P1000429Strange erosion formations between Vilcabamba to Yangana

It’s time to move on.  Will be departing Vilca tomorrow morning. Will be using the Spot device from time to time during the day. Traveling by bus, I’ll only be able to hit the ‘tracks’ function when the bus stops for a  while.  Will hit the ‘I’m OK’ function when I check into my next hostel tomorrow night,  not exactly sure where that will be. I’m guessing somewhere N. of Zamora… exact location will be determined by road conditions and the bus venue.

Have re-established contact with friends and acquaintances in this quirky town. My gear is in trustworthy hands and will be secure until I return.  Feeling good about that. Am traveling with slightly less weight. All gear is weatherproof. No worries about rain. The electronic gear will need special attention in the high humidity. Need to store inside plastic bags in addition to being in the weatherproof luggage.

This place is changing rapidly (like everywhere else). Things are getting more expensive. New restaurants and shops are open. More Ecuatorianos as well as gringos are moving here. The usual and expected problems associated with population growth are happening here.  Even though I like the climate and have made friends here, I don’t think this is where I will choose to settle down.  Having lived through this phenomenon many times, I am familiar with the growth phase of places.  I prefer places with a slower rate of change. Still a few more places to explore before I finalize my choice.

The next phase of this journey is going to be unique in a few ways. There are not many places where humans live where there are no roads. That is where I am going.  Canoes and boats serve the transportation needs of the traveling public.  The rivers and smaller tributaries are the roads of the Amazon basin.  I will be experiencing the Rio’s Napo and the Western third of the Amazon river. Have decided to not bother with the Brazilian visa. This will allow me to focus more on the area that I will be experiencing. Now plan on ending my Amazon river trek in Leticia, Colombia. The ‘tres fronteras’ area, where Peru, Colombia, and Brazil all come together… right on the Amazon river.

P1000439View of hidden waterfall on road from Yangana to Cerro Toledo

This is the wet season, and the summer of S. America.  Therefore all of the tributaries will be in flood stage. No worries about navigation, plenty of water. Have been informed to expect hot and very humid conditions. Humidity levels nearly always in excess of 90 percent and often higher.

P1000445 Geodetic marker road to Cerro Toledo

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR ECUADOR: (from a newsletter that was sent to me)

—According to the actual video and talk ( by the founders of TOR) from the Chaos Communications Congress Dec 2013, in Germany, Article 474 of the Ecuadorian Penal Code ” the worst Data Retention Law you can imagine”  was REMOVED< GONE <ADIOS< TAKEN OUT of the Penal code by the National Assembly the end of November 2013.  Permanently.  

 Jacob Applelbaum and his colleagues from the TOR Community were able to work with Ecuador’s  Minga Tech Community who had created a real model  that should be emulated by the rest of the world.  In this model,  they were able to arrange community events that engaged Civil Society,  members of Ecuador’s  National Assembly and Foreign Ministers in CONVERSATIONS about the unforeseen consequences of  implementing this intrusive Dragnet data retention and Internet video camera surveillance system, and how the game was rigged by the software system itself.

It was explained by Jacob and the Tor people, that if Ecuador decided to spy on it’s citizens, (thru Article 474 ) the NSA wins, because this would make all of Ecuador’s stored data and information NO LONGER SECURE from the NSA….virtually the back doors created in this system would be a funnel for information to the NSA.

They convinced the lawmakers and ministers that they needed to choose a different paradigm. Because if Ecuador wants to be secure against those who would BREAK into that system, Ecuador must not have that system.    Thru these conversations and the work of Ecuador’s FLAP SOCIETY (sp?), and the people of Ecuador, they were able to defeat this Article in a matter of 3-6 months. If anyone would like to see/hear an uplifting account of how this occurred the actual 4 minutes describing this process go DIRECT  to the 55 minute marker into this  video:

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SscFfzD_his&feature=player_embedded 

SOME NOT SO GOOD NEWS:

www.internationalrivers.org/resources/ecuador-s-most-spectacular-waterfall-threatened-by-chinese-funded-hydroelectric-project

Things are always changing.  I assign a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ to these items only as relates to my current personal point of view. I would like to think that there will still be Liberty for humans and some primary forest left for humans to experience. It is the loss of either of these possibilities that cause me a bit of concern.

Hence; my motivation for wanting to see things as they are now, before the changes occur.  Those that come after me will see whatever world they inherit as ‘natural’. If I had a magic wand to wave that would protect the natural world from harm and would ensure Liberty for those who come after me, I would wave it.

Big flows of history occur only as a result of MANY people working together towards a common goal.  Individually, we can only report potential outcomes and suggest (self-perceived) positive pathways.

I guess this is how it has ever been.