The Coyotes Howl

Here is another new “travel story.”  Like usual, it is presented as fiction even though it might be more of less true…

The Coyotes Howl

The coyote has now appeared to me three times in recent days. Once, in reality, on a pre-dawn walk in the forest and twice in the cards with my morning coffee. Does that, perhaps, mean that the coyote character or the coyote experience is about to manifest and throw my day to day existence for a loop? I don’t know. I can only ride this roller coaster I can’t direct which way it goes. The first encounter occurred on December 13 at dawn. I was tripping out from food fasting and I went for a wander around the pre-dawn wintry forest without a flashlight. Does that sound crazy? Well, yes, maybe a little, but not really. I should probably explain.

It all started with my annual cleansing ritual. My cleanse… that’s what I call it. I have followed the same routine every year for over twenty years. At the end of my work season in early November, I quit all four of my favorite indulgences; no more weed, no more caffeine, no more alcohol and no more more sugar. I give them all up for about six weeks up until the moment of the winter solstice. There is no specific religious or spiritual motive behind my cleanse as I first began the cleanse to help me with severe winter depression. But I have continued the ritual for over twenty years now so it sort of does feel like a spiritual or meditative process. I rather enjoy the re-boot to my system and I think it is very good for my overall well-being.

Some years back, in 2007, I added a three day food fast to the middle of the cleanse. Again, the fast does not have a religious or spiritual motive. I just met this impressive older world traveler human at a cafe in Chiapas, Mexico and in the midst of regaling me with his tales of travels far and wide he detoured into a rather detailed and interesting dissertation on the benefits of fasting. I was fascinated by his story so I decided to try a three day fast a few days later when I was camped out in the jungle near the Guatemalan border. My experience was amazing and I believe very beneficial for my physical and mental health. As such, I have added it to my annual routine.

This year, I started my fast on the 10th of December. I ate my last meal for dinner on the 9th and would not eat again until sunrise on the 13th. Nothing but water with a little cheater squeezed lemon juice flavor for four nights and three days. It’s probably a weird thing to say but I rather enjoy fasting and I can understand how a person could become addicted to it. But I only do it once a year. It’s been ten years now… every year some time in early December. I go for 80 something hours… Sunset to sunrise with three full days in between. The fasting guru at the cafe in Chiapas told me you have to go a minimum of 70 hours to transform your body and kick on the cell rejuvenator. I’ve never researched it further and I’m not exactly sure what a cell rejuvenator is but I can say from my experience that something remarkable does indeed happen to the body on or about the 70 hour point. The sensation of hunger disappears, the body feels weak and the brain starts to wander in ethereal realms. The hours that follow are like some kind of spirit ride… Continue reading

The Hunger in the Jungle

 

 

 

The Lanacondon jungle, Chiapas, Mexico;

It all begins with a conversation.  I’m sitting by myself having breakfast one morning in Ocosingo, Mexico while I wait for the morning bus to Palenque.  Actually, I’m the only person in the entire restaurant until an older gentleman walks in, sees me, and asks if I like eating alone. I invite him to sit down.   He’s a German, rather tall, with sparkling blue eyes, short light grey hair, a tiny grey goatee, and a healthy glow to his complexion. I guess his age to be late forties or early fifties but he soon reveals to me that he is 68. Then he tells me his story.  At the age of 63, he retired from his job as a construction designer and bought a motorcycle. He had never ridden a motorcycle before in his life. Nevertheless, he hopped on that motorcycle and started traveling and he had more or less continued traveling on that motorcycle for the previous five years. So far he had been all over Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, Asia, Russia, Siberia, China, Southeast Asia, Australia, North America and Mexico. The only place he had left to go was Central America and South America. For the next two hours (the conversation is so interesting that I miss my bus), we proceed to exchange traveling stories. His stories are so much better than mine. Really, I always like world traveler types but something about this guy is even beyond that. The way he describes his interactions with different people and different cultures and even the way he interacts with me is all positive and non-judgmental. It is a joy to listen to him. He tells me that it is important to be “open to the experiences the world wants to give you.” I think his perspective is amazing so I ask him how a person can go about acquiring this sense of openness he is talking about.

“Fasting,” he says, “the best way to cultivate openness is to go without food for a few days.”
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