I was planning to write a blog entry every day. Seems I’m somewhat lacking in profundities to describe the insane beauty of this place. Big mountain make me feel small and insignificant? Sure. Mas o menos. Today I was confronted with the thing I guess mostly guys do when they get to the big thing. We try to get on it. Climb the hilltop. Bridle the horse. Tame the shrew. There’s something phallic about most male thoughts. Think about it… See? Told you.
To naysayers, I say: well, nothing. We need naysayers to keep amazing countries semi-affordable by staying the heck away. Thank you. I’m not being cynical by the way. My brain has mostly shut down. The part that isn’t thinking about climbing stuff at any rate. Which, I’m thinking now, is probably why it took me a while to get into the trip. I needed a perch. A couple of highs and lows to look back on.
The highs: This will sound weird to the ears of folks who know me a little -a very selective people person- but wow, I’ve met some fantastic humans. The sixty year-old Brazilian statistician who bought both his daughters a plane ticket -any ticket anywhere- every year because he wanted them to travel and see the world (as he was doing himself). The Chilean mechanic who hopped into his old Ford for a tour of Patagonia because, why not? The Uruguayan widow flying far and wide to outrun the unspeakable grief of losing a spouse to cancer. I thank all of these and other beautiful souls for accompanying me, however briefly. For what is life, if not a series of encounters? From a furtive glance on a bus, to those sticking with you for a lifetime.
The lows: Expectations, expectations expectations. I venture scientists could draw a graph, with a rare sweet spot between preparation and expectation. The more you prepare, the higher the probability of dashed expectations. Then again, I’d be the first to challenge said boffins: yours truly prepared jack. And still there’s the nagging sensation of missing out. Without it, maybe we’d still be living in caves. Perhaps this, combined with the desire to get on top of the thing, is why we sent those guys to the moon? Naysayers will ask: what good did that do? The expression is: I’m over the moon. Not on it.
I’m three weeks in now, and mucho past expectations. In the moment (albeit reflecting on the moment, hence your reading this. Thanks, by the way). I should have brought my hiking shoes. Stop. Let’s try that again. I’m going to Chile tomorrow. I biked myself to within an inch of my cojones today. I’m going to sleep like a baby. Yes! Goodnight.