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.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I was on Pangkor Island and took a nice walk in the jungle there with a white girl from Zimbabway. We were off in search of a waterfall and were told it ws an easy to follow trail that would only take us about 30 minutes to walk. We got lost 4 times and finally found it after 2 hours. it was a crummy little falls because it is the dry season. I should say the drier season because it it never really dry here. but anyway the walking was nice. Quite a bit cooler under the canopy than on the beach. Saw a lot of monkeys and lots of cool birds lizards and butterflies. We found the trail that we had lost at the waterfall the one with the three red dots on the trees and decided to follow it out.
Big mistake!! After about 25 minutes the trail just ended in dense jungle growth and Michele noticed a bloodspot on her sock. Peel the sock down to find 6 leeches happily making a lunch of her blood. more on her other ankle and I too had about 10 all toghether. These are the grossest creatures on this green earth. I dont know what the goddess was thinking the day she make leeches. Bloody hell. As we backtracked we found the spot on the trail where the leeches hung out. They were in the leafmeal on the trail. There were hundreds of them standing on their tails waiting for something warm to pass so they could leech on and suck yer blood. We moved quickly ourt of there but sill got attached by a few and had to stop later to get them off. Before they leech on they are as thin as a sewing needle, so thin they move in between the threads of your clothing, but in a moment they swell up like a 10 pennie nail from being bloated on your blood.
When they bite you they secrete some chemical that is like novocaine and you dont feel them on you. they secrete another chemical which is an anti co-agulant so you keep bleeding for like an hour after they are finelly removed. Shit! I threw my bloody socks way(they had a couple of holes in them anyhow...).
So now a week later in the Cameron Highlands I have been trecking some more. Much nicer more dense virgin rainforest Jungle here. From an altitude of about 1100meters (3,500 feet) I set out early on path number one alone.Very well marked trail. You cant get lost because you cant mover more than 5 or 10 feet off the trail without a machete the jungle is that dense!! I hiked to 1900 meters over 4 km it took 2.5 hours. It was so steep in places that I had to climb on all fours! The trees here have lots of above ground roots so you have to watch your step not to trip. in the steepest parts it is cool because they act like a ladder. Jolly good fun!! Hot and muddy. here it rains everyday. It is cooler in the canopy, of course, but when I got to the top of the hill, I was muddy all over and my tee shirt was drenched in sweat as was the bandanna on my head.
A couple of days later I go off again into the rainforest in CAmeron Highlands this time with an English guy called Roland, whom I had met at Daniesls lodge where I have been staying in Tana Ratah for the last 5 days. We hiked along a path called 9a to Robinsons waterfalls. Very nice hike. The jungle here was a lot less dense. good falls but the trail goes past them and you only get to look at them from a steep ridge. The falls are about 30 meters below and no obvious way to get down to them and try swimming, too bad as the pool beneath the falls looked inviting. So another 4 km along the same trail till it ended out in a large vegetable farm near a paved road.
We followed the road to another road junction and walked a half kilometer and found a honey bee farm with a tasting room! What luck! Jaahh I love honey!! I had already bought some Malaysian honey to put in my tea so I didnt want to be bogged down with more. We did the cheap-ass-backpacker thing and tasted everything he had and didnt buy anything. It was a fun experience.the guy didnt seem to mind as we were the only ones in the tasting room anyway.
Walked out to the road and saw a sign for our town of Tana Ratah and it was 9km up hill on a paved road with rain clouds overhead. This didnt seem promising so We hitch hiked and got a lift into town just as the afternoon rains began.
I am really enjoying Malaysia. The people here are super friendly. i have had good luck in my lodgings too. The place here in the Highlands is very laid back and the staff are truly exceptional. They make a bonfire everynight and there are loaner guitars and everyone who knows how to play picks a few tunes and we all sit around and play pool and tell traveller stories. They have a beer bar too and they sell some soft drinks so even a light-weight like me can have a few laughs and not feel out of place, drinking my pineapple or mango juice... They also have a DVD lounge with about 900 free DVD movies and a nicely stocked book exchange. A good place to lay low for a few days, i am glad i came.
Tomorrow morning I will go to the east coast to an island group called Perhentians. There are a couple of nice islands there in the group and I will stay on Kecil which is one of the smallest of the populated islands. here, I am said to find the best snorkelling and scuba diving in Malaysia. I will soon let you know. As always I will leave you all with a couple of thoughts from some pretty smart people. No more political shit for a while I promise!!( some of you are sooooo sensitive!)
"The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed"- J.Krishnamurti
"When preparing to travel lay out all your clothes and all your money.
Then take half the clothes and twice the money."- Susan Heller
Peace out.
Rambling Robert

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Greetings from Malaysia,
I am now gone from India after 4 months and three weeks there. i stayed all this time in the south, never going farther north than Udaipur in the West or Tirupati in the East. I shall return (some day) and tour the north but I dont know when. I will be here in Malaysia until 4/6/07 when I jet to hongkong for a week and from there who Knows?
The last week in Chennai, was spent at the Krishnamurti Learning Center on Greenwsays road in South Chennai. It was very how shall I say "enlightening" I really learned a lot about myself and the chattering of my mind and I met a ot of fantastic people, some a little ahead of me and some a little back of me on this path to find what is and where i stand in the Universe.
Bloody HOT!! the whold final week it was like 42 to 46(108-115F) in the day and 28 to 32 (82 to 90F) at night...Hottest place I have ever stayed. Like Seville in summer. Too damn hot. taking 5 showers per day and standing under the ceiling fan naked to dry/cool off.
NOw Malaysia with its 32(90F) degree days and 22(74F) degree nights seems so cool and refreshing. totally jet lagged in Kuala Lumpur and not in the mood at all for yet another crowded dirty asian city, i arrived at 5 am and took a sleek wonderful clean modern train to the Central station then a bus to the bus stop and then a wonderful slick A/C thick cushy comfy chair bus to Lumut and then a ferry to Palau Pangkor. Which is where I am.
This is a lovely but very small island off the west coast not too far from Thailand. I got a cheap little A frame room very basic just a nice comfy mattress on the floor and a ceiling fan and a light, with a shared bath for 6USD and a 5 minute walk to the beach. Enough for me. Enough. E-N-U-F. my new favorite word.
Last impressions on India...Whoa its like I just never got my head around the dirt and filth. The rivers are like open sewers the trash and garbage are everywhere. They are buying hydrogen bombs instead of sewage treatment plants. Everyone (everything!)uses the street as a toilet. People cows goats dogs cats pigs sheep oxen you name it. No one notices. O one cares. it seems the more sacred a river or lake the more septic it is. people shit and pee in the lakes and rivers all the time. They throw their rubbish everywhere with no second thought. Out the window of the bus car house just wherever they are they make a mess.
Food was outta this world. the best. whoa i just love eating in India. People are so friendly and loving kindness is everywhere for foreigners. Sadly they dont have a charitable nature. The locals who are displaced by the modern area are everywhere sleeping in the streets begging all day, homeless, helpless, friendless,meaningless,utter despair and destitution. But if you have a few rupees its a great country. Cheapest place I have ever been. I hardly drink and dont use tobacco and hardly smoke much charas or ganga and it cost me 11.00USD per day average after all that time including my dental bills (got a new crown on a lowere rear molar for about 75 USD and all ground transport and my visa fee of USD$78.
Here is a neat grafitti I copied off a wall by some passing american traveller

"I pledge obedience to the rag
Of the united states of Amnesia
and to the New world order for which it stands
one nation, under surveillance
with gun rights and abortions for all.

Well, what can I say? I hear we have a new "War Czar" at home. That must be seen by some as "progress" I remember when a "czar" was considered a bad thing.

As always here are a couple of parting thoughts. Peace and love to all of you.

"Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with the truth." -Thich Nhat Hanh.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." Martin Luther King

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Hello everyone,
I am in the city of Tirupati,in the state of Andra Prakesh, in the sovereign Repulic of India. Eeee!!gads!! it is hot here!! 35 in the day and 27 at night (that would be about 95 and 81degrees American). I got here yesterday still travelling with Avidan, a cribbage playing Israeli physical therapist who is trying to make sense of his life and has quit his job as a bartender in Haifa and took a one way flight to India. Good Guy. We have been road dogs for about 2 weeks now but this is about to come to an end as he is going to head north and I will go west back to Chennai (Madras) and from there I will fly to Malaysia in 12 days.
So I have been in Tamil Nadu for the last couple of weeks just hanging around and going to a lot of temples. They are beautiful and interesting but a littel bit of "oh well its another temle" feeling starts to set in after a while. The best one I have seen in thewse last 4 months in India was in Chedinpuram. The art work in this temple far outshines all the others. it is one of the only temples in India that is not controlled by the goverment but by the Brahmin priests themselves and there fore they take better care of it. All the idols are freshly painted and it is clean and beautiful.
I have been eating a lot of the great South India cuisine. Pongal is a favorite. It is a fermented Rice dish that is scooped up with like an ice cream
scooper. It has whole b lack pepppercorns and bits of onion and carrot in it and It is served hot (or at least its supposed to be hot sometimes only warm!)I am not sure how it is made. It is made with yeast, of course, and so it is said to be fermented but it is cooked and so the yeasts are dead and it isnt bubbly like beer but kind of the consistency of porridge (oatmeal) after it has sat cooling for 15 minutes. It is served with the samba sauce (red lentils tomatoes not too thick not too thin lots of ginger and chili) and coconut chutney. It comes on a banana leaf and you pour the sauces over it and mush it up with your fingers and eat it with your fingers. Here in South India only foreigner restaruants use silverware. All the locals eat everything with their fingers.
Eating rice dishes with spicy curries over them with your fingers is pretty weird until you get used to it. I have gotten used to a lot of weird things these last four months. I havent wiped my arse with paper in an awful long time!!! Just in case any of you were wondering heeeheeheee!!!
Even after this length of time, there are a lot of things here that still amaze and confuse me. The level of Filth is still just incomprehensible. Somtimes when you approach a river you can smell it from 100 meters away. Like an open sewer. It seems the more sacred a river or lake the more the indians shit and piss in it and throw rubbish in it. Incredibly deformed, mutilated, diseased beggars swarm you when you exit the bus or train station. They head right past all the Indians and go right for the white people. People that are so messed up that I would have had nightmares about them when I was a little kid. It is so annoying. They follow you and look all lpitiful. They ask for food money. If you give them food, they get mad and want money. I try not to give them because ti just sends the absolute wrong message. You ;cant tell them to expect white people to give them something for nothing. Still sometimes I buy ice cream cones for the little kids because they are just littel kids and it is so hot and a little kid should have an icecream when it is 95 degrees(34) and I know i shouldnt but...They're just kids...and its soo sad...
Stayed in Mamalapuram for a week and went swimming in the Bay of Bengal. Good town. A tourist town but a good one. Big temples there and lots of little hotels and cheap ganja...The hotel boys are trying to sell you ganja before you even can get signed into the register...
While passing through Chennai on my way here to Tirupadi, i went and visited the Krishnamurti foundation there. Thy have a couple or 6 acres of beautiful gardens and a few guesthouses and a big old colonial housse with meeting spaces and a big video collection and lots of books on the talks given by Juddi Krishnamurti. This guy was an extraordinary philosopher who talks about self-observation as the way to freedom from Machine existence.
"The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed"- J.Krishnamurti
"Anyone interested in more can go to
I arranged to spend my last week in India in one of the guest rooms there and will be there from May 7 till I leave on May 14. Gonna read and meditate in the gardens and watch videos of Krishnamurti and just relax andd get my head together before taking off for 4 or 6 or 8 months in South East Asia. I want to see some more of Indonesia as well as Malaysia the west of Laos (plain of Jars) and probably to Viet nam and definately to Singapore and then gonna meet up with "the old cowboy" and maybe(hopefully)Arbinius Maximus; Viscount and Poobah of Paso, in Hong Kong at the end of June. Then maybe Philipines for some R&R.
Sha, I just dont KNOW!! The world is so big and wonderful I just dont know where to go next hahhh what a tough life. So here are some interesting quotes from some interesting people until I write again.
Did these guys know G W Bush???
Peace and love to all who read these words,

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King

"Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." James Madison