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).
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.