Here the adventure began. This small town, in the French Pyrenees, the atmosphere was friendly and blue and yellow colors shone in every corner. First round 24 km towards Spain, Roncesvalles… If I could do the first day… it meant I could do it all. I expected a long journey, 800 km, enough meters to think about the near future.
I decided to do some recording every day in the morning. I used to get up around 6AM and as soon as I left the shelter, I began to follow the signals and record the time, the weather, the landscape. . . Listening to my feet on the ground, my heart beating… listening the wind, the darkness, my interior and the environment.
I guess the most amazing experience was listening, seriously, the silence, non-existent…
Some days 20km, after a week 30km and then 40 km per day. I was not a slave to the internet, it was 2012! I hardly had a “non-smart” cell phone. Shorts, leggings, walking shoes, sandals, two T-shirts, a camera, a recorder and a notebook were my passengers. Really focused on what was around me and in front of me.
Those great open spaces with mountains, harvest fields and many, many cows … goats, sheep, birds, insects.. the sound of the sun burning my face during 27 days. The hum of my own thoughts.
Every day was a new path. And my ears and my eyes could reach further. I rubbed arnica on my ankle and knee every morning; the pain was there moving at times and allowing me to walk and feel the pains of others. Pilgrims like me looking for responses in nature, in solitude and in the gathering of strangers in the gloom of the nights.
You found new sounds and new music in every step. Small towns, massive industries in the middle of nowhere… some churches with beautiful organs… The noise of the people, the mooing of the cows talking everywhere. You could find a pilgrimage arriving to a town singing … And the next morning you and silence returned. I remember some names of the cities: Burgos, Astorga, Cebreiro, Estela, Logroño, Sarria.
Always new people around, a few familiar faces that appeared a couple of towns later… chats with strangers that were your comrades for a while. The sound of company and the waiting of the other, if necessary. Different stories pushed us to be there, finding answers and receiving more questions. Some sad events also happened, some of the caminantes suffered very serious blisters on their feet and could not go on to the end.
All those soundscapes inspired me to write and utter differently. I think my desire to connect with other beings and the search for communication with what was surrounding me grew.