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.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Lake Mananjou

Greetings from Malacca Malaysia. I got here last nigaht on the fast ferry from Dumai Indonesia. I am on a visa run. My 30 day indonesia visa would have run out today. Transportation in Indonesia is so iffy that it is best to leave a day ahead of time in case of delays. There is a stiff fine for overstays and I would just as soon not pay any more $$ to the Indoneesian Gov't than I must.
My last 10 days in Indonesia were at Lake Manenjou. This is a lake right near Bukit Tinggii. The lake is the most extraordinary place i have stayed in quite a long while. I stayed at a little place called Beach Inn Homestay actually just outside Bayur, a tiny rice farming and fishing village on the lake. I was turned on to the place by way cool traveller named Colin, from New South Wales. The place is run by a very cool Indonesian guy called Bambang.
Lake Manenjou is 17km long and 8km wide and 500meters deep.The water is clean clear and warm. There is virtually nothing to do there...my kind of place!you can rent a bicycle or motorbike and ride around the lake or you can hike (tramp, trek) in the surrounding jungle mountains with or without a guide. you can find a guide by sitting down anywhere for a coffee or tea and some friendly local guy will approach you in a few minutes.Or you can ask Bambang to hook you up which he will do. I did neither. I just hung out at the lake swimming or floating around in Bambangs inner tube. You can also rent little dug out canoes.
The shear tranquility of this place cant hardly be put into words. Beautiful sunsets and full moons at night. Perfectly still morning hours where I sat by the lake and watched the fishermen in their slow motion cruise around the lake in their dug-out canoes. Slowly, silently, paddling...There are no motorized boats on the lake.
The nights are spent in Bambangs little cafe, chatting with other travellers. Bambang is the entire staff. He cooks and cleans and takes care of his 4 rooms and 2 bungaloes. Magic mushrooms are legal in Indonesia and they grow in the jungle and also in buffaloe turds and also in the rice paddys. If you want, bambang will make you an electric omelet. I chose not to indulge.
I left because my visa was about to expire and I already owned a ticket on the ferry to here. I think I will go tomorrow and buy another round trip ticket to Dumai and go back to the lake for a month of peace and meditation.
I want to go to Vietnam and Myanmar but the monsoons are "scheduled"to continue until October, so my plans looks like I will go back to Indo for a month, then up north through Malaysia to Thailand and then to a Krishnamurti retreat center off in the jungle near Hat Yai. This plan is dependent on Political problems in that part of Thailand. Where muslim extremist separatists are killing un armed civilians on a daily basis.
I made the mistake of reading the newspaper today. Ohhh my. What a world we live in huh? All this killing and violence. My own countries global strategies are all failing to bring peace and one wonders if they are even intended to bring peace or simply to continue with the war economies. I dont want to rant to you guys so, I will write no more on this sad sad utterly psychotic situation. I just want to go back to Lake Menenjau and sit in the peace and bathe in the lake.
This is the weekend to celebrate the goddess of compassion and mercy for the Chinese Buddhists here in Malacca. There is a temple for Kuan Yin right at the end of my street. I went down to the temple and lit some incense. Got my bases covered. Better than blue cross. The buddhist vegetarian restaurant where I always go is closed for 4 days.Due to her symbolising compassion, in East Asia Kuan Yin is associated with vegetarianism. Chinese vegetarian restaurants are generally decorated with her image, and she appears in most Buddhist vegetarian pamphlets and magazines.
"Kuan Yin" is the Chinese name for the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. However, folk traditions in China and other East Asian countries have added many distinctive characteristics and legends. Most notably, while Avalokitesvara can be depicted as either male or female, Kuan Yin is usually depicted as a woman, whereas Avalokitesvara in other countries is usually depicted as a man. I like the idea of god being feminine. I dont know why, its just a feeling.
"The definition of success--To laugh much; to win respect of intelligent persons and the affections of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give one's self; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition.; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm, and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived--this is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Well, then, I wish all of you who are reading this update success in the sense that Old Ralph Waldo would have meant it. I am feeling pretty successful. I am very relaxed and feeling like I am making large strides in my quest for spiritual well being. Really peeling the layers of the onion and getting to see my true self through patient and persistent observation. I think this is success for me. This is what I want to "accomplish". Just to increase my self knowledege. Because without this increase in self awareness, It is impossible to know what I truly want anyway. How can "I"know what "I" want, if "I" dont know "my" self? So for me this is first. The only dance there is in this moment...
So it is now 6 days from when I began this travel update. I have been in Malacca Malaysia the whole time. I went out this morning and bought a round trip boat ticket to Dumai Indonesia and will go back to beautiful Lake Mananjou tomorrow morning and arrive there On 8/8/07. I am planning to just hang around in the hammock and read and meditate and take long walks around the lake and go swimminng and tubing. I am biding my time until the monsoon seasons are over in Vietnam and Myanmar. I expect to go to Vietmam in early October and then to go over to Myanmar in mid-November, then back to Thailand in Mid-December. But we all know how my plans change...
So now here are a couple of quotes to think about until my next update. Peace and love to all of you.
"If you already know it is bad and do it, you commit a sin difficult to redress."-G.I.Gurdjieff
"Everything you can imagine is real." - Pablo Picasso
"My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all."-Stephen Hawking