THE ANDES MOUNTAIN CHAIN – BACKBONE OF THE PLANET – AND THE BLACKFEET NATION
Something very significant happened this week!
For five long years, during two around-the-world solo trips, I’ve carried a laminated page from my Hammond World Atlas book. This “testing page” is always in my backpack; ready to be pulled out in a hostel or gathering of locals and fellow travelers. Not only is it an excellent icebreaker but more importantly, it’s a personal quest to find even one human being who has noticed the uncanny fact that the South American Andean Mountain Chain resembles the human spine. I couldn’t believe that I was the only one who had ever noticed this amazing fact!
But so it seemed! I have literally interviewed hundreds of people; if not thousands, including huge numbers of South American residents. And none had ever seen this obvious truth! My first “victim” was a Brazilian Geologist, whom I met in Medellin, Colombia. Surely, this professional map-reading expert had spotted the similarity many years ago. But no! He was my first gobsmacked student for whom I soon became the Rorschach Interpreter. Another suspected shoo-in was a Peruvian Geography teacher. Not a clue!
Year after year, I have asked….. and no one has answered! Never did I find one human being who could recognize a slightly-hunchbacked skeleton in the snow-capped mountains tracing an unbroken ridge through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. It seems so obvious to me and conclusive proof is reflected in the Sacrum/Coccyx area, where Chile and Argentina taper to an exact rendition of a tailbone. You can check any topographical map of the Patagonian east coast, from Golfo San Jorge down to the Straits of Magellan in Tierra del Fuego, and compare that with a Chiropractic profile of the spine, to get gobsmacked with the similarity yourself! Naturally, the newly-initiated will inevitably introduce others to this new understanding. At least, they say they will.
Over and over, on planes, trains and buses; on Nile Feluccas; in Siberian hostels and homestays, and naturally, in every corner of North and South America, I was the Pied Piper of our planetary vertebrae. Not once! Nunca! Nada de Nada! Never! Never! Never….. did anyone do anything but shake their head and let out a long “Oh. My. God! You’re right!”
Never, that is, until a big, handsome movie and television Producer, George Burdeau, of the Blackfeet Nation, Montana, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, sat at dinner two nights ago, and calmly said: “Yes, of course! My Tribe has always believed that the Andes was the backbone of the planet! Did you know, also, that every organ of the body can be found, replicated in the land formations of North America?” and then he calmly buttered another piece of bread. “Every Native American Indian child knows this!”
In all my random surveying; in all my world walking and talking….I had not gone to ask the Pikuni, the true native name for those original custodians of the land, whom the White World has nicknamed Blackfeet Indians.
I will always carry my tattered wisdom test and continue my dog and pony show; but when I really want to know anything; I’ll go north to Montana and ask “The Real People.” What a relief to know I’m not alone! Meanwhile, I intend to sit down with George and all my maps, so he can teach me about the country I grew up in. Especially, the other spinal column that he speaks of, hidden in the Rocky Mountains. I always thought that that skeleton was the horse, which my “Guy” below, was riding. But, he swears it’s human. I can’t wait to see that new Rorschach picture, which I haven’t yet been able to discern. But, sure enough, there’s the coccyx, dead-ending at the Panama Canal!
Just like the famous Nazca Lines in Peru, you might wonder what the purpose might be in such deliberate unseen design. Well, let’s be practical! If you were cruising over in a spaceship, wouldn’t you appreciate a soup can label? “Dominate species? Humanoid! Let’s just fly on by!”
At the risk of being long-winded here, I’d like to include the blog post I wrote on February 12, 2009, during my four-month exploration of the Andes. I had announced that I was determined to “perform Chiropractic” on the spine of the planet and was very deliberately banging my boot soles on the cobblestones; and, mindfully, dancing in the shower or the rain. I certainly hope that helped. It may be a little too early to tell!
THE SPINAL COLUMN OF THE PLANET
“If you will look at any geographical map of South America, perhaps you will see the remarkable similarity of the Andes Mountain Chain to the profile of a human spinal cord. Naturally, it won’t show on a political map outlining the various countries within the continent. But, it becomes very obvious on a map showing only the shape and elevation of the land masses. Before I left home, I decided to see what I could do with this amazing coincidence as I traveled between Colombia and Patagonia. I obtained a Chiropractic diagram of the spinal cord, outlining all of the nerves as they pass through each vertebrae to the organs which they serve. Then I, arbitrarily, divided the Andean Cordillera into twenty-seven vertebral chunks and marked up my larger folding map, so that I could tell “which nerve I was on” at any given time. My hope was to pick the brains of the people I met down here to get their input on this amazing coincidence.
1. The C-1 nerve, serving the human brain, is located at the top of the neck. What illegal product, affecting what organ, is Colombia famous for?
2. The Amazon Rainforest is generally spoken of as the “Lungs of the Planet” because of the oxygen exchange performed by so many tree leaves. This jungle fills the Chest/Breast of South America in the Thoracic region containing nerves for the lungs.
3. Cusco, Peru, near Machu Picchu, was founded by Manco, the Incan Emperor, who stated that this was the Bellybutton (Navel) of the world. Well, at least it’s opposite the east coast region of the umbilicus, which might be imagined to sit below the large breast of Brazil.
4. Lake Titicaca, is one of only a few massive inland, freshwater lakes, navigable by large ships. How interesting that it sits right in the bladder’s nerve area!
5. Everybody knows about the metal mining and the acres and acres of salt flats in Western Bolivia, where the train runs endlessly across white land. Kidney nerves are there and that’s the organ which removes salt and minerals from our blood.
6. The tip end of the continent, near Punta Arenas and Tierra del Fuego, forms a perfect sacrum and coccyx, which mirrors exactly the profile of an actual spine.
I’ve had some good conversations with locals along the way. No one seems to have thought of this similarity before. And nothing comes up in a Google search. Right now, I’m sitting in the T-3 vertebrae, where the nerves affecting the lungs and bronchial areas are; and I’m dealing with a chest cold and cough. Maybe I should blame the cold, 4800 meter Cotopaxi Volcano mountain which I climbed a week or two ago.
It’s time to stop and leave this open-to-the-street internet, too full of auto exhaust; which one must get used to very quickly in these cities with narrow lanes and high building walls. All gases get breathed in by each of us poor humans, just trying to exist without enough rainforest to process all these toxins.
March 1, 2014 by admin · Comments Off on Hostel Hopping, Visa Vetting, Rock & Rolling, In Uruguay
Here I am again under the lovely, green tree-arches of the sweetest town in Uruguay – Colonia del Sacramento. It’s so good to be back! Of course I said that just a few days ago when I returned to my original hostel in the Old Town of Montevideo and felt like I had come home to Kurt and Txepi’s Hanging Gardens of Babylonia Hostel. I did have a small flat but the wi-fi was so poor that I returned to the more convenient hostel life.
I was only there one night before busing West to Colonia in order to cross the border into Argentina to get my visa renewed for another three months. I took the fancy ferry over to Buenos Aires the other day and am good to go for the next three months.
Now, I have a bunk in a dorm room at El Espanol Hostel and I’ll be here in this cute little historic town of Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay until Carnival is over next week in Montevideo. Not an empty hostel bed in town right now. But, I’m using my time here, in addition to playing tourist, to type some of my old trip journals. Just now, I’m in a time warp…. myself, reliving early 2013 and my visit to New Zealand. I’ll share an article I wrote for the Rotorua, New Zealand newspaper about a Fifties Musical that I absolutely loved. Now I’m a Time Traveler, too!
1958, The Musical, Nails It!
“Okay Gang! ‘Ya gotta see that show! I’m 75! Graduated from Winter Haven (Florida) High School in 1955, and I’m here to tell ‘ya that there’s been a Time Warp right here in Rotorua. It’s even better the second time around. That production is incredible….absolutely fantastic! I don’t know what generation the Audience Manikins filling the Blue Baths Dinner Theater seats in front of me come from, but they just couldn’t cut it. Nobody was bouncing around, jiggling their shoulders and feet to the great Rock & Roll happening up on the stage….just me and another 70-something in the back row.
Kiddies, it’s okay to let go and live a little! What happened to you, Post-Twisters? It’s time to bring back touch dancing, if this is the result! Take yourself to this fantastic live musical, showing Tuesday through Friday, through February 15th.
You see, ever since the 1960’s, all we’ve had in the way of dancing is to face each other and shake our bodies. The male partner doesn’t have to lead anymore and there are no defined steps. Where’s the art in that? What did the Beatles do to mankind?
The playbill calls 1948 – 1958 “The Happiest Decade In History!” And, that is the truth! This Rock & Roll period has affected me all my life and I become a Dancin’ Fool when that particular music starts….except that only geezers know how to do it, these days. Ten years between World War II and Vietnam, and we didn’t waste them. But, what happened after that? Somebody dropped the ball, dancewise!
Well, go to see this musical! The kids in the cast have caught the bug permanently. They are so, so, so good and can out-sing Elvis, Bobby Darin and Little Richard….put together. And they’ve got these full skirts and bobby sox and tight jeans and tee shirts and leather jackets. And such good voices! But, where were they after curtain call?? I wanted to hug them all and tell them, like the Time Traveler that I am, just how beautifully they had nailed it. But they stayed backstage.
So, kisses and kudos to the cast and the crew and, especially, the musical director. You are sooooo good, Gang! And when you’re 70….. hmmmm, right around 2063….. you’ll be the only geezers in the room still with it, after all those years!
This is not idle bragging. I can prove it: I celebrated my 75th birthday in Fiji, in a South Pacific Island village resort, six months int my second, solo, around-the-world trek; which could still take me another year, or two, to complete. In Rotorua, I’m staying in a four-bunk dormitory at Planet Backpackers Hostel and the very night before I stumbled across this fantastic musical, I had taught a young guy from Cali, Colombia, a mere 41-year-old, how to Jitterbug to a YouTube tune. How crazy is that?
With these credentials, I could surely have already claimed to be a Time-Traveler; but after innocently wandering towards the Millennium Hotel last night after the rain; picking up a flyer for the musical; crossing under a sunset rainbow, while wandering the paths along your steaming shore; arriving at the Energy Center’s deserted and darkened parking lot at dusk…. where I toyed with the idea of post-millennial, planetary abandonment… thinking it would feel just like this… and then, finding myself drawn towards the happy welcome of the Blue Bath Theatre… to be instantly transported back to high school…? Well now, that just doesn’t happen every day!
Surely, I must have died and gone to Heaven! Go see the show!”