Oh wow. It’s been a big while since I last wrote here. Not sure what happened. I just stopped being inspired at some point. Even when writing the latest posts I felt I was doing it more for obligation than anything else. The reason why I started to write here about my trips in the first place was so I could share the experience as I felt it. I was never meaning to give anyone travel guides – there’s tones of websites for that. I wanted to express myself, inspire and be inspired.
However, when going through the photos of my last trip of the year just wasn’t pleasant anymore. It was painful. I couldn’t put my thoughts or feelings into words. They got stuck in my throat, the sentences had lost its flow. I felt I couldn’t write anymore. At least nothing good. As if suddenly this trip had become a bitter emory. Simply because it reminded me of how little I did in 2020. How I did not solo travel. How my dream trip to Japan had to be cancelled, alongside with other plans I had. I was planning of getting a flat of my own in London, potentially for a job move. I even started the year trying to be more outgoing and sociable. I had high expectations for 2020, and suddenly all of that control we all thought we had of our lives, was taken away.
I kept suppressing my feelings, and eventually I had to assume that my lack of willingness to do anything I was used to love to do before, things that were some sort of escapism, were no longer working for me. My mental health just wasn’t (or isn’t still) in a good place. I felt melancholic or incredibly furious for no reason at all – at least not for a single identifiable reason. I kept thinking about coming back to writing in this little corner of the Internet. But I could not.
Weirdly, even though I hadn’t been posting here and, let’s be honest, YouTube is where everyone is now (even myself, as audience, for now at least), I was still seeing this little corner of the Internet receiving some new followers. Some actually looked legit. Some comments, some likes. Were people actually reading my (often too long) texts, really looking at my photos? Maybe. Maybe not. Still, it’s a good feeling to know that someone, in some other part of this wide big planet, may read and even appreciate my content. But even that was not enough to bring me back here. It was like a part of my soul had left me.
Today I was editing some stuff for work, and my last photos of Madeira were suddenly there. Oh dear. That was probably one of my favourite places in the island. Ponta de São Lourenço. I had there the best experience of my trip to Madeira. Mostly, for two reasons – because of the hike (and I do love a nice hike) and because it reminded me so much of Isle of Skye, in Scotland.
The place is just wonderful. A arm of land try to reach out to somewhere through the ocean. The perfect scenery for a Sci-Fi movie. The winds and the waves the sculptors of such arm. Rocks seem to have been molded by forces coming from different directions. The North Wind wanted straight to the left, the South Wind, straight to the right. The ocean, unhappy with such invasion of rock coming from the depths of the Earth, kept excavating them, participating unknowingly in another masterpiece of nature. And the the West Wind came and said hold in there, no more rocks for this side, but the East Wind, nervously proceeded to disobey and also left its mark. So Ponta de São Lourenço was then shaped to what we see today – but the creation process continues.
When we started the hike the winds were so strong I was afraid I couldn’t do it. I felt it could throw me out of rocks, directly to the ocean. There was a point we had to sit down. The winds were merciless, almost as if they didn’t want us there. I could see from the point where I was the long path in front us. Scared of heights and suffering from strong vertigo, I was hesitant. Could I keep going for 8 Km, walking around those sharp edges, with the Winds fustigating me, threatening me with their fury? My parents were already saying they were not doing the whole hike. But I missed a good hike. I used to do it in Scotland before Covid. I used to walk for Km in the beautiful parks of Hampstead Heath and Child’s Hill in North London. It would take a good couple of hours, and they would have to wait for me. I swallowed my fear, and faced the Winds, as so many other travellers seem to be doing so easily. When had I suddenly become so sheepish? I was certainly not going to let go of the adventurer I had became in the latest years.
So there I went. And suddenly, alone (leaving the family behind), facing the winds, carefully avoiding the pointend rocks, I felt free again. The last time I had felt such freedom was when I cycled in Tulum. Nothing, no one, was in my way. I could do anything. I laughed, and thankfully no one was close enough to notice it. And the sights were just the deserving reward deciding to face my fears once again.
When we started the hike, the weather was grey and cloudy, as you can see in the pictures. But half hike the sun suddenly opened up to reveal the beautiful colours of the rocks, layered by the centuries and centuries of formation, the bold blue of the ocean.
I went back from the hike sweaty, feeling sunburnt (I wasn’t though, I had enough sunscreen!), dehydrated (I must confess I should have brought with me more water), my legs trembling a little (some steep climbs were on the way!), but feeling like myself. The old good feeling of being a traveller, a explorer, of seeing the beauty of the world, its contrasts, its dangers, its uniqueness. Being plain honest here, I felt like a goddess. Mostly, proud of myself, for once.
To conclude this long post. Wherever you are, whatever you’re going through right now, just take care of yourselves, try not to get lost in the madness we’re currently living. Be inspired and don’t be afraid to try to inspire others to do the same.