“The best thing I like is the silence” said he.
“Yeah but it is too silent” replied I, still not completely divorced from the urban surrendering.
We started the trek, punctuated by frequent stopping to make pictures.
“Why are you whistling so often, you might attract some dogs” I joked, or so I thought.
“On the contrary, if you make enough noise the wild animals stay away. This I learnt from part time hunters and campers who frequent these areas.”
The term “wild animals” stopped me in my tracks. “Don’t scare me” I said expecting that he would say that he was just joking. But Radu is one of those rare specimens who is incapable of lying.
“But if a lone animal comes face to face it can be very dangerous. Do you see these areas where the earth looks ploughed? These are the unmistakable signs of wild boars”
My encounter with wild boars began and ended within the pages of Asterix’s adventures. I relapsed into my panic mode. No photograph could be worth it if I were to die in the process of making it. And all the while Radu was making casual strides and those frequent noises. The burning fire of a budding photographer died long ago. To request that we turn back would be a great ego issue. I am scared but how can I let him know that I am scared.
Adding further ignominy was the climb, though not steep still arduous. Physical exercises stopped long ago and the body had accumulated layers of fat and the sedentary work style did not help either.
“Do not rush! This is the mantra for climbers. Take it easy and once the body is acclimatized you can go on for a long time.”
Whatever gave him the idea that I was rushing. The labouring breath was a result of agonized lungs.
The long walk through a dense growth that bordered on being labeled a jungle went on.
I understood what Radu meant when he said there is nothing called too silent!