Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Travel update from Puno, Peru

Hi Everyone,
Well, I have been in a few places since my last update. I left Sucre with my travelling buddies Laurance and Thomas, both from Belgium. We all took a night bus to Cochabamba and arrived at like 6 in the morning. I HATE THAT!!! It sucks to arrive at such an ungodly hour. We walked all over town, waking up sleeping hotel front desk clerks, trying to find a nice place that wasnt too expensive and wound up in a pretty cool littel HI affiliated hostal. We took a 3 bed room with a private bathroom and a swimming pool. It was kind of expensive by Bolivian standards at 35Bs (about $4.00 US)per person but it was pretty darned nice with cable TV a Pool and free breakfast. It was a good central location too.
Good thing we got a private Bathroom because poor Thomas got pretty sick. Must have been something he ate or drank. You have to be careful in Bolivia. He was in the bathroom mostly all of the second and third day we were all there. I havent heard from him since then as I split on the morning of the fourth day and went to La Paz.
Cocahabamba is an okay city I suppose. It is a huge retail market town. Bolivians come there from all over to go shopping. (Shop till you drop!!)I am not much of a shopper but I enjoyed walking around and looking at all the stuff. Laurence and Thomas split for Santa Cruz on their way to Brazil, I took the high road and went to La Paz on my way to Copacabana on Lake Titicaca.
I only spent a brief time in La Paz. a lot of people really love this city but it didnt really do much for me and I didnt feel too much like exploring.It seemed kind of tense with a very large police and military presence. There have been a lot of problems over an impending bill over the future of natural gas rights in Bolivia and the involvement of about a dozen foriegn Multi Nationals. There was TREMENDOUS unrest there about a month ago and the whole situation settled down before I arrived and now it looks very bad again. I arrived in La Paz at 3 in the afternoon and left at 9 the following morning.
I always wanted to see Lake Titicaca. I dont really know why, I just always have.At 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level it is the highest Navigable lake in the world. It is more than 100 kilometers wide and It has many islands in it. It is a sacred place to the indigenous peoples particularly the Inca who believe it is the "navel" of the world. According to the Inca, on the Isla de Sol The god of the sun created the Inca and so it is thier garden of eden sort of. I went there for a couple of days. It is a gorgeous island with unparalled views of the lake epecially at sundown and sunset. There are some interesting Incan and pre Incan ruins and I explored most of them. I especially liked the Temple of the Sun and the Sacrificial center where animals and virgens were sacrificed to appease the gods.
I wound up staying in Copacabana for about a week (I lose track of time very badly) it may have been longer. I walked on the banks of the lake everyday and sat quitely beneath trees reading and feeding cheese to stray dogs, and watched the sunset over the lake every evening.
The situation has relly deteriorated in Bolivia and there are lots of Blockades on the roads again...piles of stones and burning tires. I was lucky that Copacabana is only a few kilometers from Peru and had no trouble leaving. I met a couple of Canadiens who got tear gassed in La Paz and their bus to Copacabana was delayed 6 hours before a blockade was cleared.
Anyway now I am in Puno which is a large city also on the banks of Lake Titicaca but on the Peru side. I will stay here a couple of nights anyway. I have been eating fresh Lake trout or Kingfish everynight. It is so tasty I cant stop myself. Every night for 8 nights!!!
Peru is much more modern than Bolivia and also more expensive. It is also an hour earlier here. I think I am done with dirt roads for a while.I think Bolivia might be the cheapest country in South America, but Peru is still pretty cheap. I have a nice hotel room with a shared bath and a TV and nice bed with a nice firm matress for 15 soles per night (3.25 sol to the dollar it comes to 4 dollars and change).
I have been studying my spanish real hard the last 5 days or so and I am getting pretty good. I have been also reading a lot of spiritual stuff and feel pretty happy with my pursuit of inner peace and mental freedom.
I read a fantastic book by Miguel Ruiz called "the 4 agreements" which really crystallized a lot of stuff that has been in my own head for a long time. I read it twice. Once in Cochabamba and once in Copacabana. Also re-read Thich Nhans book on personal freedom called "Be free here where you are".
This seems to be what life has come down to for me for a long time now. It has taken 20 months of travel to really have this crystallize for me. I think another phase in my personal development is now eminent. I think my midlife crisis is coming to an end and I am re-discovering who I am and who I want to evolve into. It feels good... Real good! I am getting over a lot of weird stuff from my past and making a lot of new peace treaties with myself and silently forgiving a lot of people from my past who broke my heart a little, and I am accepting My universe the way it is.
So... All is well in my little world right now. I am being a benevolent god in my universe. I lost another inch on my belt and had to have a new hole punched into it to hold up my pants. I shaved my beard and mustache off. So now I look like Yul Brenner, Telly Sevales and Uncle Fester all rolled into one.(been shaving my head since Mid March). So I feel different and look different too. More on my personal observations in the next update. Till then the rest is silence...


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