Sunday, 12 February 2017

A Little Hike

Occasionally, I'll pick up a story which ought to have 10,000 lines of description but you only have twenty lines describing the whole event.  So it is with this story.

Back in the 2012-era....in Vancouver, Canada (on the far west coast).....this guy Anton Pilipa just up and disappeared.  What the family will say is that Anton had some mental issues.  No one says if he was on medication....but I would suspect such.  Anton's particular issue?  Schizophrenia.

If you've ever been around people with Schizophrenia.....you tend to notice that they aren't in the same world as you or I.  They can look at a situation with five characteristics.....and reach a totally different conclusion in the end.

What is hinted in the story is that Anton had some interest in reaching a particular library in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The particular library?  The National Library.  It's a fairly fancy library by most standards.  What few realize is that while they sat down and designed the place in 1961...it would be a decade later before they started work on the library structure.  Oddly, they didn't finish work and open the facility until 1992 (taking almost twenty years in this construction and opening phase).

If you bring up this particular library with social and intellectual groups in Argentina....they generally get weepy-eyed and emotional....it's like a place of honor.

For whatever reason, Anton (the schizophrenic) got kinda emotional about this library as well.  No one tells that part of the story.

So, Anton just disappears.

In the last week.....Anton has reappeared....in some jungle setting of Brazil.  Five years have passed.  He's fairly weak and a bit tired.....but folks in Brazil have figured out his identity finally and got him in some hospital.....where they've set up some medication to control his schizophrenic problems.

Anton hasn't said an awful lot about his little adventure....but it appears that he just took off, and walked down the US coast....on through Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and probably three other countries....to reach the library as his destination.  Course, he had this one problem....no passport.  Without an ID....they refused him entry.  Yep....having walked over 11,000 kilometers without a passport.....he now found that he could not enter without this one document.

Various borders which should have stopped him?  None.  He kinda proved that how silly the whole border thing has become.

He did all of this....without any real cash....that's the shocker of the story.

The Darien Gap?  No one brought up this part of the story.  Typically, when heading south and getting into central Panama....you will eventually reach this point where Highway 1 ends (in Yaviza).  It's a great road that stretches from Canada down to a jungle setting in central Panama.  There....highway 1 officially ends.

To get from Yaviza over to some real point of civilization in Columbia?  It's about a hundred miles of jungle.  No road or trail really exists.  Some folks will claim a path, and have made the hike but it's not for normal people.

Anton hasn't said how he made this part of the trip.  I have my doubts that he hiked it.  But you'd have to go and pay some guy with a boat in order to skip this part of the trip.

Maps?  No one even suggests that Anton had a map.

Presently, the family is working up some kind of plan to get Anton back to Canada. The embassy folks will have to work up some passport and I suspect with two weeks....he will be returning....on medication.

How long this will last?  Unknown.  Most folks who have schizophrenia don't like the medication route because they feel inhibited....not in full control.  The odds of him leaving again?  Probably higher than 50-percent chance.

The last curious thing about this whole story?  Five years have passed.  If you pull out a map and chart the whole thing....you or I could walk from Vancouver to Argentina, and up into Brazil in about eight months.  That only explains roughly twenty-percent of the period of Anton on this hike.  So where was he the rest of the time?  Did he get lost a couple of times?  Did he head off in the wrong direction for six weeks at some point and then corrected his direction?

There's this epic story waiting to be written.  Sadly, I doubt if Anton really cares to sit down and tell this story.

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