Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles: Another Session!

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 11/07/2019 - 20:20

Continuing to work on the goggles, I'm figuring out the dimensions, again.

Tough work, to get the sizes right. Still not sure how I'm doing on that front.

It's a pleasure to get some work done!

After a bunch longer on the goggles than I expected, I traced out the lens shape again.

As much as I'm a file hoarder, I note that I don't often return to older files. Still, comforting to have the backups.

This version of the frame is coming out leaner and meaner than the previous one. Still messy, tons of work to do. It's exciting to watch a bunch of lines take shape. Looking forward to assembling more of the frame!

As of now, here are a few snaps of the design process, the rough frame shape (still an early work in progress!), measurements, and more!

 

Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

 

Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

 

Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

 

Monte Criste, Republica Dominicana!

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 11/07/2019 - 17:16

Megagrammeter (n.): moving one kilogram one kilometer. I rode my 100 kg bike at 10 km/hr, for a thousand megagrammeters per hour. After an hour I rode a gigagrammeter!

Rode to the town of Monte Cristi!

Tons of beautiful desert. Smooth ride. The bike I traded for works way better for me. It's far faster, easier to maintain, more fun, etc.!

Weird desert, with banana trees and rice paddies!

Getting into town, had a rice-based meal. Then quickly found AC & wifi. Now going to work!

Asking people makes things way easier, especially in Latin America. If you're like me, often preferring to figure things out on your own, then it's extra worthwhile to figure out how to ask for help instead of just doing things your own way.

Looks like I now have a very small area in which I want to prepare for Haiti!

Since I still don't have a phone (maybe get a new one here in Monte Cristi), here's a picture from the internet:

Monte Criste, Republica Dominicana

More Riding in Republica Dominicana!

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 11/07/2019 - 17:13

After getting a ride along the unpaved roads, dust blowing through the air as I sat in the back of a pickup, arrived at a colmado with wifi. While doing some work here, I see a chicken running around the store. The chicken just jumped on a scale, perhaps weighing itself for sale.

You accommodate to systems -- bikes, computer hardware, software, places, people -- as you go.

You learn their ins and outs. You find the hidden advantages, and also the hidden disadvantages. You grow together, like an aging couple.

After a pleasant morning, walked out of town. By the banana trees. By the palm trees.

After deliberating on what to do, I started going towards what I thought was the next town. Still without a phone or map, going by guesswork. Seems generally west.

A pickup truck pulled up. Driver asked where I was going. I answered. Driver offered me a ride. I accepted. We loaded the bike and bags into the back of the pickup, where I climbed up.

We drove through the dusty hills. Stopped a few times, the driver chatting with locals. Along the way, a woman riding in the pickup truck got out and thanked the driver.

Later, the driver invited me to sit up front. We chatted. The driver asked for gas money. I gave him some, then spotted a rare place advertising free wifi, and asked to get out there. The driver pointed out a road that would take me to my next destinations.

The wifi worked, even when the electricity went out in the place. I got some work done, bought some snacks, and left.

Rode on. Sweet ride!

Now in a much drier place. Cacti and spikey plants around. More goats.

Now approaching the Haitian border. I feel like there are some Haitian/Martian wordplay jokes in the works.

I'm somewhat concerned (again) about getting too far too fast. I'm not ready yet for Haiti, in the sense that I want to do more work, sightseeing, riding, etc., in Republica Dominicana before getting into Haiti. Considering detouring to see more of RD before Haiti, but from what I've seen of the map so far, I doon't think there's much more in this area of RD that I want to see.

Maybe I'll just stick around one or two towns, e.g. Monte Cristi, for a while, before getting to Haiti. Seems like often when I plan to stick around a place for a while, I quickly get bored or for other reasons decide to leave early anyways. Also the opposite happens, that I decide to go quickly through an area but like it and stick around for a while.

Bike's going waaaay better. Now on 700 cc wheels, larger yet thinner than the 26" wheels of a mountain bike like the one I was using. Much faster, seems more resistant to punctures. I'm somewhat concerned here with all the thorny plants. We'll see.

Getting accustomed to my cargo bags, I've acquired a few new ones and gotten rid of some old ones. Still figuring things out here.

Trying a local insect repellent, with citronella and some other plant-based ingredients. These things usually seem to me quite ineffective compared with the corporate chemical ones. This one seems to be working quite well, however. Bought it as it looked different than other ones I've tried, considerably less expensive than the conventional ones, and it contains some ingredients I've wanted to test.

I feel like many areas of improvement, personal or professional or otherwise, require testing, comparisons. It's sort of like science, try a few experiments, see what works versus what doesn't.

I feel that much of travel is about experiencing different emotions. When you see, hear, smell, etc., different sensations than the ones available in other places you've been, it elicits different emotions. Also, different thoughts, behaviors, etc.

By the way, each place has its own insects or other nuisances, weather problems, etc., in addition to its own foods, music, etc. There are positive and negative pressures anywhere. Some people seem to think that if only they went elsewhere, they'd get rid of their problems, or find some reward. True, you may get rid of some problems, or find some reward, but you'll also find other problems, and get rid of some other reward. It's a tradeoff, about finding the balance of rewards and problems that fit your tastes.

For me, in addition to my personal preferences (e.g. warmer climates, spicy foods, etc.), I like variety. I like to spend a while in small towns or countryside, then a while in big cities. A while in desert, then a while at the beach.

Ran into a man I met a while back. We had talked briefly at the beach, he mentioned residing in this area. As I was riding, he called out to me. There he was, a his house!

Now doing some more maintenance, then work on my goggles project!

Better to have too much to do than not enough, in my opinion!

By the way, motorcycle noises annoy me. I like the exercise etc. of pedal bikes. Maybe one day go electric. Don't think I want a gas bike.

By the way, I think that often events (as with other things) follow a curve, like a wave. You get to peaks and troughs, with interesting rides from one to the next.

 

More work on Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 11/05/2019 - 14:08

So, it looks like the drafts I made previously won't open on this replacement laptop, which can only run an older version of the software. As a result, I think I'm going to restart from scratch. Still, the first draft gave me some ideas, some practice, etc.!

Working in a colmado/comedor/etc. with some cool bachata music playing.

Here's a new test draft for the goggles!

Eagle Eyes Adventure Goggles!

This doesn't represent the actual model I'm aiming for. I'm just testing out the different software version to ensure that it still seems feasible, which it does!

 

New Places!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 11/04/2019 - 16:51

Wound up spending a couple of nights at this beautiful spot, between the mountains and the sea.

Next, going to find my way, looking for a town or village!

As I rode out of town, a Haitian boy came up on a bike, asking me if I wanted to trade bikes. I was skeptical, but considered it. Both of our bikes had problems. After we examined the bikes, some local boys, a mechanic, and I had the bikes in better condition, and we traded!

Now, figuring out how to get back on track!

By riding, asking, etc., found my way back to the road. Now on wifi for the first time in a while, can look at a map again!

It's different to navigate without a phone or map. Old-fashioned adventure!

 

Getting back into the action!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 11/04/2019 - 16:47

In Republica Dominica, things often happen (or fail to happen) through talking with people, as in Cuba.

In Cabarete, a town popular with tourists from the US, Germany, and other places (they had German restaurants, a German butcher, etc., unlike the rest of Republica Dominicana), went to the beach. Then, did some shopping for the first time in a while. Went to the bank.

Satisfied, riding out of town. On the way out, someone from CESTUR (the tourism police) stopped by. Mentioned my having been in the previous town with the phone theft. Asked about my route. Then, I continued.

On the way back westward, ran into the man who had hosted me the last night in the previous town, and the woman who had come by most often to visit me on the beach. With the latter, chatted a while. My bike still had a flat rear, which kept opening through the patch. We attempted to repair it, but the hole was too near the valve. Instead, bought a new tube, which her partner installed for me.

Soon will be back in terra incognita. Northwestern Republica Dominicana. Then, I'll be in a funny situation: sort of having to go to Haiti, despite the problems there. I'm running out of available time on my visa (if the bureaucrat I talked to was right; otherwise I'm already illegal), and cash. Western RD is sparsely populated. I may get to the border without a reasonable way to get to an airport or other exit from the country, yet having to leave the country. I do want to go to Haiti, but it's funny to feel forced to go. If it seems seriously dangerous, I'd probably find some alternative route.

Travel throws some strange stuff at you. I guess you have to adapt!

Finally, rode out!

Deciding to go around Puerto Plata, a city that I already know, I went to the area where my chosen route departs from the main highway. Without a phone, it's hard to find places. I don't have paper maps, since I've been using my phone so consistently. Now I'm just turning to screenshots I've taken before leaving town.

Did some equipment maintenance. I've lately learned a few new skills, including some zipper repair!

Now getting ready to go into town, if I'm on the right road and can find town!

More gorgeous countryside here, 360 degree views of ocean and mountain, pasture for cattle, etc. I'd take pictures if I had a phone!

It's important to deal with what you do have. In travels on the road or in general, one doesn't have an ideal set of equipment or conditions. Better just to get on!

Next, back to the road!

 

Gone Fishin'!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 11/04/2019 - 16:39

A day of frustrations, yet of things kind of sort of working out. A purge day.

Woke up, checked the bike. Nope, previous patching didn't hold. Spent a frustrating morning working with remaining bits of patch to get something rolling. Finally, concerned about getting stuck without a working bike at all (the screw on the front wheel was losing its shape, becoming stuck on the bike with a broken tube), managed to get an old tube to hold. No air though, so I walked with the bike on a flat front tire.

After so much time on the bike, I no longer had the morning before the hot sun. So, walking in the open sun, burning hot, taking way longer than expected. Did find a small coconut with some water, and a guava. Not much, but so thirsty and hungry that it felt satisfying. Refreshed, I carried on.

Made it to the highway. Didn't see any shops, just some highway signs. Turned left, kept walking.

After a while, got to town. Stopped in at a colmado (corner store). No bike stuff, as these stores sometimes do have, but at least picked up some snacks and drinks. Walked down the side street. A ghetto. No bike parts, but picked up a few more snacks and drinks.

Went back to the highway. After going over a bridge, found a bike repair stand. Basically, a guy sitting outside with a few bike parts. Yeah! But, he didn't have parts for my bike. Worse, he pointed out that my tire (not just the tube) was "fea" (ugly, i.e. broken).

The bike mechanic rode his motorcycle into town to pick up another tire. I waited. After a while, he returned, but it didn't look like he had a tire. Nope.

Running out of possibilities, I suggested that he take the tire off a bike locked up against the fence. "That's my bike," he explained. "How about if you take that off now, then get another tire later?" I asked. He ok'ed the idea, taking off not just the tire, but the whole wheel.

After that, he charged me a fair bit, not leaving much cash for food through the weekend. At least I had a working bike!

Kept going. Got to a comedor, an eatery. Had a late lunch, but felt sick. Threw up. Then some more. An ambulance arrived. They ushered me in, contrary to my desires. I'd been through this before, knew it was just some type of food poisoning that would pass after vomiting.

They checked my blood pressure, asked me some questions. As they were getting ready to prick my finger, I insisted that I just wanted to go. "No tengo derechos?" I asked. (Don't I have rights?) They finally let me sign a form and go. On the way out, the national police had arrived, and were speaking with the paramedics. I picked up my stuff and left.

Found a shady area, it's still extremely hot. Threw up some more. Now writing this, still haven't found wifi. Some annoying dogs are barking. Getting late.

Maybe it was some of the tomato? I ate and drank too many of my culprits to be sure.

Some tomato came up, along with a large amount of liquid.

Maybe unwashed tomato, maybe dairy, maybe cola, maybe fruit, maybe prepared food, maybe something else.

Last night this replacement computer also failed to load. After rebooting, it does work again.

Now in this small corridor. Too hot to ride much. Not too much to do here. Maybe spend a while at the beach. Then a day or two in the next settlement?

Still extremely thirsty!

After a while in the mountains, made it back to the coast!

Went into town to fix my flat tube. Wound up buying an entire wheel, including the rim and tire!

Went down to the beach. Beautiful scenery. Decided to spend the night.

The next day, Sunday, I still felt tired. Decided to spend another day at the beach.

Each day, woke up feeling tired, having sore legs. Kept extending my beach stay.

After a few days, some locals came by. The fishing community took care of me.

They brought me some food and water and other items.

Also, they built a beach shack for me!

Afterwards, somebody stole my phone.

After a week at the beach, some concerned locals came by. I was getting ready to leave anyways. I spent one night at the house of a local couple. Learned to make locrio, a Caribbean dish.

The next day, Monday, we did some repairs of my equipment together. Then, I rode off!

Travel is unpredictable. You have to adapt a ton more. Also, you're more vulnerable, yet more likely to receive assistance.

I didn't expect to stay so long in the area. Yet, I had a chance to try some foods I'd wanted to (e.g. castaño, a fruit that tastes like potato).

Also, I met some interesting people, and had an opportunity to see a different way of doing things.

Overall, I'm thankful for having spent the week at the beach!

Next, some more riding, getting back into the swing of things as far as that plus working, phone, bank, etc.!

A day without a phone shows some signs of addiction withdrawal. Also, some Dominicans (as Americans, etc. do) seem to grab for phones like addicts. At least the withdrawal is somewhat short.

[Editing this, I'm now going through another cycle of comparable problems/opportunities. Seems like you have to deal with certain of these challenges for this type of travel, much of it acquiring things like food, water, wifi, etc. Tons of cool events along the way!]

Keep Going!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 11/04/2019 - 15:43

After the first sip of cola made me feel somewhat sick, I'm thinking that cola may be a big culprit in my ill feelings. I've been drinking more cola in the Caribbean than I often do, as it's refreshing with the cool temperature, carbonation, large amounts of water, acidity, caffeine, sugar, etc. Other flavors of soda don't seem to pose the same problem. Not sure if it's the caffeine, or an acid, or flavoring, or what. Coffee and tea don't seem like an issue, except maybe too much coffee. Continuing to consider.

I also think that I'm somewhat more tolerant of lactose than I previously thought. I now think that a small amount of milk, for example, doesn't cause too much distress. Still experimenting.

The Caribbean has delicious breads and rices. Extremely soft!

Trying more products that I haven't seen elsewhere. So far, a margarine that has corn flavoring (way tastier than expected). I also bought, but haven't opened yet, a can of cheese-flavored milk (for cooking, but I plan to drink it plain).

I feel like I'm back on my feet, after my fall. My face is healing, I can hardly tell that I had my face (and arms) full of wounds so recently, except the deepest cut which is still noticeable. This computer is now up and running for work, although it's significantly slower than my other one. When I get a chance, I want to replace the screen in the other laptop, then sell this one. It's a pain carrying two laptops, the other one works better.

I've had a chance to try some more foods and activities that I otherwise wouldn't, so in a way the fall was actually a positive thing. Often turns out that way, that a seeming problem becomes a benefit!

Often, one does best by carrying on anyways, making the best of whatever situations arise!

Next I have a week or so that I want to spend, at least, in this beautiful coastal area. Some gorgeous beaches here. Then, head to the west of the country, and prepare for probable entry into Haiti.

It's now been around half a year since I left Miami to travel the Caribbean. I'm extremely happy to have chosen to go!

Now sitting in a field, as horses go running by. I was going to head out looking for a town today, but instead made it into a spa day. Maintenance, of bike and self.

Works fine for me. I'm going slowly, in a small area which I want to see bit by bit.

Also, these days it's consistently hot. After the first brief cool period in the mornings, it's been so hot until the sun goes down that you can hardly move. May as well stay still.

So far, I've seen a handful of the larger Caribbean countries. After Hispaniola, I plan to make my way down through the smaller, southern islands. Then, not yet sure whether to head into Venezuela, or veer back northward.

I feel much better on the go!

 

Field Notes from Republica Dominicana

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 10/29/2019 - 14:25

[Some blog notes from a couple of weeks ago. Since then I took a while offline. Also, someone stole my phone, so a shortage of photos upcoming. By the way, I just drank a large quantity of cola, without feeling sick, so maybe it's something else!]

After the first sip of cola made me feel somewhat sick, I'm thinking that cola may be a big culprit in my ill feelings. I've been drinking more cola in the Caribbean than I often do, as it's refreshing with the cool temperature, carbonation, large amounts of water, acidity, caffeine, sugar, etc. Other flavors of soda don't seem to pose the same problem. Not sure if it's the caffeine, or an acid, or flavoring, or what. Coffee and tea don't seem like an issue, except maybe too much coffee. Continuing to consider.

I also think that I'm somewhat more tolerant of lactose than I previously thought. I now think that a small amount of milk, for example, doesn't cause too much distress. Still experimenting.

The Caribbean has delicious breads and rices. Extremely soft!

Trying more products that I haven't seen elsewhere. So far, a margarine that has corn flavoring (way tastier than expected). I also bought, but haven't opened yet, a can of cheese-flavored milk (for cooking, but I plan to drink it plain).

I feel like I'm back on my feet, after my fall. My face is healing, I can hardly tell that I had my face (and arms) full of wounds so recently, except the deepest cut which is still noticeable. This computer is now up and running for work, although it's significantly slower than my other one. When I get a chance, I want to replace the screen in the other laptop, then sell this one. It's a pain carrying two laptops, the other one works better.

I've had a chance to try some more foods and activities that I otherwise wouldn't, so in a way the fall was actually a positive thing. Often turns out that way, that a seeming problem becomes a benefit!

Often, one does best by carrying on anyways, making the best of whatever situations arise!

Next I have a week or so that I want to spend, at least, in this beautiful coastal area. Some gorgeous beaches here. Then, head to the west of the country, and prepare for probable entry into Haiti.

It's now been around half a year since I left Miami to travel the Caribbean. I'm extremely happy to have chosen to go!

Now sitting in a field, as horses go running by. I was going to head out looking for a town today, but instead made it into a spa day. Maintenance, of bike and self.

Works fine for me. I'm going slowly, in a small area which I want to see bit by bit.

Also, these days it's consistently hot. After the first brief cool period in the mornings, it's been so hot until the sun goes down that you can hardly move. May as well stay still.

So far, I've seen a handful of the larger Caribbean countries. After Hispaniola, I plan to make my way down through the smaller, southern islands. Then, not yet sure whether to head into Venezuela, or veer back northward.

I feel much better on the go!

 

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