Nassau!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 17:56

Blog:

 

Quite a first day in Nassau!

 

Arrived on the overnight mailboat from Bimini…

 

It's funny to see tall buildings on such a small island.

 

<port pix>

 

Came in at the port!

 

<pix port>

 

Walking along the restaurants by the water, had a breakfast of pig's feet souse. Fresh off the boat, I ask what is pig's feet souse. She asks if I've ever tried chicken souse. It turns out to be a stew containing allspice and other flavors.

 

<souce pix>

 

Later in the day, ate mutton curry at a Jamaican place, then steam chicken at a Haitian place.

 

The food here, which is tasty, seems to get stuck in one's teeth, so I think of it as "flossing food."

 

For some reason, Chinese and Greek stuff seems popular in Nassau. I've already lost track of how many Chinese restaurants I've seen here, along with Chinese traditional medicine and more.

 

The people here generally seem friendly, it has a small town feel. I like the architecture, small colorful buildings. Tons of music, which I feel comes out of the streets as in New Orleans. The weather is of course nice, it's the Caribbean!

 

 

First daze!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 17:56

I'm on the road again!!!!!!!!! :)

Well, not quite the road, more like water!

Now in the Bahamas… As I write this I'm taking a boat from Bimini to Nassau…

Many thoughts, not much time to write…. It's a constant whirl of action!

 

My feet are already blistered, and my already worn sandals didn't last until the port of Miami! We'll see how some DIY repairs hold up…

 

After a couple of years off in Miami, I've had a chance to unwind, and now feel like going again. I was getting tired of the USA… Feeling like everywhere I went, I'd seen it before…

 

<pix galore interspersed>

 

 

The ferry ride from Miami to Bimini was beautiful. Along the way, there were these, which I think are flying fish!

 

<flying fish pix>

 

The Caribbean consists of basically a few spits of sand. Bimini is surrounded by a handful of cays.

 

<bimini pix>

 

Bimini is a small island. It basically has a handful of resorts, and a long road (the King's Highway!) lined with houses, shops, restaurants, and more. It took me about two hours to see the island by foot.

 

<king's highway pix>

 

This ain't Miami!

 

<ramshackle house and vehicle pix>

 

The food smells delicious, haven't had a chance to eat it yet….

 

Arriving in Bimini, at customs they only gave me a seven day visa, when I had expected more. So, I have to find a way out, while trying to extend the visa. At the dock, I ask if there are any boats going to Nassau. (By the way, I'm imagining a NASA logo with Nassau instead…) There's a cargo boat going soon. It only departs three times per month! I have about thirty minutes to decide. Sure, let's go!

 

People mill about, drinking beer and smoking tobacco and marijuana as they work. "They're waiting on the captain," a woman says.

 

Not quite as luxurious as the ferry from Miami to Bimini - no onboard wifi! - although actually I feel a lot less seasickness on this boat, probably because of calmer waters. The water in the Caribbean is turquoise!

 

<turqouise water pix>

 

I napped briefly during the two-hour ride, the only sleep I had in two days.

 

The people seem extremely friendly. The place is laid-back, like going to small towns. A pleasant surprise after so long in Miami.

 

 

<me pix>

 

Here's my gear. It doesn't take a lot of stuff to travel!

 

<belongings pix>

 

It's terrific to get back out there again! I feel fresh! Excited for more.

 

 

Rock & Roll!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Blogging

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 17:53

I've been adding my notes here as I've had wifi. Often I've made notes while away. For now I'm rushing just to get things posted, so there may be funny formatting, pictures not included where I'd like them, etc.

Above, I'm posting some of my early blogs from the Caribbean, which it looks like I haven't got around to doing yet.

Rock & Roll!

Back to the main island of Puerto Rico!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 17:47

After looking at the map, my laptop screen started to show messed up lines. It looked like other monitors I've seen before the computer failed. Some of the water got into the computer!

 

With some worry, I walked towards town. After a while, someone offered me a ride. At the outskirts of town, had some breakfast. I'd become so hungry and thirsty, the breakfast was welcome. After leaving the place, I felt hungry and thirsty again. Went into town, ate and drank more, bought some new footwear!

 

After refreshing, I started to feel sick. I threw up several times. Among those occasions, some passersby gave me some cold water, and called an ambulance. However, I recognized the sickness as from ingesting something, so I declined to go to the hospital. After throwing up, I felt much better.

 

I had let the laptop dry out in the sun for a while. Risking it a bit earlier than I perhaps should have, I tried turning it on. Luckily, it worked! I quickly powered it off again. The next day, Monday, rode the ferry back from "Bieke" to the main island of Puerto Rico.

 

I've been walking westward. This southeastern area of Puerto Rico reminds of the southeastern continental United States, especially Alabama. Gently rolling hills, kind people who talk in a funny yet beautiful way, plentiful food growing, pickup trucks, the heat and humidity, and more. It also has touches of Cuba, such as the architecture. Overall, a very relaxed, gorgeous place.

 

In this area, mangos grow plentifully. At one tree, I stopped and picked up about fifteen or twenty ripe mangos that had fallen to the ground. I ate as many as I could, and loaded more into my bags. Any locals who noticed me must have laughed at the foreigner!

 

Later, I came across more mango trees producing dozens or hundreds of fruits falling to the ground. As I walked, I kept on eating mangos, replenishing as I made headway. It's got to the point that I'm practically overburdened, I think my Rolser even burst at a seam from mangos! I feel like my belly may burst at a seam from mangos.

 

 One important thing that seems to keep on repeating is that situations that seem difficult, problematic, troublesome, often wind up producing the best results. When my laptop looked broken from the rain, I worried that it could become a serious issues. Yet, it spurred me on and I wound up having positive experiences along the way. When I was throwing up, thinking that I'd be without a laptop, I felt down yet confident that I'd make it through, maybe even in better shape. I think it's important to maintain an optimistic attitude.

 

After walking a while in the brutal heat and humidity, uphill, but through charming countryside scenery, I was starting to feel exhausted when a pickup pulled up, offering me a ride. I just got out in a mall that looks extremely American, in Humacao. Now catching up after a while out in the middle of nowhere!

 

 

Vieques Travels!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 16:09

After arriving in Vieques, I agree more with having gone. Once underway, brain adapts. Do what's important, even though it sometimes feels wrong/hard/etc.

 

Irony:

Vieques is promoted under an ecotourism banner as a sleepy, unspoiled island of rural "old world" charm and pristine deserted beaches, and is rapidly becoming a popular destination.

Last night, walked across Vieques. Went looking for the biobay, but it was late and I didn't find it. Instead, found a beautiful camp spot on the beach!

 

During the walk, I was feeling extremely dehydrated, from the morning and previous day. Didn't find much water, but did find about 8-10 mangos, some of the largest, plumpest, juiciest, tastiest mangos I've had in Puerto Rico!

 

Overnight and in the morning, rain. Still feeling dehydrated. Maybe I'll go into town before trying again for the biobay.

 

The mangos in the Caribbean have complex tastes. I feel like mangos here can have five or seven or more different flavors. For instance, some mangos taste like papayas, others like squash or sweet potatoes, etc. Some even taste like mango!

 

The views in the Puerto Rico smaller islands are so gorgeous!

 

Coca-Cola has some ads around here with uncommon Spanish phrases, not sure yet what they mean…

 

Laptop bag breaking almost to the point of replacement. Backpack too. Glasses, phone, etc., too!

 

In a way, we may loosen our standards for non-artificial things. For example, biolouminescence seems like it will be quite faint. As I was walking last night, I could see numerous examples of "mechanoluminescence," such as car lights. If they came from some animal or plant or microbial source, people would be amazed!

 

Also, I've seen beautiful bright lights, and thought, "what a moon!" only to discover that they were from artificial light sources.

 

Last night, the lights from cars and elsewhere seemed so refreshing, thirst-quenching!

 

Walking along the dark roads last night, in my broken footwear, there were animals by the side of the road. Some ran out into the road, scaring me. Most turned out to be horses. Quite large animals, which I could hardly see in the darkness.

 

I like the spaciousness, the quiet here. Vieques seems largely peaceful too, despite its larger size and I think larger population compared to Culebra.

 

The weather is just right for relaxing!

 

I don't know how people get stuff done in places like this. I guess there are occasions of rain. Also, some people are probably less tempted by the beautiful weather at the beach, compared to me.

 

This book differs from many of my previous artistic efforts, which were more conceptual. Instead, in this case I'm just developing the story from what seems interesting as it happens.

 

You often have to take a leap to get somewhere. It's important to plan to some extent, so you know what you're getting into. Instead of stupid or ignorant or random chances, to take smart risks. But, sometimes you do have to take those risks!

 

It can feel scary, dangerous, wrong, uncertain, confusing, etc., to take a chance. That's because taking risks carries the, duh, risk, of negative/unwanted consequences. Therefore, it only makes sense to take risks for things that you really want.

 

Once you've taken the jump, things fall into place. Your brain adjusts, the situation adjusts, you feel more capable and confident. You can freely go about your business, instead of focusing on or fearing the risk itself.

 

As a result of failures, failed risks, etc., there are losses along the way. There are sad parts, hard parts, etc. The way I see it, there are sad and hard parts anyways -- even if you stay in one place and do nothing -- so you may as well take some chances and do the things you really care about, despite some risks. That doesn't justify a blind approach of doing anything you feel like, or the losses would soon drag you down. Instead, it's about balancing when and where you take risks, and managing the consequences or outcomes.

 

Personally, I think it takes a mix of preparation and action. I don't think an idealistic approach gets you far, because ideals are generally built out of naïve notions, which wind up not matching the facts on the ground. I think an unthinking action can get one places, but often not nearly as far, nor with as much reward, as a balance of thinking and doing. I used to just daydream, often getting nowhere. Now I more often put my dreams into action. I think that people who only pursue action without any higher thinking often wind up covering the same terrain repeatedly. It's up to each person how to pursue life.

 

I am happy to travel!

 

In the tropics, when the sun is out, without clouds, I find it too hot to be out of the shade. I now often look forward to the clouds, whereas before I often preferred direct sunshine.

 

Here in Vieques, there are horses walking on the beaches, horses walking on the city streets, horses out and about.

 

A bird, heron I think, on a horse!

 

The biobay is looking more complicated. It seems like the place I want to go is in a somewhat different location than I initially thought. Here I've seen ads for tours at $55 per person. Ads tout glass-bottom kayaks, electric boats, and more. I'm not sure whether or not one can simply walk to the biobay, or if one needs to boat to a certain inner location.

 

The prices for groceries around these small islands seem surprisingly reasonable. I was expecting much higher prices. Maybe because of the frequent ferry service, there's enough competition from the main island? The restaurants and hotels seem pricier, as I had expected.

 

Some of the numerous horses on Vieques just walked up. One of them ate the mango peel I had recently discarded. The horse also tried to eat the mango seed, but wound up only eating the flesh then spitting out the seed. I've been playing Johnny Mango Seed in the tropics.

 

Some of the other horses also walked up. They ate some grass. One of them looked like it was going to try eating my cell phone, my laptop bag, and my food. I shooed it away, then walked to a different location. Some of the horses seem to have maybe wanted to have been petted. I'm not sure exactly, and they're large animals, so I decided against it.

 

Wow! Amazing!

 

Walking to the bioluminescent bay, gorgeous beach views.

 

Getting closer, some tour trucks passed. One offered a ride. I got in.

 

Some people from California on the tour.

 

Driver was surprised I was walking. Warned there would be tons of mosquitoes. Indeed there are. Mosquito Bay lives up to its name.

 

Getting out of the vehicle. "Cool!" Oh wait, that's not bioluminescence. First some vehicle lights, then some sidewalk lights. Finally, at the bay, put my hand in the water. It sparkles!

 

It's gorgeous, magical.

 

Popular, numerous people visiting.

 

Bioluminescence is a subtle, eerie effect.

 

One-celled organisms emit a light when they impact an object. It's a green light, with maybe some blue. It looks like a liquid LED or something.

 

The light is not that bright. Experts recommend visiting on a moonless or cloudy night. I arrived just a few days after a new moon.

 

Bioluminescence.

 

With insects buzzing, distant lights shining out over the bay, it's magical.

 

I like bioluminescence.

 

Hard to take photos. My phone camera would not suffice, so I did not even bother to charge it.

 

Bioluminescence pic!

 

If you get a chance, go to see it!

 

You don't even need to go on a tour. From the edge of the water, you can dip your hand or foot in, pushing some water around, to produce light.

 

It differs from other things I've seen!

 

Last night, with the lightning, the starlight, the car lights, the flashlights, variously colored glowsticks, green laser pointers, and of course the bioluminescent water itself, things felt so bright!

 

Today, even in the early dawn light, the bioluminescence did not show up visibly.

 

Now the water looks like ordinary water. The bay still looks beautiful, but without that bioluminescent magic.

 

The mosquitoes are fierce.

 

I need to get more insect repellent, a replacement laptop bag, new footwear, etc.

 

Why don't we eat mosquitoes and other annoying species, instead of cows and other nicer species?

 

Walked around the island of Vieques some more. Cut inland, stopped at a restaurant to charge up my phone. It's been an ongoing frustration to have not much battery for photos, maps, etc. Kept walking, picked up some more fresh mangos.

 

Later, made it back to the coast. After following a trail with some humorous signs, wound up at the black sand beach, with, you guessed it, black sand!

 

With some of these places, it makes me think that after a while on a small island, people figure out so much of it that they know practically the whole place. Some of the destinations I've seen recently have been quite out of the way, I guess the locals have had a chance to see their entire island.

 

It's an interesting type of tourism. People seem to visit Vieques and other parts of Puerto Rico from the continental United States. Puerto Rico itself has a mix of American and Latin cultures. The small islands have significant geographic beauty. As such, numerous people, often young, visit the same handful of destinations. So it becomes a mix of ecotourism, American marketing/manufacturing tourism, and Latin Caribbean cultural tourism.

 

The beaches are remarkable. These are some of the most beautiful, and also comfortable, beaches I've ever seen, and I've seen a fair number of beaches. The temperature, in the sun or in the shade, the water, the humidity, the plants, the fine sand, it all adds up to make it suck you in. Once at the beach, it feels like a thick, warm blanket enveloping you.  I feel like falling asleep and just staying at the beach until I die.

 

Vieques is still mostly undeveloped. More houses, vacation rentals, and such are starting to pop up.

 

Vieques is a dog, Culebra is a cat. Vieques is loud, bigger, and rougher. Culebra is quiet, smaller, and softer. I prefer Culebra.

 

After this beach, I plan to walk around more of western Vieques. It looks like there are a handful of other attractions, not too appealing to me but close enough that I want to see them while I'm here. Then, probably back to the main town and ferry back to the main island. There are a few small areas in eastern Vieques that I may not see, and much of eastern Vieques seems to be cordoned off from the US, if I'm seeing the maps correctly. This may only take me through the weekend, whereas before I'd thought of staying longer. Seems like a small island.

 

I like going to new places. For the additional hassle of having numerous small islands in the Caribbean instead of one larger landmass as on the continents, it at least makes for nice surprises, plenty of ferry rides, etc.!

 

So many ways to travel! Recently I've appreciated the Rolser, luggage on wheels, which a kind person gave me a while ago while I was walking with my backpack.

 

Looking for ways to get west. Beach? Road? Shops along the way?

 

I've taken to taking siestas in the afternoon, when it's too hot to go out in the sun anyways.

 

I'm generally preferring these days to have no caffeine or alcohol. I feel good without any, I'm on a regular sleep schedule. I don't oppose their use, but I feel like it would do more harm now.

 

It looks like the beach doesn't connect up with the next beach.

 

Looks like I have a fairly basic route back to the main town, probably get there this weekend. Convenient, since I'm low on food. I thought I'd be in Vieques a week to a week and a half, looks like instead it may only be a half to one week.

 

I think there's a sizable mountain between my next destination on the main island and the capital. I'm not sure whether or not to go. I'd generally prefer just to stick along the coast. However, if I find out that there's anything of interest up there, I'm willing to give it a shot.

 

At any rate, I then plan to visit the string of southern towns. On the map they look somewhat ordinary, but often the map doesn't tell the whole story.

 

It seems like Puerto Rico may have been built recently enough that it's largely modern. That makes it more convenient, less interesting.

 

I'm basically planning to follow the peripheral roads around the main island, with a possible detour into the central mountain.

 

At the beach with black sand, slept in a quiet spot. The next day, beautiful much of the day, including a sunbow (like a rainbow but around the sun).

 

I decided to spend another night at the beach. The second night, it rained. Woke up, dried off in the sun.

 

Went for a walk. Found some delicious mangos! Kept walking.

 

In a wildlife refuge by the beach, some passersby gave me an ice cold beer and water.

 

Now turning on laptop and phone to look at map and write this. The phone says: "Firmware Update: Do not unplug the USB connection until the process is complete." It looks stuck at 0%. I only have a small amount of battery left. Uh oh. Here's hoping the phone doesn't get stuck without working firmware!

 

My previous pair of shoes had broken down to the point that I wore through the bottoms, and my socks. I could feel the rocks and stuff on the ground directly against my feet. Recently found some flip-flops. Combined them with the shoelaces from the previous pair of shoes, to make sandals!

 

Thankfully, after removing then reinserting the battery, it seems to boot up normally. I think it may have tried to start while the battery was low, and failed partway through.

 

Not sure exactly where I am, since GPS isn't working. I'm going to try a direction, and see where I go!

 

Walking by some old US Navy bunkers.

 

Life is like a video game. What kind(s) of game do you play?

 

It's hard to keep enough sunblock on in the tropics!

 

Walked from the south to the north coast of Vieques. Found another quiet, gorgeous beach. After lying in the sun for a bit, went for a dip. Dried off in the sun. Too hot to lie around. Went into the shade of some tall coconut trees. Some green cocos on the trees, but all the fallen cocos looked and felt quite old.

 

A few mosquitoes around this area. Much of the island is mercifully free of the pests, for a tropical island. Still a few in most areas.

 

After pausing in the shade, because it still feels too hot to go out in the sun much, and I'm tired, I'm considering either walking westward to see a different beach, or eastward to pick up some food. I'm out of supplies, and hungry and thirsty. However, the sun's descending and it would be a nice walk west. I'm still leaning eastward, as I've already seen plenty of beaches today. I'm going to look at the map to see the distances, and any other info I can gather.

 

There are so many possible roads. Maybe that's one reason why I love travel so much! The freedom, the beauty.

 

Each day I feel like I get to see and do so much more than I otherwise would. Plus, I really appreciate the places I'm going. I often like the destinations I pick far more than I had expected. It's definitely a challenge to figure out what to do, do it, deal with the problems, etc., but to me it's worth it!

 

I often feel like a star, or at least like I'm realizing my goals, which I am. Not always do things turn out per plan, but there's generally some spectacular reward!

 

I'm becoming more of a do-ist. I think that it's often worth doing stuff, even if you're not 100% sure about the results.

 

The improvised sandals are holding up quite well, much better than expected! They do still hurt between my toes, as flip-flops often do.

 

I'm so hungry and thirsty I've been fantasizing about food for days!

 

As much as I like to eat, I often prefer to stay at the beach, or keep walking, or continue doing whichever activity I'm immersed in. It's something of a trade-off, but when I'm in the zone I feel like it's often preferable to maximize that, instead of sacrificing the moment for some food which I can eat later.

 

The body can handle tons!

 

There are so many cays, islands, etc., on the map, which would be a pleasure to visit! There isn't time to see every last corner. Pick and choose.

 

Map says that the westward beach is 4.2 km, or around an hour walk, away. That's somewhat farther than I'd expected.

 

Map shows no place closer to eat than around 12 km, or 3 hours' walk.

 

It rained, so I wound up going east, towards the city. After walking the long pier, camped by the beach. Woke up early. Cloudy sunrise. I'll probably walk into town soon!

 

 

Culebra!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 06/04/2019 - 21:08

Walking to the ferry station. Looks like I may get there late. Along the way, a car stops and offers to drive me. A couple who reside in Miami, work in Puerto Rico. Without the ride, I probably would have missed the ferry.

 

Culebra, Puerto Rico

 

Not sure if there's wifi at the island.

 

Culebra is a gorgeous small island off the main island of Puerto Rico. It also has its own smaller islands, such as Culebrita and Chichi.

 

The locals are friendly. This morning I've already on several occasions been offered "pon," a hitchhiking ride.

 

It seems like a small liberal community. Numerous people residing on sailboats anchored off the coast. Quaint restaurants. Jeeps and pickup trucks.

 

Rain, sun.

 

Takes flexibility to travel! :)

 

Golf carts on the island, too.

 

Feeding cattle, goat on the roadside. They asked for some grass!

 

After walking awhile along the curving, swooping road, I made it - to the beach!

 

Playa Zoni is a quiet beach, a thin strip of sand along turquoise waters, with palm trees stretching out over the sea.

 

Small islands dot the horizon.

 

I feel peaceful, calm.

 

Things degrade. In part, there's an ongoing degradation just from being in the environment. Also, there are extra stresses from use that speed up degradation. Travel increases these stresses. Travel by foot increases pressure on the feet, of course. My shoes just broke -- again. I've lost track of how many pairs of footwear I've gone through while walking.

 

My glasses are breaking. My laptop bag is breaking. My cell phone cable is breaking. My cell phone and laptop are slowing down. The more one uses things, the faster they break, and travel requires heavy use.

 

It would be somewhat nice to reside out here, in remote Culebra. It's too remote for my tastes, I think. You'd see the same people regularly.

 

Woke up to a beautiful sunrise!

 

Some occasions things seem to go wrong. Wrong turns, failing equipment, etc. I think that's just par for the course, that on occasion these things happen. Even in a random sequence of events, there'll be runs of failures or poor outcomes. Not that things are necessarily random, but in any series of events, there are likely to be series of failures. If anything, non-random series are likely to have more series of failures, and it can be convenient to group a bunch of failures together.

 

Now looking for some wifi on Culebra.

 

Culebra is abbreviated Cul, and there are promotional messages saying "I <3 Cul". This looks funny to anyone who knows French, in which "cul" means "ass".

 

I'm staying in Culebra at least until Saturday. Then, I may go to the next island, or I may stay another day.

 

In general, travel light!

 

Low on cash. Complicated dealing with different accounts after Cuba, slowly readjusting to capitalism.

 

Long weekend at the beach!

 

I thought I would just see Flamenco Beach for the evening. It's reputed among the best on the planet. At first I thought that was just hyperbole, but after a long weekend there, struggling to pull myself away, I have to agree!

 

Sand so fine you practically slip into it. Turquoise waters. Camping.

 

Not many stores open on a small island.

 

I think it's important to force oneself (at least for me to force myself) to do things, even though it doesn't necessarily feel right immediately. I have strong feelings, especially once I get underway, so I have to keep mental tabs.

 

Woke up after camping out at a beautiful spot on the beach. Sand, birds roaming around (including seagulls, a chicken, and what look like herons). Views of sunrise over the sea, and sunset over the mountain. This is a thin strip of land, and walking down to the beach I could see the ocean on both sides. I made a fire, for the first time in a while.

 

Today, planning to go over to Vieques, the other Puerto Rican Virgin Isle. There, I want to see the bioluminescent bay.

 

This area, Culebra, often reminds me of the Miami area. Both have a mix of seagrapes and coconut palms. Both have beautiful beaches with beautiful people. Both are somewhat expensive.

 

Culebra and Vieques were used as military test ranges by the U.S. Navy. Therefore, there are large areas marked with warnings of unexploded ordnance. Somewhat ironic on vacation islands!

 

Explosivos sin detonar

 

I very much appreciate the quiet of Culebra. It's sparsely populated, so there are still tons of quiet places to get away. It's somewhat hard to get to the island, with only ferries, sailboats, and small planes. As such, there remain numerous quiet places to get away. By contrast, on larger islands, it often feels jam-packed like on the continents.

 

I'm feeling dehydrated in the sun. After numerous days of clouds and rain, we're now having a series of sunny days!

 

Eagle Culebra playa

 

So comfy. Do not want to leave.

 

Arrived in Vieques!

 

So far Vieques seems more like the main Puerto Rican island, less like Culebra.

 

Rock & Roll!!! :)

More travel notes

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 05/29/2019 - 17:22

What are some unusual ways to travel?

 

Animal. Horse, mule, donkey, camel, elephant, etc.

Alternative fuels. Biodiesel, etc.

Hot air balloon.

Etc.! :)

 

I am getting better at travel! :)

 

Kilometers, kilowords. They add up!

 

10 benefits of human-powered transportation

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 05/29/2019 - 17:21

Advantages of traveling by human power, such as by foot or by bicycle, include the following:

 

  1. Good exercise. Get stronger and healthier while traveling!
  2. Better for the environment. Less pollution, cleaner air.
  3. More beautiful. See, hear, feel the scenery.
  4. More authentic. Move by your own strength.
  5. More social. Meet the locals.
  6. More fun. Get that serotonin flowing!
  7. Less expensive. Save money for things you care about.
  8. Appetite building. Food tastes so much better after a long journey!
  9. Life training. Improve your psychology.
  10. And beyond!

Rainy Days

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 05/29/2019 - 17:02

Raining most of the day. Weather calls for more rain for the upcoming week. I want to go to the islands of Culebra and Vieques this week. Probably go even if it's rainy, as Ceiba is a small conservative town.

 

These islands and the area from here to San Juan seem like the interesting touring corridor of Puerto Rico. After that, I plan to continue walking around the main island. Maybe pick up a bike. Maybe there are more interesting places ahead, which I do not yet know.

 

Often one has to adapt to the conditions. After planning to go one way, maybe it rains or you find a different, unexpected destination. It makes sense to alter previous ideas, to take advantage of the conditions, instead of obstinately pursuing a goal based on naïve presumptions which proved less effective.

Go with experiences!

 

Travel is a kind of work. It's not professional work, unless one travels for a job. However, it takes effort, whether the physiological effort of walking or riding a bike or whatever, or the professional effort to afford gas or a plane ticket or whatever. Travel pays not in dollars, but in experiences, memories, life lessons.

 

Travel can show one different ways of living.

 

Travel can show one different environments. Travel can even show one different sides of oneself.

 

We have untapped reserves of potential. Travel often forces one to call upon those reserves, revealing better alternatives.

 

Writing is another kind of work. Even if it is not professional writing. Writing about one's experiences, thoughts, feelings, can be as simple as describing specific actions or events from memories. However, writing can also call upon untapped reserves, hidden strengths, to understand, to convey, to find patterns or meanings. Also, writing produces a more objective record. It is convenient, beautiful, rewarding to have a written document that communicates what one felt or thought under certain conditions.

 

I am writing this story, about my travels through the Caribbean and more of Latin America, for a number of reasons. In part I insist on recording my travels anyways, for my own sake. I want to remember later on what I am now doing. In part I want to share with anyone interested, whether an old friend or an internet stranger. Also, as a professional writer I do want to compile these writings into my next book.

 

Writing isn't much of a business. Unless you are already famous, it is difficult to sell enough writing even to cover expenses, let alone to make a significant income. In part writing is an artistic calling, a desire to express oneself.

 

Writing also enables one to better understand and appreciate events. After seeing something new, or trying an activity for the first time, writing can act as a kind of prompt, which elicits one's responses. Some of the responses may be recalled from during the event itself, while other responses may come from reflection, or from attempting to describe the event in a more objective, understandable way, for example.

 

I am happy to write this story regardless of sales.

 

Writing can also feel fun. It's relaxing, soothing, like the rain falling on a roof or tent. The tippity tappity of keys clicking. It's nice to write with a pen or pencil or typewriter, but a keyboard has a pleasant tactile sense.

 

Writing can also be hypnotizing, like the rain. And some people think it's therapeutic to externalize one's thoughts.

 

Travel is life.

 

Travel means going from one place to another. That is the same, physically, as any other process in the universe. Movement.

 

Whether one travels by foot, bicycle, car, boat, airplane, animal, or other mode of transportation, one physically moves from one location to another. One displaces parts of the environment, shifting such that one has a different perspective. The different perspective affords new thoughts, feelings.

 

Travel in the common sense of visiting other countries, cities, etc., often involves chaining together multiple steps. For example, one may walk to the car, drive to the airport, fly to the destination, Uber to the hotel, walk to the beach, etc.

 

Each of these steps is in a basic sense comparable to the steps one would go through without "traveling" to a novel destination. For example, one may walk to the car, drive to the office, etc. (Flying is less common for work than for travel, but it does happen.)

 

As such, travel is fundamentally not different than "ordinary" life.

 

When I started long-term traveling, I had already done endurance athletics. I thought of travel (and still do) as doing the same exercises, but instead of returning "home" at the end of the day, continuing on.

 

Home is where the heart is. Home is the opposite of travel, I guess. Opposite usually have quite a lot in common. In traveling, I feel that one makes one's home wherever one is at the time.

 

For me, personally, I feel more at home while traveling than while living in one place.

 

I feel like my "home" IS travel.

 

After a while in one spot -- it could be a few years in an appealing metropolis, or a few hours in a small town -- I start to get bored. Then, I feel immense relief when I leave, when I travel to new destinations.

 

I'm not sure whether one day I'll want to "settle down" somewhere, or if I'll continue to feel like that's "settling" "down" (i.e. taking something not as desirable). Thankfully, for the next few years at least, and next few decades if my body and mind hold out, I prefer to travel.

 

There are so many countries I want to visit. I am extremely grateful that I get so bored so quickly, because that means I have the motivation to keep on traveling to new destinations. Otherwise, I am confident that my laziness would probably keep me in one place.

 

In a way, it's the negatives or problems that often drive the positives or benefits. Because of fears, anxieties, boredom, stress, etc., I and other people can get driven to travel. I probably would not travel nearly as much if I felt comfortable in one place for long. Because I get uncomfortable seeing the same sights, hearing the same sounds, etc., I feel forced in some sense to travel, to leave. I think that my basic personality type, the neurotic part of it, genetically, drives me to travel. Also, to write. This personality issue definitely has major drawbacks -- I often feel negative emotions, which can be quite difficult to manage. However, at least it has the advantage of propelling higher, farther -- maybe not faster.

 

Speed does matter, but it's not the only thing. Also, I often prefer to travel slowly. A casual pace gives one more time to think, to feel, to process the experiences.

 

On foot, it sometimes seems to take too long to get places, but overall I very much appreciate the opportunity to make decisions carefully. While walking, the brain "walks" along too, exploring possibilities, contemplating. It's a comfortable pace to consider things like routes, cultures, geographies.

 

Sometimes people offer me a ride, for example just on the way here. I often accept, but if I am enjoying the walk, then I may decline.

 

In a car, you have more comfort, you have protection from the elements, you have speed. Very effective way to get places, but it's so fast that you can easily miss large parts of a country.

 

The main island of Puerto Rico is approximately 150 km x 50 km. Driving at 130 km/hr, you could cross the long way in just over an hour, and the short way in well under an hour! It's so fast that you can whizz by most of the attractions without having a chance even to see them, let alone to take them in.

 

I guess I've had a bunch of saved up thoughts. Like having a bunch of saved up energy in a battery (which I unfortunately often don't have -- just recently I've run out of phone battery a few times before getting pictures of some of the most beautiful sights -- I want to buy a battery backup).

 

While traveling you're often thrown out of any routine. Sometimes you're far away from electricity for a few days, so you have to remember what you want to write down. Other times you're stranded in the rain, so you get a chance to recall your memories and write them down.

 

As in life generally, during travel it makes sense to adapt to conditions.

 

I often wish it rained less. I want to spend more time in deserts, although where I am now and where I plan to travel for much of the near future contains tropical areas more than deserts. Humans have historically depended on rainfall, so most of the popular or interesting destinations are rainy, often by rivers. Nowadays, with water pipes and other modern amenities, it's about as easy to live in the desert, but few societies have arisen in the desert, and those that have are often car-centric and somewhat boring to me.

 

I sometimes daydream of a bicycle-based modern society in the desert. Solar panels. Technology and tourism for industry. Unique architecture.

 

After Puerto Rico, I plan to go to Republica Dominicana. From there, Haiti, which shares the same island. Then, maybe the US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands. Afterwards, I want to see some of the Dutch Caribbean.

 

I do want to see Trinidad and Tobago, but I'm not sure whether it makes more sense to do that now or from South America. I'm deliberating whether to try seeing Venezuela and the Guyanas as part of the Caribbean, or T&T as part of northeastern South America.

 

After the Caribbean, I plan to go to Cancun, then see the rest of Mexico, then C. America, then S. America.

 

I like the people one often meets while traveling. They seem like a different breed than stay-at-homes.

 

Loud noises bother me. I think it's part of my neurotic personality. I'm sure that loud noises bother most people, but I've noticed that they seem to bother me far more than average. Also, I think that they may bother me more now than when I was younger?

 

One thing I especially like about travel is the opportunity to choose when and where to go. Not just in the larger sense of which countries to see in which days, but also in the smaller sense of just choosing to get out of the city and go for a long walk in the country whenever you feel like it. You can easily enough incorporate a route change into your itinerary, since there are likely to be places in that direction that you want to see anyways. I find it much easier while traveling than while in one place to plan or act spontaneously, to go where one pleases when one pleases.

 

Freedom. The freedom of travel enables one to do more, see more, be more. It's the same fundamental concept as how freedom of motion enables any object or system to become more.

 

By the way, culturally freedom can have different senses, or meanings. In Cuba the politics often speaks of freedom. Yet, in practice, people often lack basic freedoms -- to choose their work, their place of residence, and so forth.

 

In Puerto Rico, I see little mention of freedom. More likely to see the word "gratis" (free of cost) than "libre" (free of restrictions). However, Puerto Ricans are in many senses more free -- to buy cars or boats, to travel, etc.

 

Puerto Rico seems like a "nice" society. The people are nice and friendly, the food is nice and soft, and weather is nice and warm, etc. Things here generally seem nice, comfy, decent. They lack the edge of being too extreme in one direction or another. The food isn't too spicy, the weather isn't too cold, the people aren't too mean. Things just sort of function, roll along.

 

It's comfortable here. I think it would make an exceptional place for liberal Americans from the northern US to move or retire. Real estate costs much less, the weather is better, there are beaches, the people are friendlier, etc.

 

Personally, I want to continue traveling, as mentioned above. Also, I have somewhat unusual tastes, and would prefer to live in a society with more colorful food, music, etc.

 

In the tropics, many trees have brightly colored flowers -- pinks, purples, yellows, oranges, reds, often intermingling. There are so many varieties of plants and animals, one can't even recognize them all. The mixture of rain and sunshine provide the conditions for a great variety of growing life forms.

 

The humidity of the tropics makes my sinuses swell up, I feel fatigue, nasal congestion, pressure behind my eyes and teeth, and other symptoms. However, the same weather conditions also produce some of the most gorgeous flora and fauna on the planet.

 

It's a tradeoff. Like in many areas of life, there are tradeoffs. The desert has conditions that I find easier in some ways to manage (although I know that for many people the desert is harder to handle), but the desert produces far fewer varieties of plants and animals.

 

Each zone -- whether a microclimate, a large geographical area, a neighborhood -- has its own distinctive life forms.

 

I appreciate visiting many different areas, whether passing through briefly on the way elsewhere, or to stay for a few days, or even to reside for a few months or years.

 

It gives one a chance to learn new organisms, to feel different, to wonder what one would do if one resided there longer.

 

Maybe that's one of my favorite parts of travel -- the chance to imagine oneself in different environments.

“One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

Henry Miller

 

I also like meeting people, who are very different in each environment. I've met people while traveling who much more closely resemble my ideals of the people with whom I want to spend time, compared to people whom I had met while residing in one place.

 

There's so much to like about travel, that to me it's easily worth the additional costs in terms of money, time, effort, risk, opportunity, and so forth.

 

The costs of travel are quite real. However, there's a tradeoff, and for me now, I am very happy to travel!

 

There are trillions of uninhabited planets. Can't we have just one to screw up (however we want)?

 

Puerto Rican Spanish seems kind of funny to me. I still find it somewhat hard to understand. Not sure if that's the accent, or just me. The people seem to mumble fast, but maybe I'm just feeling sluggish? They also have a number of different words than in other varieties of Spanish that I've heard.

 

In Puerto Rico, there seem to be numerous words for bananas/plantains. Not sure yet if I have these right, but "guineo" seems to be sweet banana, "amarillo" sweet yellow plantain, "maduros" and "tostones" and a few other words are other types of plantains, etc.

 

"Habichuelas", which is for certain peas I think in other Spanish-speaking areas, seems to refer to beans such as pintos, here in Puerto Rico. There are a few other word variations. The accent seems kind of sing-song.

 

 

LifeFLOW3D

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