For a surreal time, embark on a journey to the utmost southern point in the American continent: Cape Froward, a five-day journey from the port of Punta Arenas, Chile.
The journey begins at the lighthouse at the end of the world, where a lovely man lives with a dog known for leading travelers away from what they search for (although he’s quite the charming pup). The man will offer a walking stick, a map drawn on sand, an apple, a piece of banana bread, and a pair of jokes. Resist the temptation of food, although the cake is delicious. His parting advice: “On the fourth night it will snow; low tide on Tuesday is at four, drink the water of the highest hills.” Reaching the cross-shaped monument marking the end of the continent is a five-day walk in virgin nature.
Walk and think, walk and think, always moving towards the South. A compass will be helpful. Walk through sand, watch the dolphin salute, count the bones of leviathans on shore, watch as the snowy Darwin range melts and grows, thickens and molds. Sing while you walk in the woods; puma and fox abhor song, but will sing-a-long. Walk and think…
Enjoy the sleep of the first nights, for sticky branches will steal any source of warmth later on. In dreams, you’ll keep walking, thinking too, but in the bodies of past and future travelers.
“It is the will, the will, and the will that keeps one warm. Without the will, there is no way.”
On forth. On forth. On forth.
The night before the end, you'll have lost nearly all supplies. Sleep cross-legged; you'll be visited by one Argentine couple that a few years prior froze in their sleep exactly where you sit and shiver, where the wind of the sea strikes your frozen feet.
“As long as you fight, as long as you breathe, it cannot claim your soul.”
You will reach the end on the third night: climb the cross, feel invisible, touch the tip of the American continent, gaze upon the thick nebula that slices through the sky. Stare at the brightest star, the red dawn, the planet Mars. This is the voice that's been calling you… so listen with calm. More than answers, it will whisper wisdom in the form of a riddled feeling, a taste of silver in the tongue.
Then, the return. The fourth night, the night of snow, sleep in a shack that materializes only on nights such as those. Crawl within, scratch the walls with thoughts and leave a sock or a pound of flesh as payment.
On your way out, visit the hermit again; tell him a story (which surely will not be hard to find), and if you were wise enough to refuse the cake, accept it now; it will taste like new beginnings.
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