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What started in the mountain will merge with the sea.

It has been seven days since we started walking and Club del Río's "Montaña" is playing while the photographs of the last few days are projected on the wall. The lyrics of the song say that it all started in the mountain as a blue water sprout. It has been almost a week since that moment. We arrived at the meeting point filled with a feeling of nervousness and excitement, coupled with high doses of uncertainty. We were eager to meet our new companions and to start the adventure we had been imagining for nights.
The "teachers" from Madrid Outdoor Education and Soñar Despierto helped us to select, pack and evaluate our material to start the expedition. We had to choose which things were essential, how to insulate our bag to avoid it getting wet in case of rain, the order of priority inside the backpacks, how many clothes and how much water we would need?

That first day we met Manuela, a liter and a half canteen with the air of an antenna phone, to whom we could ask all our doubts: what happened with our cell phones, where we would get food in the mountain, how we would get around the large reservoir or how we should act if wild animals appeared. Manuela clarified some of our questions, although she left behind secrets that we would discover as the days went by.

And so the expedition began! We learned how to place our backpacks strategically to avoid overloading our shoulders, divided the food we would eat that morning and took the first step. And then another. Each step embraced the one in front of us. And suddenly there was a rhythm, and a quiet rumble that vibrated next to our legs. It was a shy scent at first, an elusive air that moved the leaves of the trees as we left them behind, or a ray of light that surprised us as we crossed the next bend. We came to a tunnel. At that moment we did not know its meaning. We did not understand that once we crossed it, we would leave behind many of the burdens we brought from home, vague ideas and worries, and even secret fears from the bottom of our hearts. We did not know that those of us who crossed that day "to the other side", where the amazing landscape of the Compuerto reservoir awaited us in the shadow of the Espigüete and Curavacas peaks, would not be the same, just a few days later. Perhaps we could only predict a little more tan on our skin, some extra wounds and bites or a layer of dust on top of our bodies. We couldn't imagine that we would go in as a team, but that we would come out hand in hand. As a family.

We grabbed the map and compass and began to orient the whole group. We conquered the top of the church of San Lorenzo, where we slept on the porch and sheltered by the generosity of Valcobero, a village that lost its name of abandoned village just 13 years ago. We met Rudolf, the most faithful friend in our most intimate moments. Some of us discovered the charm of a portable shower with water from the spring and others wet our feet on the shore of the reservoir. We cooked dinner for the first time with water, stoves, and heart. That's how the magic began. Without realizing it.
That first day was followed by kilometers in our boots, fire circles, clearings with views, reflections in the starlight, nights in the open and hugs (an army of hugs!). We set up bivouacs with poles, pita and raffia awnings.

We conquered a beech forest in the Sierra de Canales, passing the Tenada del monte to reach the level of the reservoir, where we loaded our luggage in kayaks and changed means of transport. We arrived at a camp where we were awakened by a herd of cows the next morning. We felt the caresses of butterflies and some of us were even able to see roe deer, crabs and other fauna of the Palencia mountains.

Our last night of the expedition we enjoyed a sunset
stolen by the refuge of Cristo Sierra. Wrapped in our sacks, the sky enveloped the dreams of those of us who closed our eyes before the stars went out.

We arrive at the last photo of this trip and that murmur sounds again. It merges with the chords of a song that perhaps we will forget. Because of its shyness, because it will be hot for the rest of the summer, because we will return to the life that awaits us elsewhere. However, there is an echo that will persist inside every time that this step will be followed by the next, and then the next, and the next, and the next. It will be like a heartbeat that we don't need to understand each time we decide to keep walking. And as the song says, what began in the mountain will merge with the sea.