The train rolled into Mazatlán’s main marshalling yard, and the engineer uncoupled the locomotive. Time for me to find a new ride.
I climbed down the side of the gondola, picked my way over three strings of parked railcars hemming me in, and made my way out of the freight yard.
I walked toward the ocean. A large ferry was docked at a quay. Eighteen-wheelers were lining up on the wharf. They were loading them one by one onto the top deck of the ferry with a pneumatic elevator built into the ass of the boat.
I went over to the little office and poked my head in the door. “Where’s the ferry going?” I asked.
“Can I get a ride?”
“Cargo only,” he said.
I walked to the wharf. A port official was standing by the loading ramp. “Puedo pasar?” I asked.
I retreated to some nearby shade to consider my options. Then, as if a mystical force was intervening on my behalf, the guard lit a cigarette, walked off the quay, and disappeared!
I picked up my bag and walked up the ramp, expecting – with each footstep – to hear shouting behind me. There wasn’t any. I didn’t dare look around.
On the boat, I climbed a staircase to the second deck. There was a 20-foot-high hollow metal column shaped like the tailfin of an airplane at the back of the boat, among a tangle of marine-grade ropes and chains. There was an oval-shaped cut-out in one of its sides.
I crawled in and wedged myself inside it – out of sight – for the rest of the afternoon.
When I saw the late afternoon sunlight suddenly pour in through the oval and paint a slow arc across the floor, I knew we’d left port.
To be continued…
In the meantime, let’s check in on the Dow-to-Gold ratio and the progress of our trade. For a refresher, go here.
I don’t want to own gold. It’s an awkward asset to own, and it doesn’t pay any interest. (But I found a satisfying way to buy it. I’ll share this story another time, although I doubt the opportunity is still available.)
I’d rather be a “buy and hold” investor of great companies that raise dividends year after year.
But such is the nature of the stock market that it swings between “cheap” and “expensive” in great multi-decade waves. And “expensive” is always followed by an 80% or more devaluation in the Dow (in terms of gold).
It’s been this way for a century. First, from 1929 to 1934. Then, from 1965 to 1979. And now, from 1999 to present.
I’m going to wait patiently for the devaluation to run its course. Remember, Bill and I expect the Dow-to-Gold ratio to fall below five. This is the “rendezvous with destiny” Bill has mentioned. At writing, the ratio stands at 19.07.
When the ratio falls below five, I will sell our gold and invest it ALL in stocks, where it will stay – I hope – generating bigger and bigger dividends until long after I am dead.
– Tom Dyson
P.S. The travels continue…
We’re having the best time, living in these awesome homestays where they feed us the BEST home-cooked vegetarian food.
We have always loved Indian food, so we’re in food heaven. And the kids are eating ALL of it, which makes Kate and I even happier.
We’re just chilling. Mainly because it’s hot and rainy, and we’re in deep, rural India during off-season. But this is good for our health, too.
We spend our days reading, resting, watching movies together, and taking long walks down the narrow country lanes. When the kids do their schoolwork, I write my journals.
This is the lane leading to our cottage…
For the first time in my life, I feel absolutely no stress. I realize I’ve been looking for this for years. Now I’ve found it.
Of course, it’s got nothing to do with the home-cooked food or the country lanes. As they say, “Gold is wherever you find it.” It’s being with my family – the four people I love most in the world – without any intrusions or distractions.
Next, we go to live on a self-sustainable farm/permaculture project where there’s no electricity! Really looking forward to that. We’ll be volunteering there in exchange for our room and board… and no doubt eating more freshly prepared vegan food harvested straight from the garden.
[NOTE: We will be completely cut off from all communication channels – including email – until we return to the electric grid on Monday, July 8.]
After that, we’ve got a string of mini-adventures to look forward to, including staying in two lovingly preserved, vintage colonial-era hotels… and some beach time in Goa.
In August, we’re off to Thailand and Southeast Asia for six weeks to have another epic adventure!