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, August 21, 2008

travel update from vilcabamba

so here I am. and so there you are. and here we are. Vilcabamba is a little place in Ecuador. It is near Loja which is the third largest city in this lovely little country. I am not too far from the border of Peru. i have been here since June 30 and dont have any imediate plans to leave. I am in a good spot here and I like it.
I have been renting a part of a house. I got my own room and it is large with a writing desk (un escritorio) and a queen bed and a single bed and a wash stand and a private bathroom with a toilet and hot water shower! (well...the shower...welluuhh it is quite an experience...)I have a beautiful front garded with a hammock and a table and a few chairs. There is a lawn of grass with some nice fruit trees on it. Tangerines(mandarinas) and oranges. Off to the left there is a bunch of banana trees and also an avocado tree and a couple of papaya trees mixed in with them. There are 3large bushes of heirba luiza (lemon grass) and a little parsley and mint. There is a nice kitchen which i share with the other peoplw of the house which is a young man and his 8 year old daughter in one room and a cool couple of crystal readers from South Africa whom i had met in Mancora peru some months ago.I am paying $90.00 American per month. Including gas and electric.
It is a 15 minute uphill walk from the center of Vilcabamba (where I am sitting at this moment in an internet cafe). this town has lots of character and lots of characters! A large but quiet group of european and north american ex-pats live here. lots of spiritual types. This has been a sacred valley to the indigenous peoples of the area for at least 5000 years! There are at least 7 psychotropic plants that thrive in the area. The river is also considered sacred and its waters are said to have curative qualities. Every full moon there is a sweat lodge organized on the river.
You go into this tent and they bring in 9 super heated rocks and chant and pray and you sweat like crazy. They also pour water over the rocks and sprinkle medicine plants on the stones so there is a wonderful aroma. This is said to cleanse you and make you healthy. they bring in 9 more stones 4 times for a total of 36 stones and the whole thing lasts about 3 hours. Whoooaaa it is hot. you sweat out a couple of liters of water and toxins. Then of course everyone jumps into the river to seal your pores.
I remember from my last visit to ecuador, that this is a country of great bakeries. Ah it is still true. it is really nice and very rare to have such a wonderful selection of fresh baked whole grain breads. I like to visit a woman called Susana la panadera. on Tuesdays thursdays and Saturdays she bakes wonderful whole weat bread with flax seeds and cinamon rolls (pan canaela) which are superb for your false ego self but probably not too healthy over-all. Still I love them and indulge once in a while. Due to the fact that I have a kitchen, I cook almost all my own meals.
I have just been introduced to an american woman called Sue who makes tempe in her home and today I bought a 350gram piece for 2 dollars. I will cook it up tonight. I havent had tempe since i was in Sumatra. I also have been experiencing and experimenting with lots of the local cheeses. Sagurno is the name of an indian tribe here that markets many cheeses. My favorite is a semi soft called Andino. It melts really well and has a lovely but light flavor and scent.
It is like spring time here all year round. We are close to the equator and at about 1800 meters elevation (6000 feet). Mornings are beautiful ñand cobalt blue cloudless skieis. it tends to cloud up every afternoon making for lovely sunsets and It rains in mid day once or twice a week.
I wake to the sounds of cows chickens roosters donkeys and horses. i never hear trafic noises where I live. I go to bed( voy a cuesto) by 10pm, almost every night except when I play poker. I even found a source for the legendary "Flor de Caña" rum from Nicaragua. Fortunately it is 70 km (50 miles) away at the nearest supermarket. So i am not staggering around like a hnopeless drunk. Althoughh i did buy and finish off a bottle of the 5 year old black label.
I am beginning to think that when I write the story of my life maybe it wont be so terrible if i were to write " Oh, and I lived in Vilcabamba for 6 months back in 2008"...so then a couple of quotes and I am gone.
Peace and love to all who read these words
"The best cure for the body is a quiet mind."...Napoleon Bonaparte

"A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker."...Buddha

"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."... Marcus Aurelius


Blogger baronmarsh said...

Forgive my ignorance. But what is tempe?

I googled it, and used dictionary.com, both refer to Tempe, AZ. I don't think you cooked a little bit of Arizona.

An online translator says "tempe" in Spanish is "tempe" in English too.

Keep writing!!

8:13 AM  

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