Thursday, 9 July 2009

Behold the end of the World!

The skies do not open so that flaming fires fall of off them. There are no dragons flying around either, spitting the fire that Magellan saw one day in the distance. Infinity does not open in deep cracks and craters in the ground, ready to swallow us, and the sound of strident trumpets does not echo in the skies to warn us the end is near. I cannot even see people running around, scared, terrified, lost or found. From the sky little white snowflakes is the only thing that falls and the white dragons I can see are indifferently pecking the water. The fire, long ago extinguished by greedy conquerors, exists only in the name of this land and in the memory of the indigenous that once lived here. Instead of deep craters huge mountains elevate in the skies, making us feel small, swallowed by its beauty. And the calm sound of the Earth rotating around its own axis and around the sun is all but deafening. My calm steps follow those of who surrounds me, showing the Apocalypse did not arrive yet, or just that the end of the World is all but ugly, being wonderfully beautiful instead. But, just in case, I grab myself, turn around, and continue. It may even be the end of the World, but it is not the end of my journey just yet. There's still a lot of ground to cover, I just need to turn around and go.

Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, April 2009

Monday, 6 July 2009

Southbound Patagonia

My head is trembling against the window, while my eyes follow this continuous straight line that points to infinity, the infinite way South I can see in the horizon. Tomorrow arrives equal to the present, arid, flat, of all shades of yellow and brown, resembling a calm sea this boat with wheels sails while gently undulating. Only the sky cuts through this pastel polychromy, a sky of an intense blue where white clouds show up once in a while, frosting the sky with a low-hanging cotton candy, low enough to be reached by a small jump or by a children's dream. This monotony of an intense and flat beauty is broken here and there by a small elevation, by little houses that show up timidly, by an abrupt sea view that reminds us the one we are sailing is fake. Along the way I stop many times, for days, weeks, hours, slowly, in the laziness of being here. I stop in Viedma, doorway to this vastness, as well as Las Grutas, deserted beach of a summertime which has already ended. I take my time in Puerto Madryn, where the sea watches me, where animals come on vacation, where I know the last two penguins out of the hundreds that have already headed somewhere else, where the whales will arrive very soon. I fly through Comodoro, the place where all the winds meet in their way to the end of the World, where they will turn back to blow again throughout the Earth. My head trembles against the window. I see the sun go down, falling asleep, disappearing lazily, shutting my eyes together with his. I have no idea if the line will be there when I open them again, continuing straight and endless. Maybe a new horizon will arrive, but who cares anyway... I only know the line will continue, more or less straight, and I'll continue with it.

Somewhere in Patagonia, RN3, Argentina, April 2009