283.March 24

London, UK

Brother John and I woke at 08:00 and showered for breakfast. Then we went to the British Museum, where we looked at Hindu, Egyptian, Greek and Roman stuff. We ate at a cafe (I had chicken curry from God, and tea). We went for half price tickets at Leicester Square for a show, but John wasn't very interested in the shows. We walked to the Tower of London. This is a very long hike from Leicester Square. I assure you. It was a beautiful day, but that was a long way. The Tower was closed by the time we arrived.

Back to the hostel at 19:00. We ate buffet at the same Pizza Express, but this time we only had my bag to climb around. A woman inside said someone stole her purse, but it was at the buffet. Then she walked out without paying anyway. I boarded the train for Europe on platform five and set off with a group of German and Spanish students going south.


Monkey River Town, Belize

Today we went on a trip along the Monkey River, starting in Placentia after getting a ride with our two Canadian friends next door. We all went together, after booking it yesterday on our trip in to town. We met our guide at the dock, and took a cheap covered speed boat with 2 brits and the 2 canadians. We saw anaconda, bats, snakes, howler monkeys, land crabs, fish, birds of all kinds, which was his specialty, bamboo stands planted by settlers. We even saw the royal rat, which was in a cage in monkey river town being fattened up for eating. We had chicken, rice and beans there, and more belikan beer. Then back to Maya beach and a relaxing night.


After work, where I recycled 1325 pounds of computers and servers (over $300,000 worth when they were new), I drove the 57 chevy truck to Jill's for dinner with her and Rachel. Rachel and I went on a beautiful walk along the dry creek bed in the woods down to the Riceford Creek and back. It was a walk to remember, as all are in that most beautiful spot of my parents farm. I have to take advantage of it now before a new crop of corn goes in.


Hobbit Hole, Washington

We heard from our Hobbit Inn owner that the drains were frozen, so we had to decide if we should go there, 4 1/2 hours away, or find a new route. I had to see it, so we headed up through coolee country, after breakfast at the Riverside Hotel with Lydia and her family, starting with spicy Bloody Marie’s and Mimosas in the bar. We crossed over to the Washington side via 14 bridge ($2 toll) and passed many vineyards and overlooks as we followed the gorge east.

We stopped for a mango voodoo doughnut at a rest area overlook for pictures. Then at Maryhill winery, where we became members after a great showing in the vintage room. We bought enough to keep us happy for quite a few days in our next AirBNB, a recreation of Hobbiton, or at least, the start of it, in Bag-end.

"Imperiled by muddy roads and landslides we never ventured from our hole. Always eating, tirelessly cooking, drinking Maryhill wines, cocoa, coffee, tea, all to wash down the splendid view and the wild mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, leak kielbasa, local cheeses, bread, and Portland's best voodoo doughnuts. We ate all provisions (like good hobbits) and it was good.

Inspired by the structure, and the lack thereof, we lived life as meant, for the moment, for the past, for the memories. I won't ruin the secrets hidden here, nor read aloud the runes they hold. We roughed it through the frozen drains of Mordor and never felt so pampered. We'll come again when summer winds and flowers abound."

Written March 26, 2019