Friday, December 30, 2011

Post eight: IncaLand - The path of the joyful heart


A night in Copacabana, Bolivia - The sound of the drums from the streets wafted in and mixed with the music of Incan tribal calls that played on the stereo. As I contemplated these sounds it struck me just how beautiful this candlelight moment was. I was FB chatting with my friend (Shannon Meehan - in Geneva, Switzerland) about the life lessons from which we have both been learning over the years. The server then came with the most delectable garlic trout, caught fresh from Lake Titicaca. I savored every bite as I continued the meaningful chat that I was having with my old friend.  

What I can't get over about eating in South America is how everyone is pushing these coca leaves and coca tea. As I was walking along the pathes of Isla del Sol (Bolivia) I noticed that the men who were building a portion of the path were all eating coca leaves, as if they couldn't build the path without the leaf. Even here in Cusco (Peru) my hostel-keep has tried to push free coca tea on me about 10 times. I think that this is rather crazy, myself, but to each there own.


I took a boat ($3) for 2 hours out to Isla del Sol and spent the day there. After hiking the island all day, I took the overnight bus for 12 hours to Cusco. The bus ticket cost about $20.


How much can I really say about money? Bolivia is pretty cheap, nough said?


Isla del Sol, Bolivia is an island in the middle of Lake Titicaca. It is known to be the primary region where the ancient Incas lived. I hiked, alone, from the very north end to the south end of the island. It took me 4 hours to hike the island. It was essentially un-developed and was quite mountainous. I remember that I could barely stop smiling the entire time I was on the island. There was something so peaceful about this place, it brought pure joy straight to my heart. I had tremendous gratitude that I could see and feel the things that I was seeing and feeling as I hiked. I don't think I have felt such an intense sense of inner contentment since I did on my day of prayer in Luang Prabang, Laos. That was almost 2 years ago. On this Island of Sun, I believe that I may have experienced a spiritual release of sorts.


Two interesting things about the Isla Del Sol (besides the coca eaters) - (1) Inca descendants are commonly about 3' tall (2) The geology of this island is absolutely fascinating. I found myself rock hounding all over the place, just to decifer the geologic history of the land. It has been 12 years since I took Geology or Geomorphology, but I would like to hypothesize on how this island formed. There was some pyro-clastic material, which indicates that the first phase of the development was a very explosive volcano which erupted lots of silicate magma. This magma then cooled, probably underwater, and the accumulation laid there for quite some time. Then as sediment gathered along the lake floor, gravity helped sedimentary rocks to form over top of the volcanic silicates. Then, as a later phase of development, it appears that there was tectonic activity which forced the sub-plates to buckle and push up. This resulted in the islands emergence from under Lake Titicaca. It also explains why the lines of striation are all at very odd, but uniform angles. I may be COMPLETELY wrong, but this is my best guess based on my limited knowledge and observation.


When I travel I miss home, but somehow the closer I get to my return the more I would like to just travel forever. The road is a home to me in ways that no actual home has ever been. I guess it is like they say, home is where the heart is.


I had lunch today in a Cusco cafe called "The Meeting Place". This place was quite random, because it was owned and operated 100% by evangelic Christian Americans. It was pretty cool, but having to hear all the evangelic theories non-stop for a half an hour got a little old. Anyways,what the heck are they doing in the Hippy HQ - Western Hemi?


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