In one week’s time we shall be reaching Goa. The stores are still full, so the mess secretary in consultation with the management has been quite liberal now in bringing goodies to the dinning table. So now we have dry fruits, fresh fruit and vegetables, honey, ice cream now available all the time with no restrictions. People are also not behaving now in gluttonous manner. I am all for the fresh vegetables. I feel on reaching Delhi, for a few days I will not like to have any cooked daal or vegetables.
The Story of El Dorado: the Golden One
The tales of Equator often seem to involve obsessive quests. One of the most amazing has been the South American saga for the kingdom of El Dorado, the Golden One, who was said to live in a city of gold set on a lake that glowed each morning in a second sunrise that rivaled the real sunrise in glory and intensity. One after another great explorers of 16th and early 17th centuries chased after El Dorado, a name that has become synonymous with vast and illusory wealth.
In the 16th century when the Spaniards who had already plundered the astounding rich coffers of Peru were ready and willing to believe that all of the rest of the South American continent was one vast treasure chest. Word had filtered back that east of the mountains there lay a kingdom whose ruler was so fabulously rich that the Inca emperors had only been a clan of mendicants in comparison. This king was literally covered with gold from head to foot, because a golden powder was scattered over him every morning, adhering to his skin with an aromatic resin. Each night, he would wash off the golden covering in waters of a lake. He would be clad from head to foot again in gold the next morning. The entire kingdom was worthy of the king’s apparel: El Dorado, the Golden One, as the Spanish called this fabled king, lived glittering in the midst of a capital – called Manoa – filled with metal palaces. The walls of the city of Manoa were sheathed in slabs of gold, it was said. At sunrise, the gold would reflect its light so brightly that the entire island glowed in the middle of the lake, appearing to be a second sun rising from the lake waters. Temples and palaces were all sheathed in gold, inside and out. The poor covered the walls of their houses with mere liver. The cobblestones in the streets were diamond; the bed of the lake was carpeted with the pearls.
(Source: Latitude Zero by Gianni Guadalupi and Antony Shugaar)