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Acesta este jurnalul lui Jan. Pentru a primi o copie prin mail inregistreaza-te pe formularul de contact. Momentan jurnalul este numai in engleza, catalana si spaniola.


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Beufort (see on map)

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US,+Beufort,+at+an+automovile+cinema US,+Savannah+garden     

We drove all day to get to Beaufort, South Carolina, where we were greeted by Erika. As we arrived, Erika took us to a pub where they held a bingo giving away beer. Erika told us we had reached the deep south, where society was different, much more traditional, conservative and religious. She said she did not fit in any of the above features but went to Mass on Sundays. After, she told us that in the south they believe that civil war did not start because of the slaves they owned in the south, but by the federal government taxes apply and the great southern agricultural productivity. Now almost everyone is proud to be American, but feel that first of all is a Southerners. The next day, Erika drove us in her car for a few islands of Beaufort and told us that these were inhabited mainly by blacks, because after the civil war slaves appropriated some of the plantations abandoned by whites. And we walked among several mansions denoting the ancient splendor of Beaufort, considered by some historians as one of the richest cities before the Civil War.

At noon, Erika took us to her parents´ house to celebrate one of the most important holidays of the United States, Thanksgiving (the day of thanksgiving). We asked Erika about the origin of the tradition and unashamedly said:
- You want the truth? The Thanksgiving is a holiday that began with the early settlers in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to acknowledge the help of the natives that allowed them to survive the winter. Unfortunately, the appreciation did stop a little later when they began to exterminate the natives.
The atmosphere at the home of Erika´s family was very informal, each one a little on their own, even eating at different tables. Kept only the formality before you start eating, when we all held hands and Erika´s mother thanked God we were all together. Then we ate an excellent meal, including two fried turkeys, a unique and delicious recipe from the south. Then, before leaving, we had a pleasant conversation with Erika´s mother, who told us several anecdotes of her work as a diplomatic secretary to several American embassies in the world.

The next day, while Erika was working, we visited the beautiful colonial town of Charleston, a city founded in 1670 that flourished with the purchase of animal skins from the Indians and rice plantations and anyil, and later cotton, worked by African slaves. Charleston was the first city in the United States to ensure freedom of religion, including to Jews, but not to Catholics, they were not welcome. We also visited a couple of days later Savannah, a new city with less historical significance than Charleston, which attracted us much less.

Miami (see on map)

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US,+Florida,+Everglades+NP,+blue+heron US,+Florida,+Everglades+NP,+aligators US,+Florida,+Everglades+NP,+aligators US,+Florida,+Everglades+NP,+aligators US,+Florida,+Everglades+NP,+anhinga

For days Alexandra was impatient with the approach of her birthday, nervous to arrive with time in Miami to celebrate this day so important to her. We arrived the previous evening, on Thursday 2nd and we parked in front of a luxury apartment building near downtown Miami, where lived Jackie, a young Brazilian woman who had offered us to stay through Couchsurfing. The next day, Jackie went to work and I set out to do everything that Alexandra wanted to have her best day or anniversary. Without investigating too much to see in Miami (not too much to do), Alexandra led me through several avenues, entered into several very inexpensive clothing stores, boarded an elevated train for free, walked through gardens and finally got to eat a traditional burger in a restaurant. At night, Jackie came to pick us up and together we went to a Brazilian restaurant to eat a delicious steak and drink a few mojitos with friends. There we had a nice talk, for example I was surprised that Jackie hated President Lula, who often have a great appreciation for the growth experienced by the country accompanied by social policies away from the Bolivarian socialism. Then I talked to her Mexican friend with a U.S. passport, who told me a very strong story that had happened for a year and a half ago, crossing the U.S. border. Traveling with a friend, they had a bureaucratic problem to cross the border and were forced to spend the night in Mexico. They ended up looking for a hotel led by a man who had met on the street. But an hour later introduced himself as a crazy man yelling that the two Americans had tried to steal his car. After discussing for a while the boys left the man in the lobby and accusing him of schizophrenic, but before the police arrived and were taken to sleep in jail. From prison they contacted a lawyer of the family that came the next day, but the second night, the attorney explained the situation: ´I can not legally do anything to get you out of jail within 15 days, but you have the option to pay the man to withdraw the complaint. ´ Obviously the man and the police formed a mafia group but the boys could do nothing else than pay. ´how much?´ I asked, and he said ´$ 6,000.´ Naturally, this story just convinced me to take a plane to get to Mexico City and not cross the border and having to face the dangers of police gangs and drug cartels.

Jackie had explained that Miami was a city of shopping and tourism, and there are shops selling all at great prices, tourism festival, with several discos open all night and morning that youth across the country want to see; beach tourism. This last aspect of tourism we discovered on the third day when, heading to the home of the next host, we drove through the streets of the beachside, which appeared as Marbella, passing by miles and miles of beaches, very snobbish houses and larger buildings of hotels and apartments, bars and restaurants, palm trees, airplanes flying over the sky with banners, athletic men and women walking in swimsuit. But we did not stop and continued to Margate, near Miami, where Ted was waiting for us, another great host.

We had good talks, especially since Ted was very open and did not hesitate to explain his religious past: his Catholic upbringing, his fascination with the Mormons, where he formed a family, and finally his rejection of religion when he became interested by science. During one dinner, joined also by a friend of Ted, they explained that Florida was a very religious society that none of their clients would hire them if they knew they were atheists. Proof of this religious fanatism we see it going in the Everglades National Park, the main natural attraction in Florida, when we saw a plane flying over the sky and writing with smoke different messages: God loves you (God loves you) / Jesus 4gives ), as if the words had been written by the same Supreme Creator. Ted also explained that, unlike the eighteenth-century Europe, the United States was created as an independent country of religions, but in the last two centuries, society has changed and now the United States was much more religious than old Europe. Finally, contradicting Erika from Beauford, Ted told us that people from the South believe that the civil war was triggered by disagreements in the rates, but old documents refer to a view that clearly the Southern states wanted to become independent in order to keep their slaves.

Ford Mayers (see on map)

After spending a day in the Everglades Natural Park, watching alligators and diversity of birds, not the saltwater crocodiles, we reached Fort Myers, a town on the west coast of Florida where we planned to start planning the next month of thetravel. In addition, we also had the opportunity to share some wonderful days with Lori, a woman of Couchsurfing with whom we stayed and entertained us with interesting conversations about psychology.

That´s when, for the first time in four years and a half of travel, I startedto seriously consider returning home before the end of the journey across America, breaking this long project. It was time now that I had decided how my life would be like at the end of the trip: basically spending enough time writing one or more books that reflect my thoughts and my beliefs. They are thoughts and beliefs that have grown over the first years of the travel but long ago remain unchanged and currently begin to make me impatient to start writing at one time or another. Its also time since the travel gives me no knowledge nor substantial force to modify, adapt or refine these thoughts and beliefs, and at most only gives me knowledge that reinforce or strengthen more my ideas. I feel like the end of the journey through Asia and America this principle have not been so helpful to my knowledge.

For a moment I allowed myself to imagine how it could abruptly interrupt the trip, while assessing the consequences of doing so. I got ready to pardon even if not completing a project so important, without being influenced by the recriminations that my parents had as a child, accusing me of leaving many projects at half. I took a load off at the thought that i was not obliged to continue this journey and to interrupt was a choice entirely possible. But while I took out this pressure I was relieved and I looked to the future of this with optimism. So I decided to give another opportunity to the travel and do not make any decisions until well into Latin America. At the same time I raised a new travel objective. Until now i believed to have discovered the principal truths of religion and philosophy and even thought I knew the secret of happiness. Still I have not had a clear answer to a question that occasionally had to take the pulse of the world: how to solve the main problems of mankind? The answer seemed too complex to be understood by one person, but I still raised to think of it much more frequently by the end of the trip and perhaps collect enough findings to write a book when home.

Perhaps because of these thoughts, I was easier to be convinced by Alexandra to fly to Mexico from Florida and not from Texas. For months we had discovered it would be very difficult to travel with the van purchased in Los Angeles to Central America, because the legislation of these countries forced us to return to the U.S. to sell the car. So, we had decided to sell the car before entering Mexico and then buy a flight to the capital, Mexico City, because we were informed by various sources it was quite dangerous and risky to cross the border by bus. We had planned to spend Christmas in New Orleans and the end of the year in Texas, but Alexandra was looking for couchsurfing hosts in New Orleans and said there were too few and then informed me that the airline tickets to Mexico City were cheaper from Florida that from Texas. So do not cost me too much to accept your proposal, sacrificing the following destinations in the U.S. in exchange for availability of 4 quiet weeks I could devote to finish writing the book of Africa and try to sell the Chevy Astro Van. We bought a plane ticket for the 13th of January, we contacted more Couchsurfing people in Florida to avoid having to sleep in the van, Ted accepted a proposal to celebrate Christmas with him and we began to put ads to sell the car in Florida. Unfortunately, the last day the car did not start for the first time in all the trip. We call on the AAA and we had taken the car to a garage, where they discovered that the battery did not load properly, and they changed it solving the problem.

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