The White Silence

“Nature has many tricks wherewith she convinces man of his finity – the ceaseless flow of the tides, the fury of the storm, the shock of the earthquake, the long roll of heaven’s artillery – but the most stupefying of all, is the passive phase of the WHITE SILENCE. All movement ceases, the sky clears, the heavens are as brass, the slightest whisper seems sacriledge, and man becomes timid, affrighted at the sound of his own voice.” Jack London

Incredible people, amazing nature, bus dwellers, dumpster divers, anachists, hippies and men who dress up us wolves… Nothing out of the ordinary over the next couple of weeks.

Up, down, across and now back up again is where I’ve been and as I begin the journey north, bound for a christmas in Holland, it’s with an aching body! My heart is keeping up, but every muscle in my core twinges as I set this pen to cardboard.

Couchsurfing allows you to meet local people, to speak their language, eat what they eat and do as they do. Sometimes that means heading to the Pyrenees and spending a day in 2metres of freshly fallen snow, trying to learn how to ski.

Honestly the spot was so remarkably beautiful I’d have been just as happy to sit atop a mountain, listen to the stillness and contemplate the meaning of everything. Then again, I’ll give most things a go once and I’m told an empty station with soft snowy pistes and blue skies doesn’t come along everyday.

So it is that i discovered the magic of ‘neige’. It’s lighter than I imagined and the squeek under my ice shoes surprised me. Tackling (really bleep fucking bleeeeeep) big slopes I spent more time in the snow that on top of it, but much fun was had.

Hence the aching body. I’ve got muscles hurting here than I didn’t even know I had. I’ve happily acknowledged that skiing just isn’t for me. Give me stillness and silent mountains anyday though. Either way, I blame couchsurfing.


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