After visiting Miquel Herrera Bonaterra’s instagram and website, there is no doubting his love of off-roading. There are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pictures of off-road vehicles. Where does the passion come from?
“Perhaps from when I was two years old,” says Miquel. “That’s when my parents took me to Morocco in their Nissan Patrol and we spent more than two weeks there, exploring. Growing up, I visited many different countries. You could say I got the bug, and now I get out as often as I can.”
Miquel enrolled in college to study hospitality, but discovered it was not for him. “No, I didn’t want to risk of being trapped in a hotel kitchen with no chance of escape,” he says, laughing. “Nowadays I work for a clean energy company, but I spend basically all my free time – weekends and vacations – traveling and off-roading.”
Over the years, Miquel has felt the magnetic pull of Morocco. The colors, the bustling medinas, the majesty of the Atlas Mountains and the serenity of the Sahara keep drawing him back. “It’s an amazing country with an incredible culture and I’ve been there many times,” he says. “But traveling in north Africa has its risks too. I had a scary experience once when I crossed the border between Morocco and Algeria. According to my GPS, I was still in Morocco, but not according to the Algerian military. My companions and I were held at gunpoint for 12 hours. Eventually, we told them we’d had enough, walked to our vehicles and drove off. We weren’t sure if they were going to shoot us – but they obviously decided against it. Maybe they didn’t think a few off-roaders posed a serious threat to their country’s national security. But it was frightening, and I wouldn’t want to go through it again.”
The experience hasn’t deterred Miquel from wanting to return to Morocco – or from crossing borders. “One of my dreams is to drive across Morocco and Mauretania to get to Dakar in Senegal. When I get there I’d like to spend some time exploring the country. But my travel ambitions aren’t restricted to north Africa. I’ve also driven along Route 66 in the US, which was great. And I’d love to visit Australia and New Zealand,” he says.
If you’re in a hot, dry climate – and no place is hotter or drier than the desert – a cold drink is priceless. That’s why Miquel doesn’t hit the off-road without his Dometic cooler. “I recently returned from the Sahara, where my CFX did a great job of keeping my food fresh and drinks chilled. Good gear makes travel easier and more fun. And I’ve enjoyed quite a few sunsets with a cold beer in my hand,” says Miquel with a big smile.