Upstate New York
July 24, 2007
“He who does not travel does not know the value of men.”
“Our nature lies in movement; complete calm is death.”
“To live in one land, is captivitie, to runne all countries, a wild roguery.”
-Donne’ third ‘Elegie
The “Cancion del Vagabundo” website is now up. It can be visited at: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com/ I do not now know the specifics of web site construction, as this is my first site, so I figured that everything would be a little easier if I used the Google format that I have become familiar with through making this travelogue. Maybe when I become a little more familiar with making websites I will move everything over to a respectable .com domain. It is not the most spectacular looking site but I do believe that it is straight forward and easy to figure out. The focus of the site is on travelling (of course), my own travels in particular, and the philosophy behind the wandering life. I am also constructing a “Friends of the Open Road” section which provides brief bios, interviews, and photographs of my friends and companeros who have made their livelihood in perpetual travel. In all, like my travelogue, this website is an exercises for me to better consolidate my thoughts and writings, as well as communicate with my friends, family, and anyone else who may be interested in the travelling life. There is currently not much on the site, but I am going to try to add more to it in bits as pieces as I move along.
I leave to go and work on an Archaeology site near Boston tomorrow. I am going to ride the Amtrak to Poughkeepsie and then meet up with a co-worker and go the rest of the way in his van. I do not know the specifics of the job yet, but I will post photos and descriptions of the site here. I should also be out camping for the entirety of the project; so I may not be able to post writings as often as I would like to.
The below excerpts are from my notebooks from past travels:
La Serena, Chile, August 31, 2002:
I spent yesterday in Valparaiso and left on a night bus. Couples kissing everywhere. I know how it feels to depart from someone who you love. It is the most unnatural feeling that I have ever experienced. It just feels wrong. . .
September 6, 2002:
This is my fourth day here and I could possibly be here for a week more. I tried to leave a few days ago, unsuccessfully. I began walking north along the PanAmerican Highway to the next town. I walked and walked through the Atacama’s heat. trucks are flying past me, My feet begin to blister from the desert’s dryness. Hours go by. I figure that I am closer to the next town than Caldera, so I keep walking. After a break out in the dunes watching a desert fox I finally arrive. It is a company town with no amenities for the traveller. For one of the few times in my life I crave the comfort of a nice room with a nice bed upon which I can just lay down and do nothing. I am beat, but can do nothing but keep on. . .
“I am the wanderer of many years who cannot tell if ever he were king or if ever kingdoms were.”
Santiago, Chile, September 22, 2002:
She provided me with a warning of doom that I am going to be hit in the head by a Molotov cocktail if I go to Buenos Aires. Lets see what happens. . .
Mendoza, Argentina, September 25, 2002:
I am going to be missing that $250 I lost in the park in Santiago. I knew that walking home to my hotel through that park at the middle of the night was a bad idea. My Chilean friend, JessieAnne, suggested that I go that way, and my pride was too much to seem afraid. I watched two guys down the road as they stumbled around in long stretching arches on and off of the sidewalk. I took them to be drunk university students. But they turned out to armed with a knife and ready to take my money. I walked past one of them and he asked, “tiene un cigerillo?,” as he coolly lean up against a lamp post. I knew I was in trouble immediately, and tried to get away. He reached for me- I began running- the other guy appeared from the shadows and grabbed my shirt- I saw the long kitchen knife flicker in the streetlights- I knew that I was beat. The knife quickly found its way to my throat and I released my grip on my bag and dug out some money. They then began walking away into the night when it occured to me that they were making off with my notebook, which was inside my bag. A thought jumped through my head- getting stabbed or losing my notebook? I took my chances. “To loose a passport, fine, to loose a notebook, unthinkable,” wrote Bruce Chatwin. I took off running after them yelling, “nessisito mi libro!, nessisito mi libro!” The two muggers stopped walking and slowly turned to stared at me in seeming bewilderment. I was able to get a good look at them for the first time. The one who asked for the cigarette was skinny and rather small; I could have taken him. The other was big and dressed in blue jeans and a denim jacket; I had no shot. The garb of both men seemed new and clean and seemed to have cost at least a respectable amount of money. The muggers oddly did not look their part. They stood there staring at me completely puzzled. “Yo escribo, yo escribo,” I stammered. ” They then walked up to me with my bag in the big guys out stretched hand. He returned my bag and I removed my book and proclaimed that it was devoid of money. I shook it and loose pages feel out over the empty sidewalk. The two muggers then stooped down and collected the paper for me and gently placed them in my hand. We stood there under a street light, where only a moment before they had be in a headlock with a knife poised ready to cut my throat, and just look at each other for a moment silently. Then suddenly spooked by something that I did not notice, they ran off at full sped across the street that bordered the park and away into the night. I watched them go and just stood for a few moments in the brutal street laughing to myself alone. . .
I would love to carry on writing these old yarns but real, outside of the computer life has intervened. I am leaving tomorrow and I just heard my mother mentioning to my father the fact that I have not yet packed. She is right, as usual.