Ok folks, sit back, relax, and pour yourself your favorite caffeinated beverage…this is going to be a long one (not to mention long overdue as well).
Last I left off I was still in Mysore…where I remained until the 24th of January. My days in Mysore were spent waking up at 6am to make the early morning walk to a 7am practice. On the way there the streets would be empty and covered in a light fog…after class I would get to see the street vendors setting up their carts filled with fruits, vegetables, pots, pans and just about anything else you can imagine that can be sold from a cart.
I would return home (had a decent apartment), hose down (shower, who has a shower?) and walk up to the Mandala for a big bowl of fruit, a pot of chai and conversation. While there a plan may formulate for the day that might involve some sort of adventure or we (the other yoga students around) would just hang out there or drift to someone’s house to do the same (hard life, I know). Other times the day would be filled with running errands or with other classes.
My second month in Mysore was spent with morning practice, breakfast, Thai massage class (I’m now certified in southern style…what else?), and then straight to a backbending course (I’m so close to a drop back I can taste it) which meant that that fruit bowl had to last until dinner.
Evenings in Mysore depended on the day of the week. Fridays usually involved a party (no class on Sat.) and Saturday nights were reserved for chantings at one of the yoga shalas. Most other evenings were spent either eating dinner at someone’s house or at Mahesh Prasad (a fantastic cheap rest.)
It was a really nice life there but my feet started to itch and it was time to move on. And move I did…to Hampi where I spent the past 12 days. Mainly I was hanging out with other travellers and helping out a new friend that had the misfortune to catch malaria.
Hampi is one strange place. It’s a toursit spot in the middle of a very small village that is sorounded by huge ass boulders and a lot of old temples. There are 2 sides to Hampi and I stayed on the side across the river from the main town. When I arrived there were all sorts of rumors going around that the president of India was coming for a visit so all of the tourists had to vacate the main town and the boat across the river wouldn’t be running. These rumors persisted for days (which is why I was there for 12). She finally arrived, stayed a few hours and left. The only good that I could see that it did the town was that there was power for the entire day she was there (there is never power for a full day).
On one of the days that we were stuck on our side of the river I rented a scooter and spent hours driving around the rice paddies and banana trees and ended up at the Hanuman Temple for sunset. You have to climb about 300 steps up the boulders to get there and when you do there are monkeys everywhere! FYI, Hanuman is the monkey god, for those who do not know.
The next day I went on the scooter again, this time with Anne (pronounced Ana, from Holland…he was the one with malaria), and we drove to the reservoir for some swimming (thanks to all of the Astanga my bathing suit bottoms no longer fit so the group of Indian men sitting on the rocks above got a nice view of my hiney as I dove into the water and the suit went to my knees…oh well, what to do?) and then back to the temple to see the sun go down.
While we were on our way to the reservoir the key fell out of the ignition. We didn’t notice until we got there because the scooter kept running…aren’t they supposed to stop when the key is taken away? You would think so. Well, it didn’t stop and we kept driving. Luckily the scooter did stop whenever we put on the breaks which meant we had to start it again in motion. I tell ya, ya just had to be there.
I realize that I’m rambling now so I’ll end it with the fact that I am now back at the beach for a few days and then I’ll make my way north to McLeod Ganj for the Dalai Lama’s annual 10 day teachings. Some other day I’ll tell you about the hellish night bus I took to get here, but in the meantime…