Eduardo & Lucy
Algarve, Portugal | Chapter 6 of 6

Bring Me to Myself

A meditation on climbing and how we connect to nature during our adventures near and far.
We headed inland toward Rocha da Pena to connect with Lucy and Eduardo for a day of climbing in the Algarve region of Portugal.
Once off the main highway, the pace of the day slowed considerably as we meandered through small villages on dirt roads. Once we arrived at the trailhead, there was a small market for coffees and popsicles, and a small almond tree where we sat in the shade and foraged for the perfectly ripe nut to crack.

As we set out on the hike, as we approached the rock, as the day spun and the sun set, we all struggled mightily to hang onto the final moments of this journey. To no avail.

With every prAna trip, we set out to perfect the art of coming and going. But after this trip, we’ve realized that leaves out perhaps the most important part, the most difficult part on this trip in particular: the art of leaving. We don’t know if this is the right approach, but maybe the best way to do it is to never leave, to always be present and in touch with this experience and everyone here.

THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING TEAM

Each of you played an important role in the success of this trip, and we are forever grateful. But more importantly, we will forever treasure and remember our time with you. We learned a great deal about the place, the people, and ultimately, ourselves. We gathered more stories than we could ever crystallize and share, and unearthed a well of creative energy. How do you say thank you for all of this?

All of these memories and experiences circulate around this amazing gravity of Portugal, ultimately defined by this family of people here. The draw, the call of Portugal rings loudly, and continues to reverberate through each day we’ve been home. We hope we can hear it always, but we know better. Maybe this is saudade? When the whisper of Portugal becomes too low to hear, when the warmth of this family fades from the everyday, you can bet we’ll be back with our families in tow.
Thank You, Lucy
Coming to the end of this journey, we were all so grateful for this time with you. The peace in your heart was infectious, and much-needed. From the time we spent on the approach, to the quiet moments of preparation, to watching you on the ascent, your calming presence washed away the exhaustion and stress, and reminded us to look around. We enjoyed the views of the Algarve mountains, the heat of the rock, and the beautiful sunset because you allowed us the space to unplug from the frenzy of this adventure, and reconnect with nature.
Thank You, Eduardo
The energy in your heart glows brightly, day or night. The vibrancy, the excitement, the positivity, it all shines through your eyes and inspired all of us, energized everyone of us on this final day on the shoot. Watching you on the approach and the ascent, it’s almost as if you leave this wake of energy in your tracks, as if the day can’t quite keep up with you. We are grateful for the chance to try and keep up with you. We have a refreshed perspective on the potential in each of our hearts, thanks to you and your enduring energy.
Lucy
Lucy
Lucy
A Conversation with Lucy
Introductions

My name is Luciana Melo. I’m Brazilian, from S?o Paulo.

How Did You Get Into Climbing?

About seven years ago, a friend took me to a climbing gym. By the second day, I felt a connection to it.

In Brazil, we say the bug bit you. And I felt it… it's like I've really taken a sting and I don't know… the challenge, being something different, the body awareness… that's exactly when I started my path in yoga and I felt that the two fit together a lot, and since then I've been doing both. Though I prefer to climb outside whenever possible.

Why Do You Prefer to Climb Outside?

When I started climbing, I had no idea of the world of climbing. I saw the indoor gym and didn't even understand that this… that was a simulation of something outdoors. Since I was a child, I have been very linked to nature. I have always lived a lot on the beach and near the forest. I have a very strong connection with nature, and I think what brings me out is this, because nature brings me to myself.

Why Climbing? Why is This Activity Important to You?

Climbing for me has always been meditation. So, I think integrating our internal nature with external nature, it’s what climbing is for me.

But I think my biggest goal is to be able to spend the most time out there exploring my body more and more, learning from the falls, learning from the hardships and bringing it into my life. I learn these lessons here climbing, and then bring it into real situations in my life.

Right Before You Begin Your Ascent, What’s Going Through Your Head?

I don’t have much preparation. I end up using what yoga brought me. I use my breath a lot, bringing to consciousness and putting in my mind that everything is fine, that is all right. I don't have much of a ritual, but I try to use my breath a lot to calm down, instead, and to be aware that anytime I can come down anytime I want.

It has to be a fun thing. If I don't want it anymore, if it's not doing me good and I’m there in the middle, I just ask to go down and get down and calm down.

When You’ve Reached the Top, What Are You Feeling?

Well, the feeling of reaching the top, sometimes I don't know… It's just a feeling that it's over, that's it, let's go to the next one. Because I feel that the process was the most important part. It was worth it, and, of course, if I spend a lot of time training a route, wanting to conquer that top… getting up there is like...

I conquer the route because it is as if I discover that the whole process, the whole discipline, the whole process was real, it was worth it. It’s an incredible feeling, but… I can’t explain it.

What is the Most Important Lesson You’ve Learned From Climbing?

That is a tough question. We can't be what we want all the time, can we? So there are things in life that we have to stop and we have to go back and we have to deal with the process over and over again; the weakness, conquering everything you have achieved again, from your skin, muscles and mental condition. So, I think this impermanence and instability of climbing also teaches you in real life how to… a lot of other things, that not everything is permanent. So, we learn to deal with this impermanence, that life has to put you at that moment, and that we can withstand and persevere.

If We Tell Our Audience One Thing About Portugal...

One of the things I would recommend most to people who come and are interested in experiencing nature climbing is this: rather than wanting to be in the basic way of tourism of having the opportunity to observe the nature from above, from the top, whether from the castle or wherever, is that you really experience being inside it. Touch it. Touch the rock. Feel the energy of when you are climbing.

That energy that's in the rock, the trees, the wind. What's in there, you know? Feeling the sensations of nature and not only watching, just as the surfer goes to the sea, he is not there just watching, he is in there feeling it. So come with an open mind to go into nature and respect what is hers, know how to get in there and whatever you carry with you, you carry with you when you leave. You are there to look, feel, and observe, and then leave without taking anything from her. Leave her there, intact.
Eduardo
Eduardo
Eduardo
A Conversation with Eduardo
Introductions

My name is Eduardo Lacerda and I’m from Lisbon, Portugal.

What Are We Up to Today?

It is the first time I have come to climb Rocha da Pena in the Algarve. I have been told very good things about this site and I am looking forward to climbing here today.

We are going to climb the Carpe Diem sector and, specifically on the track that gives Carpe Diem 6C its name. It's an amazing area, and I can't wait to try it out.

When You Are Going to Climb, What’s Your Typical Day Look Like?

On a normal climbing day, we wake up quite early, have breakfast, then we always have a long trip to the cliff, usually about an hour to an hour and a half. We get there, and we get to the bottom of the cliff, and then there’s always another short walk because the climb is always by the sea, and we have to walk an hour to an hour and a half.

So once we’re by the cliff, we have to equip, warm up, and start enjoying, which isn’t hard climbing by the sea, always in amazing places.

Why Climbing? Why is This Activity Important to You?

The pace of our lives today is very high. We are always on the go, in the university, training, and rock climbing outside is essential to keep up the pace. For me, it is essential. If I do not rock climb for a long time, it seems that I feel meaningless in life, that everything is in a huge hurry.

Sometimes it's hard because, especially when we are testing a hard line, we just want to go back and try it, but patience is a very important part of the game because if we don't rest and don't take the time to train, we will always be wasting our time going there again and again because we are not really ready to go there.

And then whenever a new track is over, then begins a new search for the new goal, the new project we will devote our time to again, and then we refocus and keep going..

Right Before You Begin Your Ascent, What’s Going Through Your Head?

These are very interesting thoughts because before trying a very difficult project that I know will be my limit, I always have a certain—I feel kind of reluctant once approaching the climb because I know it will be a hard time physically. It will be a moment of suffering, of overcoming, but as soon as I start climbing, my head gets clear, and I just want to do my best and see how far I can get.

You Used to Compete in Triathlons, but Now Climbing is Your Focus, Why?

Yeah I did triathlons and trained two to three times a day. I did this during high school. When I was introduced to rock climbing, I climbed once a week for fun. My coach never liked that, but I did it simply because I liked it, and at some point, I realized that rock climbing was already filling a space that deserved more attention. I started to dedicate myself more to climbing and had to eventually abandon triathlon because I really wanted to climb.

What is the Source of This Beautiful Energy in Lisbon and Portugal?

I think the energy comes from the people themselves. I think the Portuguese have a way of relating to each other and all kinds of travellers, very different from anywhere in the world. People are affectionate at first, have a different look. I've already been to various parts of the world, and I can say that Lisbon is different in this way.

How Does This Energy Inspire You?

Lisbon is a very active city that fills me with energy and causes a rush of excitement in me. I love the city center and the energy, but that also inspires me to go rock climbing and get out of the city itself. Not because I want to escape from Lisbon, but because we all carry a deep connection to nature, and it fuels that collective energy.

If We Tell Our Audience One Thing About Portugal...

To come prepared to meet very welcoming people and to enjoy as much as possible. At the moment, climbing is still in a very early stage in Lisbon and in Portugal, but it is developing rapidly, and everyone is welcome. I think they bring potential positive things by coming to Lisbon and Portugal, and to experience climbing in Portugal, which is an amazing thing.
Inspired by Portugal
Our Spring 20 collection is inspired by Sintra, Lisbon, and Algarve in Portugal. During our stay, we connected with an amazing collective of people who call Portugal home, and embody prana, the universal energy that surrounds us all. We visited their favorite spots to practice their passion, then interviewed them to find out what makes Portugal so special, and how the country inspires positive change.
EDUARDO

EDUARDO

“If I do not rock climb for a long time, it seems that I feel meaningless in life, that everything is in a huge hurry.”

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LUCY

LUCY

“Climbing for me has always been meditation.”

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ANNA

ANNA

“Before surfing, if I look back on my life, I feel like I was just drifting but surfing gave me this structure.”

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LIZZY

LIZZY

“If I’m not in a mood to create, I just respect that because I think we have different ways to express ourselves.”

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JOANA

JOANA

“This sea and these rocks are what gave me strength and purpose in this life.”

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NICOLAU

NICOLAU

“As a child, I invented and named sites and somehow created a map in my imagination that I still own and use today.”

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MAZARI

MAZARI

“Being born near the sea gives you strength and shapes you in an incredible way.”

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FRANCISCO

FRANCISCO

“Perhaps we should learn to slow down our rhythms so that they look more like the rhythms of nature”

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PITCH

PITCH

“I would say that Lisbon is about joie de vivre, it’s about being in a good mood every day, it’s wandering the streets and being happy, a simple life.”

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DIOGO

DIOGO

“Every Portuguese carries the energy of the ocean with them.”

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FILIPA

FILIPA

“Whenever I sing, after that I feel fresher and lighter.”

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RICARDO

RICARDO

“These cars are the shape of freedom.”

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JOANA

JOANA

“My dance comes from a creative impulse within me to express myself artistically.”

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MAURO

MAURO

“It is becoming less of a secret that Lisbon has such an incredible energy and is so full of art and creativity.”

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ANNA

ANNA

“I don’t find being vegetarian restricting, it’s a moral standpoint to me and if anything a conversation starter.”

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RITA

RITA

“I’m in a happy place when I’m cooking vegan food and bringing family and friends together with a really delicious meal.”

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FRANCISCA

FRANCISCA

“Our culture rotates strongly around the ocean and our deep knowledge and respect for it.”

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TIAGO

TIAGO

“Portugal in general, and Lisbon in particular, are one of the places in the western world where there is respect and consideration for ecology in the way we do things.”

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MANU

MANU

“I don’t do anything without connecting myself with nature.”

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RITA

RITA

“I feel like I'm doing good capoeira practice, or teaching well, when I feel that people can disconnect a little, that is, get out of their own heads and interact with the group or the place.”

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INDIA

“The big change for this more sustainable life is in the young people who travel and study abroad.”

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DASHA

“Portugal is an incredibly creative country that is very inspired and values the beautiful nature that they have in their country.”

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LISA

“After many years of traveling, about three years ago we came to Portugal and found it to be the perfect place to start our yoga retreats, events, and teacher trainings.”

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NAZARENO

“I grew up in the world of martial arts and when I was about 23 years old I started practicing Asthanga Yoga…”

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BY MAILBY EMAIL
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