A slow shutter speed capture of a river we were building a bridge over around the half way point of the trail to Refugio Frey. Snow still caps the logs in the river from the recent flurry. I love the effect of the water eddying in the foreground. A calming scene indeed.
After the white out had passed and we had gotten some well earnt rest under our belts the next morning treated us to the true majesty that surrounds Refugio Frey. Sharp rock spires jutting up all around the basin, clear blue skies and the bright alpine sun beaming down on the most dramatic of views.
Having read Cormac McCarthhy's 'No Country For Old Men' and thoroughly enjoyed it I was eager to give The Road a read. This book is set in a post apocalyptic world. The planet is burned and barren and those who are left behind have to deal with the misery of surviving a dog eat dog existence. The two main characters, man and boy, trudge on through the cold, black winter. They scavenge what they can and try to stay hidden from those who wish to cause them harm. A dark and moving read and a real look at the struggle and persistence of humanity and the emotions that are faced by all.
Our arrival at Refugio Frey was met with some ferocious winds and blinding white out conditions. Battling through knee deep snow while head on with the bitterly cold winds was a struggle and a very scary experience indeed. Eventually throwing ourselves into the out house to escape the savagery of the freezing temperatures we were relieved to be in the safe sanctuary of the Refugio.
Whilst reading Al's first book about the first half of his epic round the world bicycle ride 'Moods of Future Joys' recently I came across one particular passage that really spoke to me and managed to highlight and reiterate thoughts and feelings that I have myself on the the ease of western living and the need for a real challenge to feel like you have really pushed yourself to your limits and felt truly alive. Living rather than just existing.
"I began because England was too easy. I wanted something that I did not know I was capable of. I would never know unless I tried. I wanted unpredictability. I wanted to demand more of myself than I could demand of others. I wanted open space. I wanted anxiety and insecurity, storm and strife, even if I did not always have the courage to cope with them. I wanted to strive, to seek and to see whether or not I could yield. I wanted to overload my senses. I felt that I would only know my strength if I took the strain, that I needed to taste blood to know if I was hurt, needed to be thrashed by a gale to accept it was windy, needed to taste lung to believe I had pushed myself hard. I needed to confirm that I was alive".
I can't stress how amazing this book is. Written by Alistair Humphreys, it is a mind blowing account of the first leg of his around the world bicycle ride which he started in 2001. It took him for 4 years and 3 months to cycle 46,000 miles, spending only £7,000 of hoarded student loans. The observations and detail of what Al encountered along the wayare shared with the reader in a deeply honest way with no emotions held back. The sheer grit and determination to overcome the physical and mental battles he faces on his epic journey should be an inspiration to all. Simply a must read book!
Free spirited, full of wanderlust and a strong penchant for adventure. Ever the music aficionado and always striving to seek out and explore the best that the alternative side of life has to offer. I dedicate this blog to anything and everything that inspires me in life. People, places, photography, music, literature. I hope it will inspire you too. Enjoy!