Depicting her van trip into the heart of the Basque Country, Elisa Routa exposes us her most original way of approaching winter.
I think we ran away just after the storm, after that tons of water destroyed our garden. We hit the road to the North trying to avoid the drops.
Our weekends looked like summer holidays. February is a nice month to appreciate our coasts, it makes us forget that they can be horribly invaded. Winter keeps the fresh air of our beloved west coast. At this time of the year, some people just dream about contemplating the Biarritz beach, the stone wall warming their naked back. Face to the ocean, next to an old man wearing a tiny swimsuit and taming his orange face. Some other people prefer enjoying those short moments of desert. I am one of those. I prefer sweater to tops, they match only with skinny teenagers, perched on their 180 sassy centimeters. I prefer woolen socks than taps, and caps to sunglasses. I love coldness for that reason. Moreover, I am thankful for its delicate power to allow love between anonymous, discreetly hidden behind our van’s partitions.
We guide our journey towards to lakes, those extended stationary which are strangers for us. When we come from the turbulent Basque coast, we quickly forget that water can be quiet. Such of softness keep us voiceless. It’s almost 12, time for lunch. We take our pans, there is still fat in them. We are looking everywhere for plastic glasses, and the rest of the perfect camper panoply. The kitchen’s layout is more complicated and simplest at the same time. Without induction or microwave, we need to be creative if we want some exciting food. We also have to feel hungry quite early if we want to eat on time. It’s all about rhythm, we say.
At home, we arrange the dish while singing and the birds answer us. At this time of the year, trees change their colors, fluorescent green carpet at their foot is apparently fashionable. There isn’t a lot of people we can talk to, the only persons we meet are now part of our trip, like a happy memory, like a nice sound in the background we will make our children sing. Lakes have this particularity to wise turbulents souls. They make us sit on old wooden barques, and wondering about our life on Earth.
Where do we run to ? Once arrived to our destination, what are we going to do ?
It may be for that reason we chose to take our time. Then we decided to get a lazy camping gas placed on an aluminium table as a kitchen, 5 liters water bottle as a bathroom, and a 6 square meters box based on 4 wheels … as a house. Yes, it is perhaps this fear of the final destination that determines our lifestyle. We keep rolling like after a intense marathon, with shaking legs and whirring heart. Although our reality gives us cold nose, cold hands and cold head during the nights where we could freeze a pork chop on the hood of the van, you want to feel it. We need to feel it entirely, not just taste it. We chose steel cups and toothbrushes as only whims, because time is slower when you live on the road.
Here is our winter therapy.