Magical thinking? or madness? inspires a journey conceived with the best of intentions, at the worst possible time.
ney begin to preview on her ceiling.
When a family of three is reduced through tragedy to a family of two, the surviving sister and mother find their grief pulling them in conflicting directions.
The sister retreats to her bed, blinds closed, phone off, to be left alone, to sleep for months, diagnosis: 'Clinical Depression'.
Three floors up, the mother's despair is manic in nature, plagued with insomnia. Insomnia induces visions, comforting and addictive, of an adventure the family was planning before their loss, a journey soon joined by second adventure, not theirs, not in the beginning:
A proposed high-altitude world-record cycling expedition to the top of the Andes Mountains.
(That this mountain is real, makes the vision all the more realistic.)
Call it a joint venture.
These high-altitude, addictive and comforting night visions escalate, producing greater visions of an inspirational film! Document the (proposed) high-altitude world-record cycling expedition across the Atacama Desert to the top of the Chilean Andes.
This will be a different kind of film. An uplifting film about not giving up! This vision sets everything that happens next - the obsession - in motion.
Now the sleepy daughter is roused from her warm bed, to carry on the family journey, to set a high-altitude world record in the Andes - on her mountain bike, to star in her mother's uplifting film about not giving up!
A frenzy of activity ensues. Some call it MADNESS. Others call it MAGICAL THINKING. Call it what you WISH. The grieving family of two morphs into a CYCLING TEAM, a FILM CREW and FORTY CORPORATE SPONSORS.
This unlikely menagerie depart for SOUTH AMERICA unaware of the woman's unresolved grief - tucked safe inside her backpack are her youngest daughter's ASHES.
That they get to CHILE is the first MIRACLE, but not the last.
Everything that can go wrong does.
At 6,880 meters, OJOS del SALADO is the HIGHEST VOLCANO IN THE WORLD, SECOND highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. From SANTIAGO the route is north, but this group keep heading south. First to TALCA, then to VILCHES, then towards EL ENLADRILLADO - alleged landing site for UFO's.
This is NO Hollywood movie. There's a recession, NO money. And NO mountain guide. Everyone challenges mom's authority, including the 'camp cook', who has bonded with the 'sound person' from hell.
Daughter wants mother to let go (of her little sister's ashes) on the first plateau, so she, big sister, can get on with her life. Mother wants daughter to get on with her life, but not yet, not until they climb the BIG mountain. But the daughter has other plans.
In fact everyone seems to have other plans, including the film crew. The subjects in front of the camera keep mysteriously disappearing, the crew behind the camera winds up in front. They conspire to trick the woman into abandoning her high-altitude, low-budget transcendental film about the HUMAN SPIRIT for reasons she cannot grasp. Yet.
The woman refuses to can her uplifting film and gives the VILLAINS their due.
And then, the unexpected happens...