Friday, August 10, 2012

The journey

Long Ears 2 Chile

The world is full of natural wonders that we talk about and dream to see. There is a time in life when you have to decide wether to keep these as dreams or actually LIVE the singular experience that the Oceans, Mountains, and Nature in general has to offer. The paths to awareness are many, this happens to be my path … that I'd like to share with you.

Language source is English, but you can read in any language using at the bottom of the page the translator from GOOGLE. Not as good as the original, it allows you to follow ... 

The west coast of the Americas is a land of dreams. Pionneer Europeans, natives or even migrants of all times have recounted the tales of this land as a human experience that are now in our common culture. It's history since the conquistadors, the gold 49ers, the Mexican, latin american and central american revolutions has largely focussed on the conquering mentality of our western culture. It has often overlooked the incredible beauty, natural wonders and inherent treasures of the land where first nation cultures used to live in a balanced non destructive harmony.

April 2013 two donkeys and I will begin on the Pacific Crest Trail on a 2 year 9000+ miles journey to reach Puerto Montt, the shipbuilder's paradise, starting point of another trip by boat.
Our journey will begin on the Pacific Crest Trail, this is a well documented 5 months long trail practicable for horses throughout the states of Washington, Oregon and California. It meanders throughout the remaining wilderness of the west coast while retracing the historical steps of such legends as John Muir. At the Mexican border one needs to reach Mexicali to cross over and then dive east into the rocky mountains extension into Mexico who's eastern slopes allow you to reach Mexico City and further on to Guatemala, El Salvator, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.”' Meandering through mountain passes and low lands towards the Panama Canal we will have to go over uncharted terrain to find the right route to reach the Columbia foothills and climb progressively the Andes, crossing over to it's eastern side and it's villages in the upper Amazone. Then the route is due south cutting through Equator and Peru to once again rise over the mountains to stay on the western side of the Andes throughout Chile.

This is NOT an expedition, not an adventure (in the sense of those events organized on TV), not a challenge or an attempt to prove anything … as if life was made to struggle against something. NO, this is a means to experience a way of life, a means of living in harmony with the land, meet it's people, and all living creatures while personnally continuing to grow. This journey will be documented in films and a “blog” (log book with pictures) that will attempt to capture: the experience, the encounters, the present state of the environment. Last year I did this during a 4500 Km trip by canoe across Canada, see

Planned initially as a journey for a couple as I have learned the importance of sharing daily human experience when I spent 4 months alone in the Tahitian Islands in 2010; I will be starting off alone as my wife begins another life. People will be invited to join on long or short periods based on their ability to respond to the spirit of the journey. Walking an average of 20km per day, there will be time to stop and stay with people or in wilderness areas that compel one to spend a little time to appreciate the environment. At times night walks, long days in the deserts, and obligatory crossings of car designed environments will require endurance and determination.

At 62 with extensive experience both in the wilderness and achieving objectives, after a carreer as an IT Director in major international firms, I both know that I know nothing of what awaits me yet feel confident and secure that I'll be in Puerto Montt in 2015. As my father would have said “beware of what you want, you might get it”, and though we never know what tomorrow has in store for you, I really want to do this trip and will deal with health and local issues as I meet them. I know that YOU, reading this, and all those I will meet on the way, will join me in spirit, in person and/or help me because sharing our humanity is a means of feeling good about ourselves.

I have always been a wanderer. As my mother in law says “ Pascal would talk to a sitting dog”, meaning I like to meet people, find that in the world there is a community of people who think, feel, experience life as I do and like to share essential parts of themselves with me even if tomorrow or in a few days I move on … to another meeting. I like to teach skills I have, make music, work on a garden or a building project … and most of all share daily life with love.

I tend to take time to prepare a journey acknowledging that age and limited ressources require that you pay attention to details. I'm leaving with 2 donkeys who will carry light loads. This will allow me to walk at a good pace and yet have about one month of food autonomy. Water will be extra weight in regions where it is scarce and needs to be rationned. Donkeys like having company and having 2 will allow for more autonomy and security in case someone twists an anckle, in case one Donkey has a foot problem, etc … Donkeys are sturdy, sure footed and able to live on the land in most environments which is not true of Mules or Horses. Smaller animals, they tend to be easier to care for and are remarkably intelligent contrary to traditional lore.

The journey will be a shared experience. Shared with participants, shared by encounters, shared through blog postings and film making, shared by those who will want to participate in creative manners before, during and after the journey.

Even before starting, just as for all my journeys, I already know that this journey would not be possible without the help of many at all phases of the journey. Hopefully like for my previous journeys where I taught people how to make bread, pizzas, chicken coops, gardens, … this journey will also be a means of bringing to others, in a non commercial/financial relationship, life skills, awareness and important moments in their lives. An example is the collection of berries, plants, etc and offering them in villages against whatever another person wishes to give me (even nothing is ok). This is the only way for me to consider life worthwhile.

The journey will find it's own shape over the 2 to 3 years time frame with regular returns to see family and friends and manage to be present for all as well as deal with administrative stuff. Although basically I expect to reach Puerto Montt in Chili, weather, encounters, health, and many other factors will undoubtedly change my vision, shape the route and give life to a particular trip that will BE LongEars2Chile and not what I can imagine today. Life has always been for me the meeting place between my desires, my ability to make things happen as I would like them to happen and the opportunities, realities and encounters I have made along the route. Who could have predicted meeting the mother of my children at 38, a successful international career, crossing Canada in a canoe … etc and now, much like Martin Luther King, I say “I have a dream” … and let life find it's way to making my vision exist.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pascal,
    Met you last year in Evolution Valley and wondering where you are on your journey now?