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Published: March 30th 2016
The wind blows gently through the forest.
Birds sing in the branches.
Lush green mountain sides fade into snowy peaks,
The trees get consumed by the high slopes.
We are running.
Higher and higher we run until the mountain stops.
A towering peak soaring above the dark clouds.
An incredible view - the end of the world and beyond.
The dynamic path crumbles.
Loose rocks dislodge beneath our feet.
We stagger back down a narrow ridge.
Misty and rainy.
A river crossing,
A muddy bank.
Gnarly roots carpet
The soggy ground
In a woody tangle.
The smell of autumn,
The golden leaves,
The wilted remnants of a once-beautiful flower.
Solitude is anywhere...
An old bicycle is propped against a rusted railing. There are snakes on the rail, worn and bent, the iron, serpentine fence has lived its life. Rock music blasts from a corner store, classical from the vender to the right. A busker, playing his guitar is drowned by the maddening sounds of thrash metal, honking horns, shouting and occasional fireworks.
A stall with tarot
cards and incense, candle holders and bracelets. Records and cassettes, books, t-shirts, plants, random electrical components, batteries, first aid kits, pots and pans, towels, and of course, food.
A brick patio with a moss border beckons me - an aroma of freshly baked bread and strong coffee. Leaves of red and green hang over an eroded porcelain water feature that sends cascades down a mermaid's breasts, her earthenware hair is stained by algae and all about her fish-scaled tail are the sea creatures...
I take a moment... I know these creatures...
A carving of an elephant is sitting on the floor by the stairwell with a curious message engraved on a bronze plaque which is nailed to its left ear.
"From Ghana. Taken out of context, I must seem so strange."
Strange is even spelled incorrectly 'starnge'... The wooden elephant is a broken toilet roll holder - the paper comes out of its trunk - it is fascinatingly ugly...
I see some 1970s curtains. My restless inquisitiveness leads me inside, and to my surprise I see a typewriter. I love typewriters, and I love to harvest the misuse of them. I sneakily type on a napkin 'www.prewifi.com'. The once proud device is now destined
to deteriorate in a dim room on a graffitied oaken table by the miserable image of a former leader.
There are a lot of images here, portraits. Diego Maradona, Cristina Kirchner, Che, Almirante Brown, Mick Jagger. And photos, all faded and stained - one photo was of a plastic cup - peculiar subject matter.
I purchase a cake. I'm not hungry, it just looks like a nice cake. I will share it a little later with some young Argentine artists who will be drinking maté on the steps of a small house. It will be a pretty house with a red door, and there'll be a bedraggled scamp of a cat meowing at me...
My alarm sounds - I must go to the airport, I must leave the hemisphere. The counterclockwise chaos is spinning out of control...
Where is my taxi?
How will I cope with the clockwise ways of the north?
How many hours on a plane?
How many planes?
Are we nearly there yet?
Honestly, really, seriously...
Seriously though, I did watch the new Star Wars movie four times on the flight.
I will miss running
in the hills of Ushuaia and I will miss the coffee shops and markets of San Telmo, Buenos Aires... I will not miss the flights - no pun intended.
(Actually the pun was intended)
May the force be with us all...
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