Friday, June 19, 2015
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Jolien D’Hoore wins Women’s Tour stage two to close on Lisa Brennauer | Sport | The Guardian
Kafka was right! THERE IS INFINITE HOPE BUT NOT FOR MANKIND! We're too stupid!
Top 10 mountain bike rides in the Alps | Travel | The Guardian
American Pathology! U.S. culture, very sick!
090615 BLOK -- cycling trip to the Salar de Uyuni and beyond…
090615 BLOK -- trip to the Salar de Uyuni and beyond…
I'm up at 0400, as much to do before departing. We've planned a long trip (Oruro, Uyuni, the Salar, Pampas Allungas, and Potosi) -- maybe something like three weeks or more).
We're taking the bus to Oruro, then the train to Uyuni, but first have to cycle to the Cochabamba bus terminal, and that means loading Senor Fetes. It's still dark, but I check the sky for clouds, weather, etc.
I take a shower.
I make coffee.
I begin to do everything all at once, my usual style. I've tried to be methodical (finish one thing at a time), but can never seem to be.
I meet Johnny in the vestibule, and ask, if he's ready earlier than planned, it's better to go early to beat the traffic.
I compose and translate a message to Ana, my housekeeper, attaching all the dinero she will need while I'm gone. I've told her I don't know how long, one, two, three, even four weeks. I advance her salary for one month.
I overload Senor Fetes, taking everything I think I will need to camp out on the Alti Plano. I've done this many times on all the continents of the world, but always take too much, as a function of getting too comfortable in one place -- you think you can't do without this or that. I tend to take too many garments, but I finally decide I can't bring the bulky woolen pancho I wore for the Solstice ceremony on 122112, at Tianhuanaco. 122112, December, is high summer in the Southern Hemisphere, yet cold enough at 4Kmts. / 13,000ft.
Edgar and Coco didn't come as too frightened of the 'winter' cold. Note, in the Southern Hemisphere, May means 'November' weather -- things reversed. So, it's Johnny and me on bicycles, Tiana, along via motor transportation.
At 0700 we're off, and easy down Av. Los Robles. Little did I know I'd be cranking up Av. Los Robles with all that weight.
Then, the 5-hour bus ride to Oruro for all of $2U.S., bicycles included. Sometimes you get a break. Angelo, my erstwhile 'partner' in La Paz wanted to charge us $150U.S., but I told him 'you have the wrong gringo!'
Note, they all think I'm wealthy. But, I guess U.S. citizens 'wealthy' compared to most Bolivianos. If I would rich, however, I'd spring for the $150, as on Bolivian buses it's torture to me: no working banos (toilets), crying babies, snoring men, and now salesmen get on and harangue you with an endless sales pitch selling everything from Maca (a root-like plant similar to Chinese ginseng) to trinkets. There were two on this trip with the portable public-address systems. One, was a veritable 'machine gun' of Spanish words, hardly pausing to take a breath! 'Sell, sell, sell, everything you stand for!" (from a movie entitled O' LUCKY MAN.)
Finally, thank God, Oruro loomed in the bright sun.
We unloaded and no damage, except the El Inca cervesa (my favorite beer in Boland), I had in my thermos to take along but it leaked inside my backpack. Stupid of me, as I had it on its side in the luggage rack above. When will I ever learn -- never? Oh well, I'm apt to experiment.
Unloaded and packed, I ran to the toilet inside the terminal. Whoa!
Tiana was off to stay with some distant relative, Johnny and off to find the Graciela Hostal, having never been to Oruro before. Note, this Hostal turned out to be pretty good and our two private rooms with banos, only 120bs. total or $15U.S. per noche for both. Yes, generally speaking, Bolivia, much less expensive than say, Chile next door. Less expensive than the U.S. AND WAY LESS EXPENSIVE than a country like Switzerland!
Johnny and I spent the rest of the day investigating Oruro (named for the Uru Uru group, an ancient people, that now live on manmade islands near Puno, Peru). Oruro was first built as a mining (mina) community where, tin (estano), silver (plata) were discovered. Additionally, it's only 70KM or 40 miles from the Chilean border.
And Chile has 4,300KM of Pacific coast line, that a small portion of, Bolivia hopes to regain access to for shipping. Before the 19th C. 400KM of this was Bolivia's. But Bolivia lost the 'War of the Pacific' (19th C.), and with it 120,000 square kilometers of land, and 400KM of coastline. The legal case, based on a '1904 Treaty,' is currently at The Hague in The Netherlands.
Johnny and I first went to the RR station to check out tickets for Uyuni. This, FAC train maybe the only passenger train line in all of Bolivia. Although I think another between Santa Cruz and the Brazilian border -- you hear about these things, but are never sure. There's supposed to be a rail/bus from Cochabamba to Aiquile?
Bolivia and most of S.A. sold out to oil and rubber interests and trains as passenger transportation were abandoned. If I ever get to meet Mr. Evo Morales, I'd say only one thing, "Bring back the railroads!'
After purchasing two 'first class' tickets, $15U.S. for each we found out that everything on our bicycles had to go separately. Luckily, I'd anticipated and we had purchased two large Chinese plastic bags in La Cancha/Cochabamba (not knowing if we'd need or not). Now, they were just what we needed! Note, Bolivians never think about traveling on a bicycle, that's for us poor people!
From the RR station we walked to Roberto's Oruro VILLA NAYJAMA, a restaurant his mother launched 53-years ago. When we arrived, Roberto was standing at the top of some stairs, inviting us up. I had trout from Lake Titicaca.
Roberto Gironas, an interesting Bolivian man with a worldly history of working as chef for glamorous celebrities in the U.S., Hugh Hefner/Barbi Benton and Aaron Spelling for example. He needs to write his autobiography.
We walked on to Plaza Principal, along the way I found a cajero automatico, and I got more Bolivianos (originally called pesos).
The next morning we got the idea to cycle up to the Virgen (of the mineshaft) on a hill overlooking Oruro. Note, this 'Virgen,' now a part of Oruro's famous Carnival celebration.
From Wikipedia: "The native Uru ceremonies were banned by the Spanish in the 17th century. However, the Uru continued to observe the festival in the form of a Catholic ritual on Candlemas, in the first week of each February. Christian icons were used to conceal portrayals of Andean gods, and the Christian saints stood in for other minor Andean divinities. The ceremony began forty days before Easter (Lent). Legend also has it that in 1756, a mural of the Virgin Mary miraculously appeared in a mineshaft of the richest silver mine in Oruro. Ever since, the Carnival has been observed in honour of the Virgen de la Candelaria (Virgin of the Candlemas) or Virgen del Socavon (Virgin of the Mineshaft). The most important elements of the Carnival now occur in and around the Sanctuaria del Socavon (Church of the Mineshaft)." Note, how clever of the Catholic Church to build directly above a rich Silver mine!
Little did I know what I was getting into, cycling up to the Virgen. There's no direct route to the top of the hill, and we had to stop and ask several times. Near the top, I had to push up a dirt stretch, that Johnny managed. And then the top and a good view of Oruro. See fotos. at www.cyclingpeace.org/gallery/
On the way down we took a different route, a dirt road that lead us past a silver mine.
Lower, and in Oruro proper, we stopped at the Sanctuaria del Socavon (Church of the Mineshaft)/Plaza). Johnny asked about a tour that he ended up taking, later.
Hungry now, we found the vegetarian restaurant that had been recommended (by our friend Paula in Cochabamba).
Friday, Viernes, our day to meet up with Tiana and depart on the narrow-gauge FCA passenger train to Uyuni.
We packed up, loaded our bicycles, cranked to the RR Estacion. Luckily on bicycles as a protest had been organized to stop all motor traffic (something about a hospital). Note, democracy alive and well in Bolivia!
Later we met Tiana at the vegetarian restaurant for lunch. A vegetarian restaurant in Oruro, Bolivia… Think about that, a country, a city where they offer llama burgers.
The 7-hour train ride, departed at 1415 hours, but we made it in plenty of time (I'm always early).
I was very much interested in this train trip, as love traveling on trains. Note, I grew up riding passenger trains in the U.S. in the old days, like the 'Golden State Limited,' L.A. to Chicago. I've traveled on many trains and all over in China, from Shanghai to Kashgar. The China system is good, although trains are always packed, noisy, and the men snore. I learned to purchase a 'soft seat' in a compartment, where you can close and lock the door.
We departed Oruro on time, the seats comfortable, and the service good. The only complaint, it was 'rock and roll' all the way. You had to be careful walking in the aisles as you might be thrown onto someone sitting -- I wonder if this had to do with the narrow gauge rails. Luckily, we didn't have far to go to the dining car, where we spent most of the trip. They even had El Inca cervesa, my favorite beer in Bolivia.
But then the lights of Uyuni, and suddenly we were out in the dark and cold, certainly a shock from our comfy, soft and warm seats in the coach. We had to load our bicycles quickly, as they wanted to close the station. Ah, so much for thinking of the customers.
Somehow we found our Hostal (only 3 blocks from the RR station), checked in (100bs / $13U.S. per, per noche) unloaded and dived into a cold bed (11P.M.). They don't heat the rooms. The 'habitacion' did, however, have a hot-water shower (for tourists, of course).
Traveling the world… It makes a 'man' or a 'woman' out of you!
The 23rd of May, is nearing winter in the Southern Hemisphere. And in Uyuni, Bolivia, up on the Alti Plano, it gets cold! It's -4C. / 25F. here in the mornings, about 10 degrees colder than Cochabamba on an average.
In my 'habitacion,' (hotel room in Spanish) I heat water with my backpacking stove to make coffee. Afterwards, I wash and dry our coffee-filter bag (made out of nylon-stocking material), and hang on Johnny's door (we have only one).
I walk outside the Hostal and across the street, seeking the sun. Already the Chalita women are setting up their wares/food to sell, steam rising from agua de caliente. I wanted to get warm and get some sense of Uyuni.
Back inside, Johnny and I partake of the 'free' desayuno (a white-bread, ham sandwich) in a freezing-cold common room.
We spend the day investigating Uyuni. Tiana looking for a good tour company. Johnny is off to investigate going to the Argentine border to renew his Bolivian tourist visa. I'm in search of information about cycling the Salar. European tourists are everywhere. I meet a young man from Switzerland.
One wonders what Uyuni was like before the influx of tourists? Note, the Salar de Uyuni the #1 tourist attraction in all of Bolivia. Of course, all the tourists go to La Paz, first (Aero Puerto in El Alto, the city above) -- 400KM / 240 miles to the north.
At the Pucara Tour Agency (International Hosteling site) we meet a helpful woman who's full of information. She tells me to return a la tarde (in the afternoon) to meet her father, who is a professional guida. I pass out my postcard and bicycle sticker (QUEMA GRASA! NO PETROLEO! -- BURN FAT! NOT PETROL-GASOLINE!)
We catch up with Johnny and have almuerzo (lunch) together. Johnny has a Llama steak, Tiana, guacamole tortillas and pasta a la Roquefort cheese. I ordered a chicken sandwich with papas fritas (french fries). Think about it, guacamole at 3700mts. / 12,000ft. above sea level. They have to import all of this fancy food for the tourists. Roquefort cheese? But, it was all good for 213bs / $30U.S., or roughly $10U.S. per person. These are tourist prices, of course.
You can eat a Bolivian lunch (meat, potatoes, rice) for 10bs. / $1.50U.S.
After lunch, Johnny is off to Argentina (to renew his Bolivian tourist visa for another 90 days). Tourists are limited to 180 days in Bolivia, per year.
I return to the Pucara Tour Agency to meet Mr. 'Guida' ('guide' in Spanish). This guy draws me a map of the Salar, with distances, exactly what I wanted. I pay him 20bs. / $3U.S.
I then head out north, searching for the carretera (highway) to Colchani. I end up in a labyrinth of dirt/sand roads and endless sky. I never locate the carretera, and
disappointed, head back for the Hostal. Note, I always 'rehearse' departing a new city (if time), I don't want to go searching on a loaded bicycle. Note, I remember cycling through some large cities in Europe, one, departing Uddevalla, Sweden. You can easily get lost. (The Uddevalla Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge crossing Sunninge sound near Uddevalla in the Province of Bohuslan on the west coast of Sweden)… I knew when I saw this Bridge, oh, oh, I'd doubled back, taken the wrong turn… I was trying to get to Goteburg to take the ferry to Denmark (another story).
Tiana and I shop, find a laundry and deposit our clothing. She can't decide which tour agency to take. They all offer roughly the same thing for something like $100U.S: Five people in a Land Cruiser, three days, two nights on a tour of southwest Bolivia, including the Salar. Note, there's much to partake of beyond the Salar, but to cycle this area of southwest Bolivia takes at least one week, more likely two. When I was in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (2.5 years hence, I had cycled up near the Bolivia border, had thought about entering Bolivia via this route. But, I had to meet Rucha in Lima, Peru, so not possible. Additionally, you have to carry much (water for one thing) as nothing between San Pedro and Uyuni (several hundred kilometers), except flamingoes on the 'Lago de Rojo' (Red lake).
My fingernail on my right index finger, which had became infected before departing Cochabamba, had worsened, the pain so great I took Iboprofen. I could barely use my right hand. One doesn't realize, how much we do with our index fingers until we lose the use of one.
Tiana, after having desayuna (breakfast) is off on her tour of southwest Bolivia. This from Hotel Julia. There are many facilities for tourists in Uyuni, don't worry, even cajero automaticos (ATMs). Tourism is the #1 industry in Uyuni.
On the way to the 'Big Mouth,' restaurant, the one where we've been eating meals, lo and behold, here is Johnny, back already, maybe gone for only 24-hours. I'm surprised. He was only in Argentina for ONE hour, but spending 20-hours on buses to get there and return. But, now with another 90-day visa.
Ah, the visa 'business.' We who travel the world, know all about such. Because other countries (like Chile and the U.S.) make it so difficult for Bolivians to get in their country, Bolivia, tit for tat; they make it difficult for foreigners to get into Bolivia.
250515, Martes (Tuesday)
We planned to depart for the Salar the next day, so spend the morning preparing. I buy water, a new kind, 'Agua de Southwest Bolivia' -- good, as it comes with a handle for easy carrying.
Note, Bolivians are finally getting hip about how to market, and packaging importante! I also find ojas de coca (coca leaves) I brew tea with (helps adjusting to elevation).
Johnny had sought information about Colchani, the 'gateway' pueblo to the Salar, and good news. There are four Hostals in Colchani. We weren't sure if we had to camp or not, and in -4C. temperatures… Well, I guess at 75-years of age, I'm going 'soft!' But, because they don't heat the rooms, you might as well camp as almost as cold inside. Note, we slept in our clothes.
In the afternoon we cycle 4KM south of Uyuni to the RR 'Graveyard.' I was looking forward to this, as I have a history with railroads. I grew up in the U.S., taking passenger trains with my parents. My dad had worked on the RR, in the days of the steam engines. Then, in China I traveled many times on their trains (if we weren't cycling).
The Chinese RR system good, but always crowded. What would you expect with a population of 1.5 billion people… Luckily, most being poor, travel the lowest class, what they call 'hard seats.' I tried this one time, from Chengdu to Urumqi, but didn't last. Interestingly, you can 'upgrade,' during the trip. What I discovered was the 'soft seat,' a compartment, without only four bunks. More expensive, of course, but the only way to go for me. You can lock the door and the noise out (except for snoring bunk companions). If I were rich I'd buy all four bunks.
The RR Graveyard, turned out to be much larger than I expected, with maybe 100 'carcasses,' of coaches, engines, and old parts of a system now moribund. We took many fotographs, then cycled back to Uyuni.
260515, Miercoles (Wednesday)
Johnny and I are at breakfast, when it starts snowing. We ask, and this is the first time in four years! Ah, our timing maybe not so good, as this time of year on the verge of winter. We go outside and take fotos. All at www.cyclingpeace.org/gallery/
We return to our Hostal, and spend the day inside, trying to stay warm.
I can't remember the last time I was in snow, possibly China? Certainly in Sweden where I was knee deep in it, cycling wearing four layers of clothing, two pairs of socks. I remember one morning having to cycle some 30KM to Fargelanda (from Rannelanda where I was living), this to give a class to high school students about Taoism). By the time I got there, I was glad for the warmth of inside (another story, giving a presentation about Taoism to Swedish high school students).
The day dawned bright and sunny.
We meet three middle-aged men from Brazil. They've come on motos. as called in Latin America, and they are intrigued, we're on two-wheelers without an engine.
I remember being up in Tibet (2010). We'd stopped to rest, and a Tibetan man on a motor bike, was curious. He walked around Senor Fetes, examining it. Finally he asked through an interpreter, WHERE'S THE ENGINE? I pointed to my legs.
After our white-bread 'free' desayuno, we loaded our bicycles for the Salar. The cold front, which had brought the snow (nieve) had passed through.
I followed Johnny to the caterrera (highway) leading to Colchani. We had heard it was tierra, or dirt/rock all the way. But, as luck would have it they were constructing/paving it. Note, same as the caterrera from Caracollo to El Alto, on our trip to La Paz in Noviembre, one, two-lane was new asphalt, barred from motor traffic, and we sailed along undisturbed.
From Uyuni to Colchani, the same, 25KM, which we made in two hours. 'Sometimes 'the bear gets you, sometimes you get the bear!'
I think we arrived at 12 noon, only to discover, in Colchani, two young (20) girls from Switzerland touring on bicycles. I was surprised as they descended on us, but cyclists are always drawn together, as we share something special! They (Clementine and Lluna) had cycled all the way from Tierra Del Fuego in Chile, some 5,000KM / 3,000 miles. We made plans to join them the next morning, as they were cycling to the Isla de Inca Huasa (Island of Pescado), some 65KM / 40 miles into the Salar. We, however, were going just for the day.
Johnny found a salt-block Hostal, and we moved into a small room with two beds for 60bs. per.
I sat in the sun trying to get warm.
Later in the afternoon, we cycled the 5KM west to investigate the Salar (where the salt begins). We were curious.
I'd been on the Salt Flats in Utah, U.S.A. (note, a strange sporting event, the actor Paul Newman, trying to set some speed record). The Salar de Uyuni, different: bigger, more salt, less earth, and more 'moon' like.
That night we slept in our clothing, as they don't heat the rooms.
We met the girls in front of our Hostal at 0900, and right on time. Note, what would you expect from girls who'd grown up in Geneva, Switzerland? Had they been from Bolivia, they'd have been one-hour late. With them was a little black dog, 'He follows us every where,' offered Clementine.
Finally we 'hit the salt,' the dog following the girls. We headed west toward the original Hotel Del Salt, some 10KM distance. The cold front had passed, and in its wake a perfect day, sunny, and almost warm.
The salt surface is firm, maybe a foot or more deep. The surface, except where the myriad of Land Cruisers made like a road, were geometric shapes. Note, I wonder what causes this (fotos. at www.cyclingpeace.org/gallery/)? Occasionally, there are round holes, and below evidence of water.
You feel like you're gliding along on the moon, white below, a vibrant blue above -- vastness! In the distances, in all directions, the darkness (brown) of hills, but just barely breaking the horizons. Four cyclists and one dog.
The dog, s/he kept up with us, running its heart out. At one point, Johnny, sympathetic, stopped and picked the dog up, gave it a ride for about a kilometer. But, it's hard to carry a dog in one hand, and cycle. But, back on the salt, the dog stayed with us, and we weren't going slowly (15KM per hour probably).
Then from the east (Colchani), the 'attack' of the Land Cruisers, whizzing past, speeding as in the Dakar (International road rally through Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina). With little to run into, except each other, they drive at 100+KM per hour.
At the Hotel, there is a monument to the Dakar, as in $ for the local tourist trade. All the tour Cruisers stop here, so the tourists can take fotos. They should have a monument to cyclists who cycle southwestern Bolivia -- maybe we'll erect one!
Also at the Hotel is a 'Plaza de Banderas,' where people have erected flags from their countries. Of course, we had to take a foto. with our countries' flag.
The girls were going on to the 'Isla de Inca Huasa' (the 'Island of Fish'), another 50KM west. This where they were going to camp out (this 'island' a bit of terra firma in a sea of salt). We knew the dog would never make it, so Johnny fed, and tied to one of the flag poles. It whimpered as it tried to follow the girls. But, as fate would have it, two Bolivian men happened by at that moment, and took the dog with them. Note, do you thing these kinds of things, accidents?
Johnny and I headed west as well, but were going no where in particular, had just come to cycle the Salar. I think we went another 15KM, stopping occasionally to rest, to examine the salt. I brought back a plastic bag full, to give to friends in Cochabamba.
We sat down and ate our 'picnic' lunch, and if we needed salt…
Johnny, rode naked on his bicycle, this for 'posterity!' Wow, lucky the sun was out.
I rode, at Stephane's (from France) suggestion (as he had done the previous year), with eyes closed. This for as long as I could take it. Johnny recorded and soon at www.youtubest.comski. It's a strange sensation, riding with your eyes closed, as there's nothing to run into. You become disoriented. Next time, I think I'll light up a 'dooby,' and try such… I think you could ride for hours without running into anything but salt and air!
On the way back to Colchani, Johnny discovered a Cochabamba flag, partially buried in the salt. What are the odds? Think this was an accident, the Salar de Uyuni, thousands of square kilometers? -- we live in Cochabamba?
We got back to our salt Hostal in the late afternoon, sought cena (dinner) in the only restaurant. It was closed, but the Chalita woman, the cook/proprietor, fed us anyway when Johnny begged. When I left a healthy 'propina' (tip), she suddenly started talking marriage (Johnny still teases me about this), but like all Chalita women, hugely fat and we had no espacia (space, room) for her in our salt room!
I have seen some young, thin, Bolivian women, I would 'make room' for…
We retired for the night, four of us: 'Senor Fetes, Pola' (the name of Johnny's bike), Johnny and I in single beds. I wish we'd taken a picture of our packed salt room. Note, there is one foto. of our salt night stand, stacked with items.
280515, Viernes (Friday)
In the morning we packed up, and wanted to depart for Uyuni, but couldn't find the Chalita-woman 'salt-Inn-keeper,' to pay for the night. We finally asked another woman nearby, and gave the 70bs. / $10U.S. to her, hoping she'd pass it on.
Interesting about some Bolivian people. What's important is sleeping, eating and partying -- not work/money. I remember a Bo-woman in Cochabamba telling me the reason she'd returned to Bolivia after 'working' in the U.S. She said, 'No party there, all work!'
The day was sunny and we had the wind, so we made the 25KM back to Uyuni in 90 minutes. Note, this is pretty fast on a heavy bicycle, at least for me.
We we went first to the RR station to check out when the next train departed for Oruro. I think the next one heading north wasn't until Domingo (Sunday). We checked into our Hostal, and were prepared to spend another day in Uyuni. But, Tiana, had found a bus that was direct to Cochabamba. Johnny went to check it out, and suddenly we were departing that evening. It's amazing how fast plans can change.
Originally back in Cochabamba, my planning had included a much longer trip, cycling to Pampas Allungas (to check out our 'Atlantis' project), then cycling on to Potosi, maybe one month in length. Then, in Uyuni, this changed to cycling directly to Potosi. Then, Tiana had an idea to visit Turpani, an artisan's pueblo south near the Argentine border, to get there a long bus ride. Then, because of my infected finger, Tiana's sudden desire for Peru (some business problem to deal with), and Johnny not particularly liking the cold (note -4C. in the mornings), we were heading back to Cochabamba on a bus.
Johnny said the Volvo bus was good, plenty of luggage space for our bicycles and a WORKING BANOS (unheard of in Bolivia). So, I acquiesced, and we got half our money back from the Hostel. Go with 'the flow,' my traveling motto as 'the journey is the destination.'
I spent several hours repacking Senor Fetes, and managed the best job of my tour-cycling career (foto. at www.cyclingpeace.org/gallery/). This was a challenge getting too much, into too little space. But, I've become an expert!
The bus ride, in spite of a working banos, was sheer torture. I've vowed since never again in Bolivia! If I can't fly or cycle, I'm simply not going! Because only one level of seating, of course, cram them together for more revenue. The so-called 'road,' from Uyuni to Oruro the worst bumping and grinding I've ever experienced. I thought the bus was coming a part from the vibration, the bumps, the 'rock and roll.' Additionally, at one stop two burly construction workers filled the seats in front of us, mine, reclining the back on top of me. Johnny had it worse as larger. 12 hours we endured this, finally having to suffer the harangue of two men selling whatever. They have their portable P.A. systems, so loud, as making you want to be deaf!
Finally, Cochabamba, unloading frantically and riding to Hotel Aranhuez for desayuno. I had debated hiring a truck to carry us and our bicycles up Av. Los Robles, but Johnny said he was going to ride up. I wasn't going to try such, however, without a good breakfast, coffee, and a brief respite.
I managed somehow, cranking up this 2KM stretch to mi casa, a 15% grade, no sleep, mind over matter! When I got to our gate I was congratulated with, 'You are very strong!' from Johnny. According to Ritchie, however, I am a 'Gringo Queer!' Of course, Ritchie, some 20-years younger couldn't do the same!
Our Salar cycling trip, planned for 30 days, ended up being only 10 days. But, flexibility is the key when 'on the road.'
Am I getting too old to do this at 75? You just keep going until you can't!
Isn't that what life is about?
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Global Water Going Fast: How Much Is Left? : Discovery News
More on 'death' and 'dying'...
More on 'death' and 'dying'
from THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDELENE by Jean-Yves LeLoup
"It is our impoverished imaginations that need to be healed!
We are responsible for the world in which we live, for in a deeper sense it is we who create it by interpreting it positively or negatively. Our lack of enlightened imaginations encloses us in 'being-for-death!'
Note: 'Being-for-death' is a Heideggerian term that refers to the way of living and being that makes an individual a prisoner of linear, chronological, passing time, thus blocking us from experiencing life as more than a linear sequence, with a terminus or outcome that is death!
Our sickness is that we continually take our relative perceptions as absolutely real!
We mistake our interpretations and understanding of reality for Reality itself!"
pp.51: from THE GOSPE OF THOMAS:
"We see the splinter in the eye of our neighbor, but we miss the 'log' in our own!"
For those who don't want to die!
For those who don't want to die!
from THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDELENE by Jean-Yves LeLoup
"Even death, or what we imagine to be death -- this is the consequences of our actions and attitude. That which we call death is the expression of a disordered intellect that has long ago identified ourselves (with our egos); our mortal body along with its thoughts, emotions, and material attachments. As we wrote earlier, these disordered perceptions are the 'fruit' of our corrupted natures! What we do takes us closer to death!"
So, change, grow, evolve and don't die!
P.S. For those who don't want to die, I suggest reading THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDELENE by Jean-Yves LeLoup
Bitcoin surges as Grexit worries mount, posts best run in 18 months | Reuters
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Cuba, Bolivia Decry Destabilization Against Ecuador Government | News | teleSUR English
Mount Everest Moves 1 Inch After Earthquake
Putin says Russia beefing up nuclear arsenal | Europe | BDlive
Five Million Reasons Why China Could Go to War - Bloomberg Business
Could seaplanes be the future of transatlantic flight? - CNN.com
This chart should terrify Russia's neighbors - Vox
Monday, June 15, 2015
Legalized Medical Marijuana Doesn't Increase Teen Usage, Study Finds
Horribly compelling: Bruce Conner's nuclear test film still holds us in rapture | Art and design | The Guardian
Re: the coming WWIII
WWIII will ultimately be a positive thing, as the only way for humankind to continue to survive. This is Nature's way of 'thinning the herd,' which now is 'red-lining' at almost 8 billion!
I would imagine one-half (or nearly 4 billion) of the world's population being killed (in a matter of days). The surviving one-half, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, plunged into a Dark Age, a lesson that will change the very notion of existence (no smart tele.s).
It is not that individual lives are important, but that human life continues. And this the only way.
150515 BLOK - a continuing discussion of DUALITY…
150515 BLOK - a continuing discussion of DUALITY…
I have often wondered why wo/mankind had to suffer Duality (ego consciousness), the birth of such, symbolized in Christian, GARDEN OF EDEN story. The answer that I came up with was, although causing much trouble (God lamented in the C. Bible), it was the only way we could know 'the Other' (or God) -- evolution. Then, I discovered the same answer in THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDELENE:
pp.53 the book by Jean-Yves LeLoup
#20 "This is why the Good has come into our midst!
21 It acts together with the elements of your nature
22 so as to reunite it with its roots."
To know God.
CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation | US news | The Guardian
Which is the cleanest city in the world? | Cities | The Guardian
I read all the small print on the internet and it made me want to die | Technology | The Guardian
I read all the small print on the internet and it made me want to die | Technology | The Guardian
Inflatable bicycle helmet sent me head over heels | Technology | The Guardian
WWIII building 'steam!'
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Since you brought of subject of DUALITY...
Since you brought of subject of DUALITY, I thought you might be interested in some quotes from a book I'm reading entitled THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDELENE:
"Following Corbin further, we could say that in the Gospel of Mary we are freed from the reductionist dilemma of thought versus extension (Descartes), as well from a cosmology and epistemology limited to either empirical observation or intellectual understanding. Between these two lies a vast intermediate realm of image and representation that is just as ontologically real as the worlds of sense and intellect But, this (different) world requires a faculty of perception that is peculiar to it alone."
"It is none other than the power of the creative imagination--yet we must beware of confusing this faculty with the imagination as the word is ordinarily used. As Corbin says, the so-called modern mind has reduced this word to the realm of fantasy, a world of merely subjective beings and things."
"…all of Christianity was born from the creative imagination of a woman!"
"A living deity who wants to communicate (with us) thus necessitates an an intermediate realm between god and humans, between the invisible and the visible, between the world of immaterial spirits and material bodies."
"Here we have gone beyond any metaphysical opposition of subject vs object (there can be no object without a subject who conceives and represents it, and there can be no subject who is not reacting to an object or environment perceived as external or 'other'). We are in the presence of a metaphysics of openness--a place of meeting, confrontation, and
(pp.16) merging of subject and object know in their interdependence. Reality, thus is neither objective nor subjective; it is an inclusive third state where the two imaginally become one." (our Singularity).
"…those who desire to understand nature and world events must learn to dream before learning to think. The language of sacred scriptures is one of images and symbols that belongs to dreams more than to the concepts of the sciences."
If I were Greece, I'd dump the EU and go with Russia. All the energy is moving East, not West.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
The original Isle of Wight festivals – in pictures | Music | The Guardian
Defeat for Obama on trade as Democrats vote against him | Business | The Guardian
Friday, June 12, 2015
Why I Defaulted on My Student Loans - NYTimes.com
Painting of Johann Sebastian Bach returns home to Leipzig | Music | The Guardian
Kafka was right! There is no hope for mankind!
Thursday, June 11, 2015
I suggest the Gnostic Gospels, including 'The Gospel of Mary Magdelene
Mudslides hit quake-ravaged villages in Nepal - CNN.com
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
I believe the U.S.-culture-Capitalism, has become irrelevant! Now, Eastern Bloc countries are slouching East (Russia and China), not West.
Oh woe be unto those who did this!
China's $10 billion railway across South America is either bold or insane - Yahoo Finance
Why cargo bike deliveries are taking over the UK's cities | Environment | The Guardian
Holacracy at Zappos: "It's not anarchy," co-founder says - Yahoo Finance
The animals are beginning to fight back!
School in Bolivia cleans up using pedal-powered soap - CSMonitor.com
The history of Henry Mancini's Moon River - BBC News
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
The secret history of 19th century cyclists | Environment | The Guardian
Bolivia's aggressive agricultural development plans threaten forests
Man gets ironic lesson after questioning Caitlyn Jenner's courage - AOL.com
Monday, June 08, 2015
What a joke!
Sweden's foreign minister unrepentant over Saudi flogging row | World news | The Guardian
Transgender is in!
Reinventing the Cold War for the Military Industrial Complex. Now, we'll be needing more weapons.
Why some former East bloc countries are wooing Putin - CSMonitor.com
Sunday, June 07, 2015
A Crisis at the Edge of Physics - NYTimes.com
Re: violence in U.S. culture
We can't just blame it on guns, and/or 'nut cases.' In my opinion, we're all 'nut cases.'
Just a couple days ago a horrible story about a black man, in Houston I think, that beat his 3-year old son to death. No guns, just a pathological act that belies the culture. 'Hollywood's' theme: Violence, death solves all problems!
Certainly we are a very ill culture. And we can ignore this only at our own peril!
Kafka was right! Humanity can't last unless it evolves to a higher consciousness. This will be the cyborgs, the androids, the robots, now being developed (by 100% human beings). It's the 'hope Kafka talks about! There is endless hope (beyond the word 'hope'), but not for 100% humans, as they had a beginning, and thus must end!
And some day the robots, will have to evolve, as well, as had a beginning in us.
Additionally, we're not (you, me and the others) in total control of our lives.
I tend to 'go with the energy flow,' rather than manipulating it. Trying to manipulate it doesn't work. Most of what we do, our actions, are unconscious to us.
If only I could have no EXPECTATIONS, and realize that there are only possibilities!
Purity, that's the goal.
"There is certainly insufficient protection for our body, with its delicate immune system when the soul has lost its confidence. Divisions in the soul weaken the body, whereas confidence and simplicity (apoletes) restore its strength and integrity.
Though The Gospel of Mary is not a medical treatise, it does remind us of the serious consequences to the physical body, when human desire becomes disoriented, losing its 'unwrinkled' bond to the presence of Being. This can be cured only by a rediscovery of fundamental confidence in the Anthropos (being fully human) that lives within us. It is this which makes communion between our mortal and immortal natures possible."
"The ancients sometimes said that the worst sin is ingratitude, which is a forgetting of the greatness, beauty, truth, and goodness of the Source that is constantly creating us!"
From THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDELENE (the Gnostic Gospels), by Jean-Yves Leloup.
I don't know if you ever did what I suggested, and go to the Forest to TALK TO IT?
If not, time to connect to the Spiritual, as the most vital element in the healing process.