The North East and a beach end!
The last month has been fantastically magical and I love India even more than I did! Everything has a meaning in India, the things people wear, the little riuals, its a gorgeously spiritual place combined with utter chaos, keeps you well entertained!
After Vipassana and much chilling, Marcos came to visit and we went to the Taj Mahal. As buildings go, its alright like! Then we headed east to Varanasi mayhem. Opening offensive and indiscreet, full of chaos and raw charm, what a place. A maze of back alleys, rough as they come characters, open 'body fire' funerals, the Ganga river and boats boats boats. Went to some pretty comical yoga classes, had a henna hair dye, ate some 'bang' cookies and met up with some travel buddies Id met along the way. I like Varanasi, its brutally honest!
After Varanasi we headed further east to Bodh Gaya and Marcos made a bee line for a beach... I think Varanasi may have scared him off! ;-) Bodh Gaya oozes Buddhism and I was well happy to be there. Had lots of random chats with friendly monks, amazing people. Feel pretty safe when theres loads of maroon robes around. Slept in one of the temples one night and had morning meditation with the monks. Met some absolutely mint travellers and helped paint a school they were working on for a wee bit. We did yoga classes at the crack of dawn in a local park, totally lush. Miss Bury came to visit too! Well happy to see her and so happy shes traveling magical mother India! Had a mental time leaving Bodh Gaya... got in a tuctuc to get to the train station and it came to a road block, a little boy had been knocked over and killed. So got out of the tuctuc and had to walk out of the area. Walking down the road the locals started going mental, trying to block the roads to catch the driver responsible. I was talking to another tuctuc driver trying to get a lift out of there when I turned around to see a gang of men running towards us with sticks... absolutely crapped myself! Someone told me to walk away from the tuctuc and bloody good job I did, the gang ran up and started smashing it to bits! Well mad experience!
Got the train further east and in to the mountains to Darjeeling and somewhere along the way my neck started giving my grief. By the time I got to Darjeeling I couldnt move my head! Had to wobble to the doctors and he said Id slipped a disc and gave me a neck brace, no idea how I did it but christ it was painful! Wasnt feeling Darjeeling much, its a fantastic looking mountain area with great views and gorgeous town houses, but it was just far too touristy for me. Luckily randomly got talking to a lovely man called Krishna in a restaurant who had a yoga retreat 2 hours south from there, so made a quick exit once my neck got better. The retreat was in a village surrounded by a huge tea farm, absolutely beautiful surroundings and smiley, shiny, kind natured locals. Practiced canny intense yoga for a few days and can now do my own practice.
After nearly 3 months of travelling the north, I have definitely been feeling the pull of a beach! So Ive flown to the south east coast and been to a super little seaside village called Mamallapuram. Now in Pondicherry... an odd mix of typical chaotic India and a touch of French class. But it makes a great combination!
Flying home in a few days, sooooooooooooooooo excited to see everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really started missing everyone lately and absolutely buzzin to be moving to London when Im back. Woooooooooo!