Beware the spirit of Basandere should you enter The Forests of Irati. Venture there never alone lest she lead you from the painted path to stumble blind and unwitting into misfortune. The vivid palette and richest scents will bring lightness to your resolute soul and a yearning to understand the age old wisdom of the stones but it will nonetheless escape you, just as the newt knows nothing of the written word and the mountains are deaf to the raven’s song.
Bracing a beech tree and expecting to be overcome by its earthbound strength I was surprised to feel my heartbeat race. I felt rejection or anger:it is still unclear to me but I had to step away disillusioned. Where was the peace and the bond with nature? Why did I not understand? Estranged and confused I retreated and decided to do what man usually does, ignore the signs and shrug the evidence off as a figment of my imagination.
I was after all a stranger here. The Gods of old live on in these ancient Havens and we are trespassers, hated and shunned by them. Ignorant pests at best.
And so, baffled I headed north towards the parking lot intent on continuing my photography tour further east near the reservoir. It was about a 2 kilometer walk downhill and I wanted to get there for the blue hour before dusk. Ahead of me the path narrowed and as I approached I ducked and swayed to avoid my jacket getting torn by the branches. I was unsure on the slippery floor heavy with leaves and clay moist from the day’s rain. I should have seen that it was a trap. One of her wile deceptions.
Too late. My right foot shot forward and I lost balance. I remember trying to swivel as I fell to avoid damaging my camera gear but my left boot was rooted to the floor, glued. Hinging backwards I heard the bones in my leg snap. I let out a roar of pain as I hit the mud and the forest was silent……and dark. Darker.
She had me….
Beware the spirit of Basandere should you enter The Forests of Irati.