Coconut Beach Koh Rong

Coconut Beach Koh Rong, more perfect a beach I have not laid eyes upon. Just a mere 40 min boat ride from the pier of Sihanoukville, we sat in the waiting-room style seats on the boat sloshing back and forth.
 
Arriving at coconut beach, you don’t really… arrive. You arrive at the main dock. We found a taxi boat to take us to Coconut beach. If you go as a pair, they’ll ask for $20. Get a group and it’ll drop to $5 a piece. Another 40 min boat ride, smaller boat this time, more sloshing. As we slowed to the little cove of coconut beach, the beauty was overwhelming. The water was a fluorescent blue much like a swimming pool, of course more beautiful it being natural, and so clear you could see the boat’s shadow on the sand of the seafloor beneath the boat. When looking at another boat off a short distance, the clarity of the water made it look as if the boat were floating on thin air.
We walked to the southern edge where Coconut Beach Bungalows was. Checked into a tent with a king-sized bed just 20 meters from the beach. It was on a wooden platform a meter above the sandy ground and had a stepping stool and a large water basin with which to wash off feet before entering. It was great except some sand flies must’ve trespassed into our sleeping space and were biting the shit outta my feet every night. After already having lived in Cambodia for a few months, I was used to ignoring the mildly annoying itch of a mosquito bite. Sand fly bites were next level itchy madness, but I survived, as I always do.
 
The next couple days blended together. Swimming in ocean, eating when hungry, lounging and swimming some more. I was ever impressed with the paradisiacal beauty of the beach: the soft, white sand that didn’t get hot under the beating sun, perfect temperature water, neither too warm to not be cooled off by nor too cool to impede getting in quickly, and the steady heartbeat lap of the gentle waves. One night while dining at the Coconut Beach Bungalows restaurant, the owner came around giving us all a floating lantern to light. He explained the how-to’s and led us down to the beach to set our lanterns afloat. I had never done that and it was beautiful to watch them float off into the tropical night sky, and it was funny to watch some couples struggle with a lantern engulfed in flames 😀
 
Photographer and model did a quick photoshoot on the beach around sunset one evening. Another day, we swam off to the right of our camp with snorkels, to an area where the rocks were the living spaces of hundreds of fishes (yes, fishes is correct in certain contexts despite what your schoolteacher drilled into your head) of various kinds. There were many rocks that went deep but came close enough to surface to stand on when we needed to rest or readjust our goggles, which was often.
 
On coconut beach there were only 2 or 3 restaurants, and one afternoon, wanting a bit of diversity, we waited on our beach until a boat appeared dropping off passengers coming from our intended destination, then took it back to main section of the island. The restaurants there are quite good on main pier. There are plenty of vegan options, but prepare to be harangued by people asking if you need a boat taxi or if you want to schedule fishing, snorkeling, or other types of trips. Of note: if you are staying on another beach, ie not main beach, be sure to get a taxi boat by 6 pm back to your beach of residence. We thought we could do it at 8 pm and almost panicked because no one wanted to take us to Coconut Beach in the dark. Finally one man agreed to for $35, a steep fare compared to daytime rates. However, a pleasant surprise of the expensive and late boat ride was that upon leaving the reach of the lights on shore, we could see the dazzling glitter of the bio-luminescent plankton being disturbed by the bow of the boat. It made the break and the wake a gorgeous, eerie green glow; it was mesmerizing. I’ll never forget that experience, nor the island for that matter.
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Guanajuato

Guanajuato. Us en route, the autobus  twisting and a curving through the hills. Dust swirling in all open windows, dancing in rays of sunlight gleaming in from open roof hatch. Passage through dark stone tunnels. Arrival in a new town nestled in the crevice of the dry hills. Perfect even weather. Monolith cathedrals a stones-throw distance from one another. Narrow cobblestone streets snaking between multi-color buildings so close to each other they obscure attempts at direction orientation. A little room on the planta baja behind the towering university. Poop in front of the door that multiplies like mitochondria, then disappears without a trace. The site of the beginnings of the Mexican Revolution. Climb to the statue and mirador for the nation’s hero. Medieval clothed musicians who lure you to buy tickets through public inclusive performances. A theme-less parade. We explored our heritage sister and I. We ate and drank to our heart’s content. We walked, and ate some more, and napped. At night we frequented the cantinas. Cantinas with menus dominated by mescal. La Inundación, El Incendio, La Chopería.  Star dust children lounging in rustic rooms made of concrete and dark wood, azulejo bars. Speaking of the retrograding political climate of our country to the north. Two siblings mindful of the past, present and still-to-come. A string of moments in time. The culminations of 21 and 30 years respectively.  A last meal at Truco 7. A trip to the place where flying starts and ends. Nuestra partida. Nuestra despedida. Te amo México.

El Paso Murals

El Paso murals of Segundo Barrio. Click here for a map of the locations of these murals. Such fine examples of Chicano art, laden with the struggles, beauty, culture and heritage of the border region. Also laden with massive amounts of occult symbolism. Check out the true meaning of the cross

This next mural I really like. Notice the infinity symbol, meant to signify the interconnectedness of everything and also to show that time is not really linear as we experience it, except to those of us on this plane of low-vibratory existence. Notice the divine goddess, or sacred feminine entity sharing cosmic, infinite consciousness with the young girl. Or, maybe it’s an exchange or knowledge or the young girl is exhaling cosmic consciousness and the goddess is blessing it.

Comandanta Ramona from the EZLN, los Zapatistas. More political than symbolic, I hope everyone wakes up and takes a firm stance supporting the indigenous peoples of the world. I believe that the powers that be, the white (possibly alien) hands behind the scenes trying to rule the world for centuries have made a concentrated effort to extinguish the indigenous peoples of the world in an effort to ultimately extinguish their knowledge: of our true origins, about “star people”, that we are all connected, the holographic nature of the universe, the truth of plant spirit medicine and our relation to a living earth and all the smaller spirit beings connected to her.

More from the sacred feminine, divine goddess, mother earth here represented as a tree person, shown here sharing her light, the halo behind her head a long-used symbol used to denote that this is an enlightened being. I first noticed this in the art of the byzantine era, as seen in the art at the Haghia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. The halo, which now is depicted as a weird little gold ring atop the heads of Jesus and Saints, was originally a disk behind their heads to show their attainment of spiritual illumination.

Guatapé Colombia by Motorcycle

The story of Guatapé Colombia by Motorcycle. First some backstory…

Shortly after I got back from Montreal, Quebec Canada, my friend and fellow traveler Sundal Roy paid me a visit in Austin. It was great hosting someone I met back during my year-long travels throughout Southeast Asia. She stayed a week and then headed on to Colombia for a Ayahuasca ceremony. As soon as she was gone, I was missing her presence, and itching to get out of the States again.

And so a week later I had bought a ticket to Medellin to meet her. We were only in Medellin a couple days before we decided to get out of the big city. I rented a motorcycle and we headed to a little town called Guatapé about two hours away. We had rode around having adventures on motorcycles since back in Vietnam, again in Austin and now in Colombia. I had heard that it was a beautiful spot, lake country with lush green hills and plenty of relaxation to be had. The reports didn’t do the region justice.

Rolling in on the motorcycle was top notch. The roads a good quality. We snaked up and down through the small hills and valleys until we reached Guatapé. We found our hotel that we procured on Airbnb, and nice room with lots of light.

The next several days were very much the same. We took rides to smaller neighboring towns San Rafael and the several spots to swim around that town. One area had a nice waterfall and we jumped off a rock into the churning water below. What was supposed to be a 2-day stay in Guatapé turned out to be 5. It was that relaxing. One afternoon we scaled Piedra el Peñol, a black rock of which no one knows the origin. It is the third biggest in world behind Pao de Azucar in Rio de Janeiro and another in Uruguay. I spoke to an older gentleman who like me, suggested it was not of this planet. We rented a little foot-paddle boat and toured the lakes. We hired a boat to take us to one of Pablo Escobar’s getaway houses, which had been bombed after his death by the government and members of rival organized crime groups.

By the time the week was over, we had done a lot. Also, a lot of synchronicities were taking place. Our previous friendship started blossoming into a romantic relationship. I felt the universe’s hand at work, guiding me to share my energy and my heart with this woman. I almost always let my spirit, my intuition guide me. Every time I’ve let my rationality or logic override what my spirit tells me, I paid a price. So, I try to let it carry me through life’s paths. I’m not to sure where this path is taking me, but it is for my good and to help me realize my dreams, and so it is good. Aho!