The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings. ~Buddhist Sutra
Transitioning: Beach to Jungle
The plane took off and landed three times as we hop, skipped, and jumped from San Pedro Island to the mainland.The choppy hum of the propeller driven plane was still buzzing in our ears as we collected our baggage and climbed into the shuttle taking us to Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Jungle Lodge. The drive was an hour or so through the Belizean countryside into the mountains which were much cooler than the islands. When we stopped for gas, I was able to purchase a very cold and refreshing Dr. Pepper. Life can be most excellent in the tropics.
When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
I am sitting in the dark, naked on the cabana porch, the Caribbean Sea facing cabana porch with a white sand beach. My eyes are sealed. I am enjoying a state of blissful emptiness in the zone teetering between sleep and awake, breathing in Earth’s perfume, a perfume that can’t be photographed yet exists as an image indelibly etched, acid washed into our brain.
The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace. ~ Kate Chopin
The First Thing…
Chillin’ @ The Beach
The first thing I learned upon arrival in Belize is their primary language is English. English? English south of the US border? I had always thought Spanish and Portuguese were the languages of choice in the Americas south of Texas. Even Southern Texans speak a mixture of English & Spanish called TexMex. Though most everyone speaking English made communication easier, I was disappointed. I don’t go to other lands for easy. I go for adventure. A challenge. Agitation. Arousal. Nad kicking experiences.
Looking at the world through the sunset in your eyes
Traveling the train through clear Moroccan skies
Ducks and pigs and chickens call
Animal carpet wall to wall
American ladies five-foot tall in blue
~Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Marrakesh Express
One of the reasons I love travel is to be kicked in the nads….metaphorically speaking, of course…sending me stumbling, teary eyed into a new reality where I am overwhelmed by the unexpected, shocking my consciousness into a state of acute awareness forcing me to take in my surroundings with all the wonder of a newborn laying eyes upon its mother’s smile for the first time. I find joy in being unsure what I will experience when stepping off the plane in a new country. I enjoy having to walk off balance, breathing in new aromas, being slapped in the face by new weather patterns, hearing a new language with rhythms that confound my ears, immersing in a confusing culture that redefine my notions of the way things are ‘supposed’ to be.nads….metaphorically speaking, of course…sending me stumbling, teary eyed into a new reality where I am overwhelmed by the unexpected, shocking my consciousness into a state of acute awareness forcing me to take in my surroundings with all the wonder of a newborn laying eyes upon its mother’s smile for the first time. I find joy in being unsure what I will experience when stepping off the plane in a new country. I enjoy having to walk off balance, breathing in new aromas, being slapped in the face by new weather patterns, hearing a new language with rhythms that confound my ears, immersing in a confusing culture that redefine my notions of the way things are ‘supposed’ to be.
Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen. ~Benjamin Disraeli
Monks @ Angkor Wat
I woke up on day 2 of our Angkor Wat adventure feeling a hell of a lot better than I did the day before. Gone was the exhaustion and pain I experienced from walking for hours in extreme heat and humidity the day before. On this second day, I dressed much more sensibly allowing ample locations for the heat to escape and packing a few extra shirts for when the ones I was wearing were soaked with sweat.
The only things I own which are still worth what they cost me are my travel memories…the mind-pictures of the places which I have been hoarding like a happy miser. ~Burton Homes
Typical India Street Scene
This past Saturday, my wife and I sat on our newly purchased double recliner, love seat (I love recliners for their comfort and their unique ability to adjust to my many levels of laziness from seated to almost flat out prone), glasses of Pinot Noir in our hands while watching the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”. It’s a fun movie about a group of British retirees who decide to outsource their retirement to exotic India. The fact that my wife and I had both been to India heavily influenced our choice to watch the movie.
For me, the movie had many predictable elements. The people ‘find’ themselves or ‘rediscover’ themselves against the back drop of the chaos known as India. The predictability actually enhanced my enjoyment of the story.
Me (soaked) in front of Angkor Wat
We arrived in Siem Reap Cambodia late in the evening and hopped into a tuk-tuk for a ride to the hotel. A Cambodian tuk-tuk is reminiscent of a covered rickshaw but with the runner replaced by a motorcycle and the carriage with two sets of facing bench seats. All seemed perfect. The streets were relatively empty, a light breeze from the ride added a cooling touch to the warmth and humidity.
The tuk-tuk passed a long line of hotels filled to the brim with cars and tour busses then left the main road and headed down a side street before eventually turning onto an unlit, unpaved road that looked more than a bit ominous. My wife and I looked at each other nervously both flashing back to an unpleasant experience we had with a bicycle carriage driver in India.