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Friday, 9 October 2015

Yoga in Ubud for a week? … Oooommmm …Yes, please.

My sister, the older and wiser one, didn't have to ask more than once. And so the journey began … to Bali, Ubud to be specific … to retreat, to Casa Luna Honeymoon Guesthouses to be specific … and yoga, TriYoga with Dagmar Hirsch to be specific … for a week … and then relax and shop for a few more days. 

What does one do on a yoga retreat? I really wasn't sure.

Yoga, of course, but how often? How difficult? Would I, the on-again-off-again yoga-ite, cope?

The answers: everyday, sometimes twice a day; as easy or as difficult as I wanted it to be; yes, I would … did … and my body loved it.

We stayed here.

Sleeping in beds like these.

No, I didn't have to share my bed with the older and wiser one.

We made good room sharing companions. She snores and I'm deaf; so sharing was sweet.

The view from the loo was … ahhhh.

We rose every day before the sun.

And, blessed by our little oversee-er,

we yoga-ed.

TriYoga-ed with Dagmar who made every movement sound and look so easy.

She demonstrated.

And we produced our version.

She demonstrated some more.

And, again, we produced the version we could manage.

One day … the wheel will be ours.

Some were more flexible

Some made it into head stand and crow. Others … one day crow will be ours … and head stand … and wheel. One day ...

After yoga, we ate delicious, yummy breakfasts.

And then ventured forth to workshops where we were greeted with fragrant frangipanis.

Did I mention the older and wiser one?

And my pineapple loving friend?

This patient man tried to teach half of us to use extremely sharp knives to carve watermelon into magnificent flowers. Not a finger was lost.

And this equally patient woman tried to teach the rest of us to use bamboo pins to make offering baskets. Oh, for a stapler.

Our results were stunning. Our time management … not so good.

On other days, we learned about Ayurvedic food and cooking. Of course, we had to eat the outcomes.

We attended the temple of High Priestess Marharishi Ida Resi Alit for a water purification ceremony.

Yes, the water was cold and unrelenting as it poured … and poured … and poured over us.

The High Priestess amidst our refreshed and invigorated group.

On our last evening of the retreat, we travelled to the rice fields for dinner and to display our amazing yoga skills to the much bemused restaurant diners.

A few drinks amongst new friends,

and, Dagmar, our leader, a face radiant from a mindful life.

Thanks Dagmar.
Thanks everyone.
Thanks to the older and wiser one for asking me.

Would I go again?
Most definitely

What did I enjoy most?
The yoga … much to my surprise. Loved the Tibetan prostration. Still doing it at home.

Now to get seriously into yoga at home. Unfortunately there's no TriYoga instructor near where I live. 

Have you been on a retreat?
A yoga retreat?
An anything retreat?

Have you tried TriYoga?

Have you been to Bali too?
(Go on, click the pink link and sing along.)

And, yes, there's heaps more from my little Bali sojourn to come next week.

Monday, 7 September 2015

More of Kakadu, a glimpse of Arnhem Land and into Litchfield National Park. More beauty, more beasts.

The beauty and the beasts tour of Australia's Top End continues, as promised. Are you ready for the magnificence of Kakadu, Arnhem Land and Litchfield National Park. Sunscreen and hat? It's hot, even though it's still winter.

From the top of Ubirr Rock, a sneak peek of the Nadab floodplains that stretch all the way north to Van Diemen Gulf.

But, before we make it to the top, we wander through the gallery that tells us what fish and turtles we can catch … barramundi, long-necked turtles ...

A smorgasbord of seafood documented for generations, at least 2,000 years.

Smooth holes in the rocks show us where artists ground their ochres.

Mabuyu reminds us that if we steal we will be punished. (Death by entombment, for those who stole his fishing catch.)

Yellow footed rock wallabies and their young watch our progress.

High above us the painting of a Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger), 2 to 3,000 years old, looks down upon us.

No the artist wasn't really tall; the level of the land has changed and so, sadly, has the fauna.

Then, when we reach the top, the awe inspiring flood plains open up before us.

A photo together at the top.

On our descent, we pass the rainbow serpent

and what appears to be an arthritic elder.

The monsoon forest leads us back.

And now it's on to glimpse Arnhem Land. Our guides know this river and this land well; it is their home.

Kakadu National Park to the west, the mistakenly named East Alligator River in the centre, then, on it eastern bank, Arnhem Land and the escarpment. Stunning.

A few locals.

And Nevil, known well to our guides, with his tracker on his back.  Nevil is big, really BIG.

Litchfield is, for us, about bird life. Egret.

Purple swamp hen.

Some others I'm not brave enough to name (help me out brother please).

Giant termite mounds, that align north to south,

cathedral termite mounds,



 and swimming holes.

That's me. Loving it.

Perhaps because it's the weekend, this monitor lizard ventures out amongst the crowds to see what scraps he can find.

There is some evidence of Spring's imminent approach.

Sadly, the beauty and the beasts tour of the Top End concludes.

My advice … you must go and see it for yourself. It is stunning, awe inspiring, magnificent.

Hire a car in Darwin and take your time.

But never, ever swim where you see these signs!

I want to go back to see more.
Do you?

Are there secret spots that you know about that I should add to my next-visit list?

Are you convinced?
Are you ready to go?
There's so much more to see.