"In July 2013 I headed to Brazil to tour South America. What I didn't know was that I was going to meet an unexpected friend who would change the future of my trip (and my life). Five years later, not happy with a dog , I decided to adopt another one that the road brought us in India. They are the two best decisions I have ever made"
Hello friends! We are Rober, Cocaí and Chai, three inseparable friends from three very different nations: Spain, Bolivia and India. A reflection of what we like to do, which is to travel the world and discover its cultures –human and canine– while living adventures. We have traveled through South America (2013-2014), North America (2016-2017) and Asia (2019-2021), mainly hitchhiking and carrying a backpack that fits a tent and a few other things. In 2023 a new adventure is coming: Africa. Based on our experience, I give advice to others to travel with their dogs and I document our experiences here and on social media: @viajerosperrunos. If you like dogs and traveling, join us on this canine adventure. Or maybe we'll encourage you enough to go find your own with your furry friend!
ME (ROBER) - MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 1990
I am a biologist and a graduate in psychology, but my great passion is to travel and write about peoples, religions and cultures, where dogs and their relationship with humans also come into play. Since I was little, influenced by the values that my parents instilled in me (and the camping and trekking getaways with them around the geography of my country), I have been passionate about animals and nature. The backpacking spirit came to the fore with my solo trip to Ukraine in 2010, halfway through my biology major. That summer I discovered the challenges, the adrenaline of traveling, and being immersed in a culture like never before. Three years later, in 2013, my great opportunity came when I received a scholarship to do my biology final project in Brazil. Then I was free to fulfill my dream since I was a child: touring South America. But that year and a half meant much more than a trip... The encounter with Cocaí, my life partner for the last decade, added to the love of traveling and life on the road would be the motivation to continue traveling years later. As a result of the many questions that I was asked about how I managed to travel with a dog without my own vehicle, "Viajeros Perrunos" was born, a blog in which I recounted my experiences and advice to embark on a canine adventure. The objectives expanded over time and, in fact, it is what truly motivates and inspires me to continue traveling today.
There are three pillars in our project: 1) “empowering” potential travelers with dogs; 2) helping shelters and raising animal awareness; 3) learning about the dog culture in different countries and write about it. In addition to having formed a beautiful virtual community that encourages me, the blog/website and social media have allowed me to finance myself during the last years of travel. I do it mainly through postcards with short stories from each country we visit and several books that I have written and are published on my virtual shop and Amazon.
After South America we spent a year and a half in North America (Mexico, USA and Canada) and almost three years in Asia: Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Pakistan and India. Since 2019 also with Chai, adopted in India and who completes this trio of "dog travelers". Our travel style is austere, hitchhiking and camping in our tent. To begin with, because the income is modest, but more importantly: because it is how I (and we) really enjoy. Hitchhiking is the way of travel that most connects you with people, the "raison d'être" of most long-distance travelers. A kind of filter in which you will often have to wait on the road for hours, but in exchange it will give you the most beautiful people, willing to get a stranger (and his dogs) in their vehicles. Many times they even invite you to their homes, the best way to get to know a country. Just for the record Cocaí and Chai, far from suffering as I have been asked more than once, are dogs that have sucked on adventure since they were puppies and enjoy riding a motorcycle, van, truck or tractor. When it comes to camping, there is nothing the three of us like more. We usually travel through rural areas and nature more than cities because none of us like them very much and, furthermore, with a dog it gets complicated.
COCAÍ - SAMAIPATA, BOLIVIA - MAY 2014
Cocaí and I met in the Bolivian yunga on June 20, 2014, barely a month after she was born. She was abandoned in some cardboard, infested with ticks and sick. My idea was to deworm and vaccinate the puppy, then find a local family for her. How was I going to take a dog on a trip? However, after resting a few days for her health, we resumed the trip together. We toured the Bolivian jungle area, embarked on a long river trip in Brazil, celebrated for a few days at the Triple-Border "Fiestas" (Brazil, Peru, Colombia), explored the unknown north of Peru and, finally, arrived in one of our favorite countries: Ecuador. By then I had become irretrievably fond of her... and I ended up adopting her. One of the two best decisions of my life! Cocaí is actually a compound name, like any self-respecting Bolivian: Coca Açaí. Coca in honor of the leaf of the ancestral magical plant of the Andean culture; Açaí in homage to the fruit of a palm tree from the Amazon jungle, full of properties and with a unique flavor. The combination of two powerful plants of the South American culture. I don't know if having been on the verge of death as a puppy marked her personality, but the fact is that she has always been very special, since she was little. And it's not just me, everyone who gets to meet her says so. Her parsimonious way of walking, arriving at a landscape and contemplating it for minutes as if she were a Buddhist monk in a meditational trance, or her
sacred moments alone with herself, as far as possible from any noise, are some of her peculiarities. No doubt she is the calmest and most intelligent dog I have ever known. Actually, it is as if she had two modes or selfs: the calm one that seeks peace, and the adventurous one that guides and protects us. The first is on when we are in Madrid or any city in which we settle for a while. The second mode is on whenever we are in nature, whether we are on a picnic with friends, hiking in the Himalayas, camping in any forest, beach or desert and, of course, on my parents' garden house an hour away from Madrid, her Paradise of Eden. And that is her main mission in life –because every dog has a mission–: to guide and protect her pack. Even if there is nothing to protect us from, apart from cows, birds or other non-human creatures. That's right, Cocaí is very fawning over our species, the only animal she really loves.
CHAI - THAR DESERT, INDIA - NOVEMBER 2019
Chai was born in India in November 2019, where we bumped into her just a month later. And if her sister is from the Amazon jungle, Chai is none other than from the Thar desert, Rajasthan. Unlike Cocaí, Chai was perfectly healthy. We were camping in the dunes on Christmas Eve when she came walking up to us on her own feet. The next morning we looked for her mother, but there was no dog in the desert. We couldn't leave her there, without water or anything, so I carried her to the next town, Jaisalmer, where I intended to find her a family. Without knowing very well how I ended up adopting her, despite the mess of paperwork that it would entail and even though she was already pointing out ways of how unruly she was. The other of my two best decisions! I called her Masala Chai because if there had been a common trend in the countries we had crossed in Asia, that was tea... and we were in India. Her origins will always remain an enigma: who was her mother, if she was stray or had a home, and of course how the hell she got to the desert... A gift from Santa Claus or a Hindu curse!? The little sister is the other side of the coin: a free, chaotic, mischievous and playful Tasmanian devil that has always acted first and then thought about the consequences. In other words, running like crazy in all directions, trying to play with every dog, cat, goat, cow or monkey that comes along, open bags, bins, doors,
closets (and all kinds of hatches that one can imagine) in search of food, steal the bone of the day from their street enemies (and their friends too) and run away with it in her mouth. Just to give a few examples. You can imagine the amount of work she gave me the first two years! Almost as much as the laughs and good times. Luckily, she has started to calm down and imitate her older sister. And what is most shocking and comforting: she has parked her independence and freedom a bit to welcome love and caresses with pleasure. Finally there is something in which both are equal: they are "junkies of affection". They love to be touched and massaged. "And her mission? You said that all dogs have a mission, right?" As for that… Let's say that her goal in life is to enjoy and be (and make others) happy. I assure you that there is no dog in the history who has had a more exciting puppyhood than Chai, many adventures of which only she knows. In fact, I'm thinking of writing a book about the first two years of her life.