The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Goat Bells

IMG_5516We are surrounded by the Titans and their cousins. Anywhere you look, gigantic faces of rock stare back, overpowering any sense of power you thought you had. We can never escape them and they can never escape us, as we are constantly reminded by their mighty thunderstorms. In fact, their mood changes quite often. Within ten minutes, their cotton candy bubblegum hairline is swept away by intense dark winds. Not even the sheep dogs can ward them off.

On our first walk from Megalo to Mikro, I was terrified by their epic presence because they blocked out most of the skyline and left us feeling like we were trekking home from an actual Greek Odyssey. But come three weeks later and near to the end of our journey, the Titans now give me nothing but comfort. They feel like an older brother watching out for us as we hitchhike daily with strangers from around the world or walk 30 minutes in the pitch black.

We’ve not only gotten to watch these timeless creatures from afar, but we’ve gotten to hike their wrinkles and swim in their dimples. They are the purest form everything you can imagine: soil, water, air, donkey waste, and stories. It seems like every resident of Papigo has a personal connection to these mountains.

One of my favorite memories in the Titans was hiking to the Refuge in the pouring rain. As I turned back to see Mikro’s tiny pea body down below, I could see the rain that was about to hit neighboring towns. The mountains gave me the height to be in a cloud and see and feel the rain coming from that cloud. My mind felt like it was going at the speed of nature while seeing the destruction before it happened. The Titans constantly remind me of my place in the universe and the importance of respecting nature like you would any other live creature.

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