Horizon beyond the mountains

This post is part of my Mexico travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery

It was dawn, my favourite time of the day. The sun had just begun rising and I opened my eyes only to find myself looking directly at it. Its soft golden rays, filtering through the tinted windows, had lit up the interiors of the bus which was now making a sharp turn on the winding road of the northern mountain ranges (Sierras del Norte) in Guerrero, Mexico.

“¡Baja, por favor!”
I hurriedly asked the driver to let me off as the bus passed a sign that said El Mirador (lookout point). He said something about the destination (Taxco) being far, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to disembark – right then right there.

The view of the valley and the mountain ranges (Sierra Madre del Sur) across the valley was spectacular. The sun, rising behind me, had started gradually illuminating the valley below. The lofty mountain peaks were draped in a layer of mist that was fast disappearing as I hiked to El Mirador. The morning breeze was cold, but gentle. Little dandelions and wild flowers, with their petals closed and drenched in dew, were swinging in rhythm as I walked to the edge of the cliff beyond the bush beside the road. There was hardly any sign of human presence, except for the glow from the flickering yellow lights from a village in the valley below.

I put my backpack on a rock and sat close to the edge, looking at the horizon. The shapes at the edge of the sky looked so far and remote that I couldn’t distinguish which ones were clouds and which ones were mountains. But the more I looked the more I could see. Magically, the distant mountains became visible. I could vividly picture rustic scenes like a farmer cleaning his plough, a milkman loading his aluminium container and things like that. It was just my imagination but I even felt my partner sitting next to me, sharing this view, looking at the horizon and feeling what I felt.

I felt free.

For over a year, I was trapped in a concrete jungle in an urban routine, and the furthest [sic] I could see from my bedroom window was the apartment across the street. My eyes were probably unaccustomed to looking beyond that and my mind found it prohibiting to think beyond the barrier. I had forgotten that the horizon existed and that it was possible to experience things beyond what’s obvious and in front of you. Mountains are challenges, not limitations.

↑ The Himalayas. Surefire way to feel humbled and trivial.

I think it’s useful to see the horizon once in a while to remind oneself that life has more to it than petty issues around bill payments and personal egos. I’m glad I’m not the only one who hiked a hill at sunrise and came back with a revelation.

So, when was the last time you saw the horizon?

This post is part of my Mexico travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery