Kathmandu, June 29
Artur Brito is on a special mission to spread love and goodwill and to champion the cause of humanity.
What makes Artur special is that despite life not dealing him the best cards, he has gone on to make the best of everything and celebrate life to the full.
His being an orphan or losing his left leg in a motorbike accident 25 years ago has not kept him down. He just completed the biggest challenge he set for himself in life, to ride a 125 cc scooter from his home in Portugal to Kathmandu, a journey of 13,500 km across 10 countries, in 50 days to raise awareness and funds for earthquake victims in Nepal.
Artur works as an assistant dog trainer in Portugal, training and providing therapy dogs for people with special needs.
So where did this idea begin?
He says, “It was while reading about two girls from Portugal who volunteered in Nepal after the earthquake. I was moved and wanted to do something too.” He says since he was not a doctor and did not have much money to donate, he felt it would be a great adventure to ride his scooter and raise funds and awareness for the quake victims in Nepal.
He started talking to people who could help and Santa Caza, the orphanage where he lived 50 years ago, were ready to sponsor his journey.
Then he met Honda for the bike and others who just kept joining in to make this trip a reality. Friends contacted their friends and organised the logistics and strangers in almost all these countries got involved to help and contribute to make this adventure possible.
The ride was challenging and the heat and the roads were killing. He says, “I had my hands burnt in the hot sun, had some health problems in Turkey and broke my prosthetic in Dubai and there was no way to fix it so I’m still using tape,” Artur says while flashing a smile.
But he says it was all worth it. “I will never forget seeing so many different people and cultures. It’s not the pictures I took at some fantastic places but the people I met there who on hearing about my mission opened their homes and hearts and helped me complete this mission that I will always remember,” he shares.
An adventure that many only dream about, he has lived.
A version of this article appears in print on June 30, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.