John Steinbeck said that it is not people who make trips, “but travel that makes people.” Readers of El Viajero have shown this with the 1,806 stories they have sent to participate in the contest your best summer trip. From León to the Andes, adventures where it doesn’t matter if fate is around the corner or on the other side of the planet. The three winners —Miguel Ángel González (first prize), Cristina Cabrera (second prize) and Francisco de Paz (third prize)— lead us to a bonfire in the Kalahari desert, to the busiest crossing of zebra crossings in Tokyo and the Alberche River, very close to Madrid. Now it is their turn to travel again, with Logitravel, to the islands of Tahiti, to Paris and to Toulouse, to experience new experiences. In these pages, we collect ten stories that are among the most inspiring of those received. We enter San Isidoro de León to see the fabulous Romanesque paintings or visit the Argentine glacier Perito Moreno, with its breathtaking cliff of ancient ice.
The Years Don’t Count in the Desert, by Miguel Ángel González
The deformed feet along the way, the cracked skin, a permanent smile that allowed to see the holes that the loss of teeth had left. The night, Clear over the Kalahari. We sing, dance, and dream around the embers of the bonfire. Then I got close to him. – How old are you? – Depends on the day, some days I feel 20 and others 50. How long has it been since I was born? I have No idea. But who cares?
Tiny in the Crowd, by Cristina Cabrera
I close my eyes and concentrate surrounded by the peculiar sound of the traffic lights of this city. I never thought I’d cross half the world to find myself at a crosswalk. And yet, there I am, excited. Tiny in the crowd; huge by the dream at last fulfilled. As I walk away from Hachiko, I discover a world as NAIF as provocative, vibrant, and, above all, unique. I want to stay right now forever. As in the Blue House song, near Shibuya, I found a new ocean.
African Adventure Next to Home, by Francisco de Paz Tante
The Riverside overflowed with Umbria and mystery. With a rope, I dragged the boat. Surcábamos the Congo, and warning them of the dangers that we stalked. And they, who were only five and eight, looked at me with astonishment. I, who had read Conrad, looked for Kurtz in the trees. Then, with the boat already in the trunk of the car, as we walked away from the Alberche, in his eyes still throbbed the emotions lived. And I still felt the thrill of that journey into the heart of darkness.
Look up There, by Alba Palmerín Donoso
When I went in there, I felt small. It may have influenced him that he really was; he was six years old. Perhaps everything was a product of the different atmosphere that reigned in that place of Leon, the Sistine Chapel of the Romanesque, they call it. I thought, ” why decorate it so much? If this is the pantheon of Kings and they are dead, they cannot enjoy it.” However, sometimes I am surprised to imagine myself there, a cool place even in summer, with its colorful ceiling that puts the counterpoint to the blackness of death.
Fly the Butterfly, by Eduardo Fernán-López
Sitting in front of an old convent demolished by a never-ending earthquake, he was savoring a word that had just been heard for the first time: a slipper. As she uttered it in a low voice for fear of being snatched away by some passerby, she felt her escape from her lips, ascend in the air helped by the breeze of the river until she joined with the gentle colors of Alfama. Seeing her uneasiness at the loss of such a beautiful word, a young woman approached her and whispered to her old ear, “bobblehead means butterfly.”
A Walk in the Clouds, by Francisco Royo Hernández
There are no surveys, no surveys, no estimates of how many men on Earth have been able to step into the sky; to afford to take a walk through the clouds. My biggest and the best trip was in the Uyuni region of Bolivia. On that journey, we passed through the sound of a desert dream, of selfish lagoons that had kept all the colors and, finally, a magical place where the rain had caused the cloud border that separated to be lost.