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, July 31, 2009

travel update from Swananoah

Hello Everyone,
Well some unexpected changes in plan have brought me back to USA. I am in North Carolina until August 1 and then i will fly to Colorado. After Colorado i am not sure yet, but headed south to Mexico as my next country. I may visit Oregon and California before going south of the border.
So i expected to be in France until the end of August and then to remain in Europe visiting traveling buddies until the end of October. but now my plans have been altered due to the visa restrictions imposed on non E.U. members under the Scavenging accord...I am only allowed to stay in Europe for 90 days and so my visa expired on July 8. i split on the 7 of July and arrived in New Jersey on the 8 of July.
I was disappointed to leave the Moulin de Chaves so soon. I had been there eleven or 12 weeks, but had planned to stay for 17 or 18 weeks. It is impossible for an ordinary person to extend his tourist visa unless there is some extenuating family matters or health issues. I wasn't going to get kicked out, but i would be in quite some trouble at the airport when i tried to leave with a visa over stay of 3 months!
So I decided to go to New Jersey and visit family and friends and then head to Mexico and central America on my way back to Ecuador and Vilcabamba. I expect to be there again in less than a year. The road is long and i don't like to move too fast. Now I have learned that Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua have an agreement similar to Schengen called CA4 and i can only stay for 90 days in all four of these countries, but i think i can leave and come right back if i want to. In Europe I would have to get out and stay out for 90 days before being allowed to re-enter. SHSHHAAA what's an unemployed, homeless, drifting, bum to do these days??!!?
So here I am. Asheville North Carolina just in time for the Swannanoah Music Gathering. Lots of Appalachian music to hear around here, for the next week or two. "Old timey" is sort of a predecessor to blue grass, and when i first hit town it was old timey week. This style is very interesting, lots of great flat picking and finger picking. Everyone plays string instruments. Many of the instruments are not so common these days but i like to listen to the different sounds. There are also a lot of "under-utilized" instruments like banjos, dobros dulcimers and bazoukis And of course loads of guitars fiddles and bass.
There are workshops all day and then a concert at night and then everyone jams in music circles which anyone can just sit in and join. this goes from about 10 or eleven (depends when the concert ends) until 4 or 5 (depends when the workshops start) in the morning.
Some enterprising people have a truck with three kinds of draft beer, and another group has a food tent with pizzas, burgers and hot dogs (including veggie burgers) and fresh made pommes frites (or liberty fries as you Americans out there now call them).
I Arrived in North Carolina after 7 days in New Jersey and 3 nights in New York City. I was visiting friends and family and catching up on my roots. New York is still the worlds greatest city. I visited with two of my friends who live in Manhattan and had a fabulous time. Doing the "getting caught up" thing and then mostly walking around and just being a free man in New York in the summer of 009. Had to eat some quality bagels and some knish (like a little baseball shaped pie with potato filling). For me coming home to USA is mostly about coming home to people I love. So it was like this. My stories here, get personal.
In New Jersey, I got to stay at the home of my younger brother and his family. He has 3 great boys and a wonderful wife who has a great sense of humor and is always seeing the lighter side of things. She keeps everyone
smiling. She is always very nice and welcoming to me and IrITs a great feeling for me to know how welcome i am. I also got to visit with my older brother and his wife and two kids. His kids are much bigger than when I saw them last. They are very clever. I really love them a lot and this living on the road makes me stop and think sometimes about what i left behind...
I got to see my old buddy Charlie too and have a little whiskey and a smoke and get caught up with him too. He has some mighty fine old scotch in the basement of his house and I am always a catalyst for the ceremonial dusting of the bottle. And let me just say, we dusted a few!! hard to count with all this swirling smoke but I left there feeling no pain.
I am really sorry to have had to leave Europe so soon. I was planning to visit a lot of you who are receiving this update and now of course i will not be coming to Spain, Germany, Holland, Denmark or Marseilles.
I go to Colorado on Saturday and after that i am not exactly sure. i am on my way to mexico, but i may remain in USA for the rest of the summer, visiting and enjoying the weather.
So here are a couple of quotes until the next update from Colorado...
Peace and love,
Rambling Robert
"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room." Theodor Seuss Geisel

"If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen." Henry David Thoreau

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." Buddha


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