor.

It is support like this that gives up more fuel to continue our journey.