Monday, February 28, 2011

Feb. 28th 2011...Back On The Blog

Happy Birthday Evan.....

Today is an auspicious day for me aside from trecking through South America. 30 years ago this day, my first child  Evan was born and I am remembering it liksay e it was yesterday. How happy I was to become a father for the first time ;all the,hopes and dreams  the possibilities and the unknowns.What would he be like as a young lad, as a teenager and now, 30 years later, a full-fledged adult? I am happy to say I am very proud of him....a poet with a sociology degree and a nice kid to boot. I only wish he would come traveling with me but that's a small thing to ask for given his age..besides who wants to travel with Pops??...I don't see many 30 year olds traveling like I do...
As a matter of fact, what I've discovered is that the majority of people traveling are under 30's and over 55's, with the emphasis on ..over 55's! In the last 2 months I've seen many people in there late 60's and 70's tromping the same territory that I have. Folks who really don't look like they would be capable of walking around the block, never mind climbing up and down mountains ,mini though they might be or walking 6 miles a day through green fields, ancient paths and pastures. But they are doing just that. And its these very folk who  inspire me to keep going. My motto (well one of my many mottos) is "you gotta keep movin to keep movin" because if you don't , with advancing age your body and then your mind will just fall apart. It's with this always in the back of my mind that I choose to travel , especially in winter when the tendency is to spend a lot of time in doors with the tv on. Mind you, I couldn't do this if I hadn't been fortunate enough to retire at 58 from a mind-numbing job and, I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for the life-saving liver transplant I received in 1995...Ok, here's another age thing...Has it really been that long?...and..Am I really 60 years old...a 90 year old would scoff at such thoughts but, well its true.Back then I was lucky if I could walk down to the end of the driveway (which was only about 40 ft.) let alone find myself on a new continent where I knew not a soul ....What a long strange trip indeed! Let it be said right now that I would not have survived without the unwavering support and love of my family first and foremost and the dedicated resolve of all the doctors, nurses and support staff who made the right decisions to facilitate my survival...And also my many friends who were there every step of the way. A special mention must go to my union who responded at the right time with much support shortly before I  was transplanted...... Thank you....Thank you......Thank you..all of you.

  So, it is with these thoughts, which are never far from my mind that I am now doing what I'm doing; traveling around Ecuador, a most beautiful country with fierce mountains, active volcanoes, beautiful valleys and gentle people.
In the last 17 months I have been to Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico and now Ecuador with an ever evolving plan to go to Colombia in a couple of weeks. During this time I managed to squeeze in a jaunt with the Olympics in Vancouver and a 6 week volunteer trip in the US from New York City to Washington DC via, Annapolis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Dover, East Haven and a few other cities and towns to raise people's awareness for the need for organ donors. Oh and did I say I spent a month in the lovely town of Georgetown Ontario where I grew up (if you could call it that)spending time with some of my dearest and most cherished friends. Some I've know for 50 years!...(there's that age thing again). Last but not least, I spent 8 months back in my adopted home town driving a limousine around my fair city of Victoria; discovering all over again how beautiful and unique Victoria is through the eyes of people who happened not to live here.

So that brings us to the present and to what I'm doing now and have been doing since I left Victoria Jan. 5th
This is the year I decided I was going to really travel that my 4 lovely children  were all done with school and I could truly divest myself of the responsibilities and anxieties of parenthood. I must say too that it was with a mixture of fear of the unknown , and anxiety and exhilaration that I jumped on that plane Jan.5th...not knowing where I was going exactly but knowing what I was leaving behind...

South America here I come ready or not! 

Feb.28th 2011...Ok.... ...The last 5 photos

...Between Quito and Cuenca on the bus...

...Moi in Progresso....

Nos.3 and 4
.....The view from my condo on the Gulf of Mexico in Progreso....

The walkway from my cabin in Izhcayluma, Vilcabamba to the mainbuilding and restaurant..lovely bamboo grove...


The view from the restaurant deck in Izhcayluma,Vilcabamba.....

Feb.16th 2011

 This was what i gazed upon first thing every morning...Absolutely stunning!

At long last....

Feb.28th 2011,Cuenca Ecuador

So here I am a year later, a year older and hopefully a year wiser.I got dragged kicking and screaming to the computer shop to finally break down and buy a laptop.Seems I learned nothing from last year's travel binge.To tell you the truth, I enjoyed going to the internet cafe daily .There was something about the ambience of a room full of travelers and locals alike, busily tapping away on their keyboards.It felt inspiring and I was inspired.But, the problems that arose from using a different computer everyday I did not foresee....again..I had spent 8 months back in Victoria using my trusty desktop,the one I had owned and trusted for 10 years,the one I never blogged on either because I felt that my blog was about traveling and dealing with the issues of having a compromised immune system and not about living and working in the lovely city of Victoria.

This morning I find myself sitting in a cafe with my now trusty laptop committing fingers to keyboard and trying to get back into the swing of writing a daily blog.
I left Victoria Jan.5th with no idea (once again)where my travels where going to take me. I knew that I was going to start of in Los Angeles for 5 days where I was going to hang out with my friend Will, a recording engineer who has worked with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and is presently working with Tom Petty. He has lived in Hollywood for 30 years and who better than he to introduce me to the fabled Tinseltown. It was damn cold there, much to my surprise but I knew that it would only be a few days before I was to be complaining of the humidity and heat of my next stop, Merida Mexico.

My old work buddy Lyle had recently moved to Merida after threatening to for as far back as I can remember.He had been there for the first time on his honeymoon in 1980 and had returned many times over the years.We had talked about this place extensively and I couldn't wait to see what all the fuss was about.I had also read about it in International Living I had about Ecuador which was to be my next stop.
After nearly a month where I holed myself up in a 3 bedroom condo on the beach in Progreso, about an hour's bus ride from downtown Merida,I was ready to journey into the unknown;a brand new country ,a brand new continent.On Feb. 1st I flew from Merida to Mexico City then to Panama City and finally to Quito Ecuador where I, as usual arrived too late to see the mountains and city lights.I liked it this way.Saving a surprise for as long as I could stand it.