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, September 18, 2008

travel update...still in Vilcabamba

So it is and so it is. Asi Es y Es Asi. Aye Caramba my spanish is getting better! Huh? Well i am sure enjoying my little "hide out" in Ecuador. I love having a kitchen and cooking my own meals. I also have been inviting people over and making little dinner parties. I have been passing my time lately with a woman named Estellita (like Stella in English). She is from Colombia, but has been living in Ecuador since 16 years now. She has a house here with an EXCELLENT kitchen so We have had a couple of little dinner parties there as well. My garden (well it isnt really my garden but the garden where i live) has lots of banana trees. A few days ago a big bunch of bananas fell to the ground and according to the cosmic law of "finders keepers losers weepers" (A law Co-Relating to, but secondary to the most sacred law of seven-foldness ) They were acquired by my self. So I have been cooking and eating a lot of bananas this week. I like them with black beans. I soak the beans over night and then i cook the beans for about 30 or 40 minutes and add the diced bananas and a lot of whole garlic cloves and a good sized pimiento rojo and a cebolla azul tambien cortado en cubitos and cook this for another 30 minutes. Then i add a bunch of cumin powder, salt, black pepper and minced up fresh culantro. ¬°Aye! que sabroso,que rico. Me gusta servir con arroz integral. Tomorrow I have to go to la Imigre and find out if I can extend my visa by going to their office in the near by city of Loja. I believe this will not be possible and if this is the case, I must go and cross the border and return with a new 90 day tourist visa if i wish to remain legally here in Ecuador. More on this later. So I spend most of my time just hanging around in my garden, reading and doing a lot of meditation. I have been re-reading some of the writings by and about G.I.Gurdjieff and also just completed The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Great book. It really makes me miss Jordan. A lot of the story takes place in Jordan. Especially his descriptions of the magical and enchanting Wadi Rum. I was there about 2 years ago and it was truly magical and very meditative. Definately a place to become acquainted with the pillars of wisdom. If any of you are ever in this part of Asia, you should check it out. I have also been taking some nice nature strolls and stomping around in the river. The sacred river. Everything here is sacred it seems. The prominant indian group here is the Sagurno. Easy to recognize by their clothing and their hair style. This valley has been sacred to them and also to many other of the indigineous peoples of South America for over 5000 years. Of course it is still subject to the laws of change and it is changing! There are about 10000 people here in Vilcabamba and maybe 10% of them are foreigners. Lots of organic farmers, old hippies, young hippies and neo colonialists who come here to act like they are rich. The financial markets have hurt me deeply. I will be okay for a while, but I dont really have much of any predictable income anymore. I have no faith in my goverment to do any thing positive to resolve the current crisis, and so i have divested all my portfolios and i am just hanging out waiting for some indication of a positive change, but fear not all of you who are living vicariously through me, I will still be travelling continuously for the forseeable future. (forseeable future?? isnt that an oxymoron?George bush is an omni moron which is different but similar...) Ahh but I digress again, I dont want any of my American friends to think I am not a true patriot, and it is currently terribly un patriotic to criticize the king. So what the heck have I been doing here in the sacred valley of vilcabamba? well mostly taking long and short strolls through the forests and hanging out by the stream and in my garden. I have been meditating a lot and doing my "snorkel walk" meditation more and more. I think it is all working well but there is a lot of illusion on the spiritual path as well in the land of samsara and one never reallly knows what progress one is making. I do know that I am calm and alert and experiencing a lot of joyful moments of mindfulness. What else is there anyway? I returned a few days ago from Piura Peru, where I went for two nights and one day so i could receive a new tourist visa for ecuador since the goverment in Loja will not grant extensions at this time. So one is foreced to cross the frontera and return. its okay. I love the olives in Peru and brought back a half kilo so I am enjoying salads with olives on them again. What a fascinating life, eh? I have applied to volunteer at a meditation center in France so If they accept me, I will be back in Europe next spring and summer. Many of you who receive this letter are living in Europe and hopefully we can all re-union if i get to go to France. My more immediate plans are to stay here in Ecuador till late November mid december and then head north through Colombia to Venezuela and then to the island nation of Trinidad in the Carribean around january or February... but alas who really knows??JAnd so now, I close with a couple of quotes. I wish all of you peace and joy."There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." Buddha"A loving heart is the truest wisdom." Charles Dickens "How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of goodwill! In such a place even I would be an ardent patriot." Albert Einstein