Joachim has been traveling around the world. He left Paris on his 25th birthday, came back one year later in 2010. And you're here on his travel blog.
Since he came back, he started writing a book: 360 in 365 »

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360 in 365 – Joachim voyage autour du monde

360 in 365 – Joachim voyage autour du monde

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Sunset on my travel’s 287th day.

There is something wildly liberating in biking across mountains and listening to Philip Glass. It builds up along the repetitive rhythm that doesn’t show any sign of change but regulates the speed of the legs motion, the waves of melody coming one after the other as do the ups and downs… The sand on the road halts you but the clarinet introduces a new pattern for the pedaling, the sky, so enormous as if hanging above me and the sun in the face, the lacerated mountain followed by a plain that’s lying about its flatness or a sand dune solely inhabited by ferocious winds, the road follows an amphitheater of rocks and you see sculptures in the distance, made by the forces of earth and the absence of water of vegetation. In the heart of the desert, the brusque and flowing music of Glass belongs to the landscape.

And then comes the moment when the bike can’t go further, the legs ask for relief and the sun hasn’t got lots of time. The music also is over, I rest an instant and I start it again, I climb the path along the dune and follow the path that is too rarely followed by tourists, and find myself at the end of the ridge, where the mountains flows in the valley below and then in the vast expanses of the desert. Far away rocks and hills grip to the sun rays, their shadows extending more and more, the wind starts to push clouds from beyond the horizon, and the moon, at its zenith, is readying for the night.

The moment has come to sit down on the last rock before the cliff, drink some over-sweetened juice and indulge in a coca-flavoured sweet while time itself expands across the valleys rocky flanks. Above me, the sky is cut in half by an airplane trail and I let my thoughts go far away.

And then Philip Glass gives out his last musical breath, the Cordillera stretches rose and orange tints and then melts in the purple of the coming night, the sun gives out its last rays in the turquoise sky and the wind blows cold.

People say that the silence resonating after a Mozart piece is still from Mozart. Glass, I say, spent more time composing the silences after his music than on his music itself. That, or the desert plays with me once again. I’m now deep set in darkness, my bike carries me effortlessly, I fly down the mountain. Scintillating in the distance, San Pedro is but another constellation among countless others.

In my head, the ever flowing music is still resonating, going up and down as if it was the road I’m riding on, trucks drive past me in the ruckus of the winds section, and the wind that blows after they pass makes me think I might not be touching earth anymore. The mountain is nowhere to be found, lost in the blue darkness surrounding me, but the landscape is still fighting, as strong as ever, by habit or by frustration of not being able to stop me forever. At the end of the road I’m back in the little streets bordered by the tiny adobe walls, tourists and wild dogs, Atacameños and locals from elsewhere, nobody knows that the shadow that’s crossing the village like the wind is carrying the mountain back with him ; a handful of mountain seeds in the deep of his shoes.


  1. jolies couleurs ;-)

    Comment by Alban — Jun 18th, 2010 @ 08:48 PM
  2. Tu veux donc nous faire mourir ? Mozart sera toujours Mozart…

    Comment by P'pa — Jun 18th, 2010 @ 09:07 PM
  3. D’habitude je ne commente pas, je me contente de me repaître de tes mots et clichés, mais là avec du Glass et une palette de couleurs pareille pour le ciel, je ne peux que m’exclamer : c’est géant !

    Comment by Violette Bleue — Jun 18th, 2010 @ 09:27 PM
  4. Pas d’autres mots que : Magnifique et grandiose. Bonne continuation !

    Comment by ranjiva — Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:09 PM
  5. J’avais l’impression d’y être… merci…

    Comment by lodie — Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:44 PM
  6. Même si j’y vais souvent; elles sont bien belles tes photos Joachim; la lune elle est petite…(photo mystique) Hahaha… Bonne chance dans la continuation et a bientôt peut-être

    Comment by Nathalie Guay — Jun 19th, 2010 @ 12:13 AM
  7. WOW ! toutes superbes, mais celle du panneau est vraiment excellente !

    Comment by JoNi — Jun 19th, 2010 @ 02:05 PM
  8. Cet article fait sans doute partie des plus beaux que tu as écris ! Magnifique récit, superbes photos.

    Bravo et merci !

    Comment by Pierre — Jun 19th, 2010 @ 02:34 PM
  9. Toutes en couleur!!!

    Je suis super contente: c’est magique pour mes yeux. BRAVO JOJO!

    Comment by Tiziana — Jun 19th, 2010 @ 10:28 PM
  10. Je n’aurai pas du regarder les photos, les images offertes par le texte étaient encore plus belles.

    Magnifique post

    Comment by Naga_ — Jun 21st, 2010 @ 05:14 AM
  11. Bon à défaut de montagne et de désert, je vais m’écouter un peu de Philipe Glass (mais tranquille dans le jardin parce que j’ai toujours pas réparé mon vélo)
    Tes photos sont magnifiques !

    Comment by vi — Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 06:53 PM
  12. Pareil que Lodie..

    Un moment d’évasion dans ma journée.

    Comment by Ludo — Jun 24th, 2010 @ 02:45 PM
  13. A peine s’il était nécessaire d’ajouter des photos après de si jolis mots !….

    Comment by Bergère — Jun 25th, 2010 @ 05:52 PM
  14. Superbe traitement (et photos) ! Bravo Joachim

    Comment by David — Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:30 PM
  15. Merci de nous faire voyager à travers tes photos. C’est juste magnifique et ca nous donne tellement l’envie d’aller voir ailleurs, de lacher un peu notre quotidien.

    Bonne contiuation pour tes voyages :).

    Comment by Charlotte — Jul 10th, 2010 @ 09:11 PM

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