Once I reached to the point where sun hid behind the shoulder of Mountain Uritorco, even the winds stopped whispering between green grasses. The moment of personal conquest of that mountain was on the finger touch, just leaving maybe 100 meters ahead to the summit. But to reach the summit one had to face the direct sun and wind that the mountain had shielded as in its shade. Temperature dropped, so I put my thin sweater. I sat on the top rock then watched the dance that the wind obligated to cloud and mountains of distance. Clouds passed, shaping different form of shades over the mountain every second. This trip wasn’t by my own, so it was something of group. Interaction was considered to be necessary to boost and enlarge further auto-growth, but this time I was away all by myself. Then I recalled of the trip from the first day until that moment of sitting on the summit.
At the first day of arrival, I sat on the University campus talking about architecture and development, to have a sensation of being university student discussing such issues as an idealist with bright future. Once I had a moment to choose to study between Buenos Aires and Cordoba city, which resulted that I chose Buenos Aires over Cordoba for the easier mobility and access, so this time I could imagine how my life would have been if I had chosen the alternative. Then I missed that alternative; Cordoba represents much modernity and order than Buenos Aires. Much greener the nature and much kinder the population. They didn’t seem to be bothered of questions but rather seemed to be enjoying to return us their answers. Yes of course, there were moments of racist yelling through car window trying to insult us on the street, but that I just wanted to consider it as a genuine interest of the uneducated. We passed the past, observing abandoned factory and train station, of which we failed to frame into photos. That very evening we had asado at the hostel we were in, meeting up new people who have been traveling for months and years. They will go to Buenos Aires eventually, so it was certain that we shared contacts for further encounter. One has seen the world, but there were little words. Were we all just resting?
The second day I woke up realising that my company, Dawit, had gotten food-poison from the previous night. He was roaring all day out of pain that even didn’t allow him to stand still. I tried to calm his stomach, while calling the medic to come. I was genuinely surprised how well the medical system is designed in Cordoba, for the medic came within 15 minutes despite of being on Sunday (I witnessed once that the ambulance arrived later than 30 minutes in Buenos Aires). He got an injection then later napping he got better so we could walked around. I made a vegetarian risotto just as the medic indicated to me, and simply we spent that Sunday to flow. Farmacity was the only opened pharmacy around, so there he bought some pills of prescription (I just indicated the brand name because I believe many pharmacies should be serving every day for emergency reason).
The third day we were on the way to San Marcos Sierras as we were recommended, but there were no direct itinerary from Cordoba city, so we put a strategy to go to Cruz del Eje and then there to take another bus to go San Marcos Sierras. During the bus trip, we saw the sign called San Marcos Sierras so we hopped out. Then Dawit realised that he left his all valuables in the bus, so instead of heading to San Marcos Sierras we had to head to Cruz del Eje. On the way of catching the bus we hopped out, I could see the passport, his debit card, cash and one professional camera rotating around his head. Then I got calmed down by the innocence that people have shown us here. At last after the bus terminal then the bus company office, we found the very bus that we hopped out, and also the small bag at the same seats we sat. The panic moment was gone by then, and the relief saluted him. That panic was the result of one’s imagination of what would happen after if we could not find the valuables back. Being afraid of unexpected future is the source of panicking, wouldn’t be? Finally we could arrive to San Marcos Sierras, where the romantic night light was embracing us of welcome. Sitting down at a restaurant right next to the corner of the main square, listening the live music played by travelers.
The forth day after arriving to the riverside, we took off from the minivan that took us there. We arrived a place called Tres Piletas. As soon as we took off from the minivan, an old man approached us saying that we need to pay for the entrance because Tres Piletas is a private property. But he did not ask other peoples that hopped out from the same bus but us. So we asked why he was insisting only to us to pay for the entrace fee, then rather explaining it to us clearly he murmured with low voice:
– If you don’t want to pay, nigga, get the fuck out of here!
Of course that offended to Dawit, so we decided to leave the place, since we knew that we wouldn’t enjoy anyway such place where one was to hear such insult. As soon as we got there then, we left the place to go back to San Marcos Sierras. We headed to Capilla del Monte. Cordoba preserves well its fame of history of alien-contacts. Capilla del Monte was a town where many locals sell alien-related products or memories to the tourists. Best vegan food we tried was the compensation of the insult that we endured. That little town hold weird alien-related stories that attracted people, as its main entrance also was covered by alien faces all over. When in the future, the existence of alien would be no more secret, this town would be remembered as the revolutionary, and as the first human town that declared the alien-contact.
And finally it was the fifth day that we climbed up to the Uritorco mountain. There were no such up and down moments for me during this travel, but if I had to confess one high peak moment, it was when we were resting at the summit of the Uritorco. Birds came close to me, out of curiosity, winds still kept whispering right beside my ears. Sunlight and clouds were projecting their dance move upwards the sierra. I was toward the sun, but weirdly this time I didn’t feel receiving any energy from the sun through me. Such a heat was trying to burn my face and neck, but my hands stayed as a cold stone even with its palms upward. I was not empty and maybe that was the reason that I couldn’t be filled. Just being there watching the nature was enough for the day. There at the summit I met a guy named Juan, who also came from Buenos Aires, and we chatted a bit then shared to smoke. Almost 40 minutes we watched how the clouds moved and tried to figure out the difference on subtle green colours of the panorama. We came down later, to head to Carlos Paz then back to Cordoba, to take a night bus to go back to where this journey had begun; Buenos Aires.
I should admit that there were no such conclusion for me of this trip to Cordoba. Yet, I do have one memorable moment of when we reached the backbone of the Uritorco mountain. There were moments when we hid ourselves behind the mountain away from the sun and the wind. Those were the moments of absolute silence. I used to think that there is no such thing as silence but the unhearable sounds. We just had lost the capacity to listen those sounds for that we tamed ourselves as in urban area. But it wasn’t entirely true. Uritorco mountain presented me the silence of which made me doubt the inexistence of the silence. Even winds whisper in such silence, and a man whimpers in his or her head at least. Emotions and thoughts make us hear more, keeping us away from the silence normally, but yes, when even the winds stop whispering the inner whimpering could be stopped too. One learns eventually that we at last stop whimpering that we grow up and we change. One says that a person changes for two different reasons; whether one has learnt too much, or has suffered just enough in this world. Juan told me once at the summit;
– I don’t hear anything. We don’t hear anything here.
No one heard anything there.