Almost Perfect Silence

Yesterday was the second time in my life I experienced near perfect silence. The first time was when me and Dad went walking in Wales. He had taken me to a couple of mountains called Pen-y-fan and Fan-y-Pen. I feel now that maybe taking me to a mountain with the name ‘fanny’ was a way to make me want to go camping for a weekend, if not just because it was funny and I could tell my mates I went to a mountain called Fanny. There was a spot at the bottom of the mountain where you were meant to camp and we asked the owner if we were allowed to set up our tents further up the mountain. He said ‘no’ but we did it anyway. Whilst we were in the campsite there was a young-ish woman bathing in the river naked so that was pretty cool.

Anyway we walked up the mountain and then on the way back down we set up camp at an incredible lake. It was clear and we went for a swim. It obviously wasn’t clear enough though as when we got out we had leaches on our legs. This lake was directly surrounded by high mountains, it was almost like a volcano crater full of water, and it was pretty much perfectly silent. Even at that age I remember appreciating how amazing that was.


Back to yesterday. It was one of the volunteers birthdays and we went for a walk to a famous set of hills -Tres Picos – near Nova Friburgo (where we are living). I feel like these hills are similar to the way Christ the Redeemer is to Rio City. They are pretty much the only good well known thing here. So we drove there with the owners pick-up truck and walked up to a popular camping spot (probably worth mentioning that I was standing in the back of the pick up at one point as we got closer to the car park. I was laughing at something whilst ducking down and managed to smash my face on the bar I was holding on to. I chipped a bit of my front tooth. It’s not really that noticeable but it’s kind of annoying. I am about 2 months in and already a filling has come outand I have chipped a front tooth. At this rate I am going home toothless). IMG_4596

We had our sandwiches and the group split. Half of them went towards the base of the three peaks, and three of us went the opposite way up a path called “Cabeça do Dragao” (Dragons Head). We walked up a narrow path through jungle for about 40 minutes till we reached a large slab of rock overlooking all the mountains. We looked around for a while to find the dragons head but couldn’t see it. Instead we got near perfect silence and without saying anything to each other (like – can you shut up everyone so we can enjoy this peace) we all sat as quietly as we could.

I felt myself trying as hard as I could not to make a noise with my breathing and after I had taken a photo of the mountains in front of us we sat for a while taking in the silence and the view.


Whilst we were sitting there were 4 eagles (pictured aboved) that seemed to be playing with one another. Every time they took a fast turn they let out a strange noise which I think was from the air over their wings. It sounded a bit like something out of Star Wars. I think maybe like when Skywalker was racing on those bike things and they turned a corner and made a funny hollow vibrating kind of sound…not important anyway, the point is that is was so quiet we could hear eagles turning.

When we got back to the rendevous point the others were already drinking Cashaca with some guys at the camp site, so we joined in. Everyone got a bit wonky and we headed back to the car. We stopped at a nice local bar on the way home for some fatty, boney, meat and beer. But it was ok because the fatty boney meat had been cooked in a big stone stove for 2 days so it was GREAT.There was alos a hummingbird feeding on some sugar water at the restaurant so thats another thing ticked off the bucket list

The day was kinda mixed though. One of the volunteers has been kicked off the project so this was his last day which sucked. When we got home I made Caiprinas and introduced the birthday girl to a game called Jungle Speed. That was about it for the day. When everyone got up to go to bed I said goodbye to the volunteer who was leaving and ran home.




  1. I had forgotten the naked girl experience but I remember joking about Pen Y Fan and Fan Y Big.That weekend brings back very happy memories for me of walking in the silent hills and swimming in the leech infested lake. I also remember the pleasure of the cold beer after walking all day. Your account of the day with the eagles and the humming bird is riveting. Have you ever seen a Kingfisher hovering over fish?

    As for our kidney matters. We both had our operations on Thursday 18th June. To prevent rejection I was given massive doses of steroids and recovered within a day. Mum on the other hand had none and recovered more slowly but was nonetheless home in three days. She had a series of vicious migraines and vomiting and felt awful. But because she was not the “transplant” patient she did not get the nursing attention she needed. I had a “Grade 2B Kidney transplant rejection episode” and needed a further massive dose of steroids. However 2 things then happened. First the tissue report was downgraded to 1A (better) and my Kidney marker started to come down (good). In answer to your question about the success of the operation it is looking successful though this is all relative. We will not know for sure for a month two. I will keep you informed.

    Grampa is doing really and says he really looks forward to our visits. He did a round trip from Jacobs to Newbury for a cousins 90th birthday, then to Oxford where we were in hospital and back to Jacobs all in one day!

    Keep writing – we really enjoy reading it. x


  2. Such a day right? Mr. Keeling!?! That was my first Perfect Silence experience and it was spiritually awesome! Couldn’t have a better last day in Nova Friburgo with you guys. I’m so thankful for having the opportunity to meet all of you guys… Too bad it ended so early, but necessary ofc. Btw, did you play Super Mario Cardinot? I had no news about the game since I left hehe.

    Dude Thanks for writing the experiences, I couldn’t remember the blog’s name and saw it in Becca’s blog or something. So yeah, miss you guys. When you decide to come to Northeast part of Brasil just tell me. We would recieve you all here with pleasure in our house!

    Great hug!

    **oh and it’s Cachaça haahahaha


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