Baños, Eastern Tungurahua Province, Ecuador.
I am freshly showered, smelling like coconut because of my body lotion and typing in the communal space of my hostel. I am in a hurry (again) because in an hour I will take the last bus to Ambato and from there a night bus to the border with Peru. It will be a long ride (12 hours). I am not looking forward but I will survive.
Sometimes I think my stories are too ‘internal’. I should be able to give proper information how to travel from town to town. It is very useful. All the information that I use myself comes from blogs from people who travel. And I do more then just reflect a bit. But these moments get lost because I don’t have the opportunity to write or am too tired after an active day.
Since I am about to leave Ecuador I will sum up a couple of things I have done (to balance that ‘internal’ stuff). I spend a day in Quito with 2 girls from Argentina, took a bus to Latacunga, hiked up and around the Cotopaxi with a French couple from the Jura, took a bus to Quilotoa and hiked 12 kilometers around the volcano crater (amazing and challenging hike). After Quilotoa I took a bus to Banos, did a rafting tour (pretty cool), drank expensive wine with a young and cool couple from Ecuador and, a bit drunk, jumped from a 85m high bridge (some sort of rope swing, not bungee). We had a great dinner afterwards. Today it rained, I did meditated, did work on my laptop, bought a ticket to New York and Hong Kong, send quite a few emails, rented a mountain bike and rode a road with many water falls. I took a bus back, took a shower and here I am, writing. Not too lazy, no?
I am practicing the ‘thoughts are things’ concept as explained in books like The Secret. I resented that book/ movie/ whatever it was but I really want to be financially successful the coming months. So for the first time in my life I have put an amount in my head (or actually two amounts, one for New York and one for Hong Kong) and I repeat it a couple of times per day. When I walked randomly into the local cathedral I even prayed for that wish to come true. Sometimes I feel fear of failure coming up and then I hope that this did not contaminate my intentions. Fingers crossed and work hard. I did promise God that I will do good things with the money and will serve my clients and participants to the best of my abilities.
And I think I will do a good job because I feel that my energy is really good. I feel strong, open, grounded, healthy and humble. There are many mountains here; the surroundings are rugged, fertile, luscious and awesome. Mountains make me feel tiny and impermanent. My body will only be around for 80-90 years, perhaps a bit more if I am lucky. The mountains were here hundreds of thousand of years before me and will still be here after I am gone for a thousand years. The water falls and the volcanoes put my strength in perspective. Near the Cotopaxi were fields spotted with huge rocks that the volcano spit out over a distance of 10 kilometers. I can’t even move the far majority of those rocks.
I am reading a book “Consciousness Beyond Life” by Dutch cardiologist Pim van Lommel. He researched Near Death Experiences and wrote a fascinating book about it. He collected and categorized many experiences of patients who have a cardiac arrest or otherwise ‘die’ on an operation table but are resuscitated. Most of those people report experiences of great love, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion. I relate with those people. Sometimes I feel lie an observer and a participant in this mystery we call life. And I am really grateful for my part. I promise to play it to the best of my abilities and to give everything I have got. I wish the same for you.