in June im going to thru-hike the Pyrenees mountain range in the south of France on my own, camping all the way, getting up with the sunrise and getting down with nature.
throughout the 900km, 50 day pilgrimage im taking a vow of silence. I’ve done some research that closing your mouth can significantly cut down on mumbo-jumbo in the brain. Combined with a steady, everyday dose of the ‘shoelace express’ my incessant brain should wear itself out. upon that point i most eagerly anticipate a profound sense of clarity kicking in as i listen to the crickets and little streams. I’m looking for input from my most humble fellow human beans. Who have anything to say-
maybe people will start following me like in Forest Gump-hike style…
Or maybe ill get eaten by a bear…
@peractopaulo, Don’t think there are bears there, but heck yeah, GO FOR IT!!! And don’t expect anything from the experience – don’t want anything from the experience – just be the experience (yeah, yeah, so clique, I know) – ahem. Peace, Love & Light ~ ricky
Awesome man! I love trekking. It is a meditation of its own plus the combination of being in the mountains is just awesome. I finished a 12 day trek in the Himalayas a couple months ago and felt the vitality of my body, the immensity of the mountains and the clear sky was reflected in my mind. The whole world became crystal clear. Best of luck traveller, and please report back (dont forget to message me, or else I fear I will miss out! ;))
@peractopaulo, I have done some solo trekking and vows of silence, nothing like the amount that you propose just a few days each.
A couple of questions:
-have you experimented with vows of silence before? Granted it is much different when you are “in” society, but it might be worth some experimentation before you leave.
-Do you plan to journal. This is a great way to have conversation yet not speak.
-Also I have found that speaking when no one is there is also quite liberating and exciting. If peractopaulo speaks in the forest does anybody hear…sort of philosophy.
The solo trek itself sounds amazing and life changing. I am a bit of an extremist at times so it would be just like me to say, “hey I am going to do a 900k hike. Hey, I got an idea I will do it all by myself…..(next day), I know I will take a vow of silence as well:)))”. That is a little on how my brain works.
But just my 2cents, take what you will leave the rest. It sounds in all ways EPIC.
@rickyferdon, thanks for the best wishes.
Bears died out in 91 but were reintroduced in 96, although theres only 20 odd it still makes me think about it.
i read somewhere that theres a higher chance of being struck by lightening but i often wonder how these statistics and odds are calculated.
peace, love and vegetables!
@peractopaulo, Is this hiking close to the Camino de Santiago hike? I know that is in the north of spain, but not sure if it too goes through the pyrenees mountain range. I am doing the Camino in July with my Sister, cousin and his friend, over a 28 day period. As far as the vow of silence, I cant say dont do it, but I could suggest reasons to do otherwise; You will undoubtedely cross path with a whole variety of different people doing the same trek as you are. People from all over the world, with all different stories and reasons for doing the journey. The stories they have would be utterly fascinating, once in a liftetime experiences of meeting such people(most of us dont get to meet people from all over the world on a day to day occasion, especially ones on spritual journeys). They may have questions for your answers, or answers for your questions, or maybe neither, rather just provide one hell of a time. I feel like you would be doing yourself a diservice of taking a vow of silence and just keeping to your head through all of that. You have an oppurtunity to learn so much from so many. You could still take hours out each day to walk alone and be silent, as well as sit alone to meditate or what not. But to do the entire journey in silence without the chance of hearing these stories might not give you as much as the latter would.
Of course this is just a suggestion, and you should do what your heart tells you is the best for you right now. One of the main reasons I am doing the Camino is because of my friend who did it two years ago. He told me such stories of the people he met, the adventures he had with them. He did the entire trek alone, but he said he spent days walking and camping with strangers, and by the end of it all he had dozens of new friends, many who he still keeps in touch with. Good luck on your quest, I hope you find what it is you are looking for.
hi there, thanks for the input.
i have practiced daily vows as and when my people polluted lifestyle allows!!
i do plan to journal, mostly in relation to my progress in hiking terms as i have a blog i will launch containing training, problems encountered and overall experience that might aid other folks doing the GR10 in the future.
i suppose a small spritual guide will be kept to to make sure i dont go bonkers unbeknownst to myself!
your last paragraph about being an extremist i could of written myself, we are singing off the same hymn sheet there!
although i do air on the side of ‘extreme endurance’ as opposed to ‘extreme danger’ I did a few hikes in the Pyrenees that were ‘slip n die’ in certain sections, i dont know how much i dig that kind of hiking. i think about it afterwards and my poor brain has awful trouble processing the sequence of events-i think a failsafe kicks in and i start thinking about rainbows and rabbits to retain the little shreds of sanity.
being Irish ive only ever been exposed to mole hills and potholes in terms of mountains!!
what kind of extreme stuff have you done? any nice Mountain ranges where your at?
firstly, thanks for taking the time to write.
i appreciate your points and most of my friends have echoed the same sentiments.
some of the reasons im doing this hike-
one of my main aims is to get as close to nature as i can. i hope to camp every night (this is for financial reasons as much as any other!) so i wont have the chance to interact with people at the Gites and refuges. not having much French and less Spanish there will be restrictions to the levels of interaction i can have.
having said all that i fully appreciate what your saying, 12-15 days in on a vow of silence and i bump into a nice group of people… there isnt much point in avoiding a chance to make friends.
i thought of doing the Camino but due to its exponential rise in popularity over the last 10-15 years its extremely difficult to find your pace let alone some inner calm.
the most traditional starting point of the Camino is in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port which starts in the most SW point of France, the Camino Frances, just south of the Pyrenees. i will start the GR10 an hour west of Saint Jean at Hendaye.
Traditionally the starting point is the doorstep of your own home so the GR10 of France, which traverses the Pyrenees east to west, is a natural choice for anyone travelling from Eastern Europe and Asia. there are some inspiring stories of people who have walked from all over-new Zealand and Israel being two ive heard of.
i really dont mean to rain on your parade yoinkie but check out this thread on the Camino,
this guy had done all the big ones, Appalachian trail, cross continent divide and the GR10 and i have much respect for him.
i hope this doesnt deter you but rather gives you an insight to it a little better,
peace, love and vegetables.
@peractopaulo, Hey man, this sounds awesome. I know that Walter Russel says that getting close to nature is the best way to connect with the universe and I totally agree. I think you will have a great experience no matter what. Don’t forget to tell us about it though I would love to hear how it went.