Travellers of yesterday.
(On the north bank of Loch Leven, looking toward Glencoe village.)
P.S. I came across this and liked it’s poetic description to the question, “Who is India?” (Yes ‘who,’ and I think that’s very apt.) Here is an excerpt, click here if you wish to read more, and hover over this spot and select, if you wish to see the previous posts on the subject.
“Who is India
Who is India and what is her claim? Is she as elusive to find as the insides of a seed? A mere country cannot assume the bewitching charms that hang on her slender wrists. Who is India?
Sit by the ruins, and see the inscriptions carved on the walls of caves, and listen. Listen to the seers and the folklorists, to the waters of the perennial rivers and the echoes from the immortal gigantic mountains. Look at the personifications of prayer carved out of marble or stone, and lie under a banyan tree, and listen - Listen to India.
India is the name given to the vast peninsula which the continent of Asia throws out to the south of the magnificent mountain ranges that stretch in a sword like curve across the southern border of Tibet. Shaped like an irregular quadrilateral, this large expanse of territory, we call India, deserves the name of a subcontinent.”
The last part of the India adventure came to me in a dream. My friend will be on her way home at this point and with the vastness of the country and the overwhelming multitude of choices, I was lost for a decision. I wanted to spend a week or a little more somewhere and finally it came to me in a dream - Rajasthan. I had no idea what this region looked like or had to offer, but I decided to go with my dream and so I’ll be spending the last of my time in Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan.
It will make a change from the south and I know it won’t disappoint. With hill forts, the renowned grand pink stone structures and colour and life to fill my senses my time will pass quickly. What a way to begin the new year and who says dreams can’t come true?
For the other posts in this series, click here.
After the week of yoga in beautiful Goa, we’ll fly to Bangalore (Bengaluru) which will be our base for the next week. This city has gained a reputation for being the third most popular city in India, a technology centre of the country. This is not what draws me to it though. It’s also the known as the Garden city, with miles of beautiful parks but it’s what lies on the periphery that interests me. The 25,000 acre Bannerghatta Park is one of the richest natural zoological reserves in the world. Also out of the city lies Vijayanagar at Hampi, seat of an ancient Hindu empire which I’m told has a profound atmosphere. In nearby Coorg (Kodagu), the landscape is mountainous and full of coffee plantations and we hope to stay a night or two on one. It’s known as the ‘Scotland of India.’ There’s the very famous Mysore and it’s remarkable temples and I’m quite sure there’s much more. Mainly, despite all these attractions, I will be happy doing none of it. For me, it’s not about what I do but rather, how I do it. I just want to absorb a tiny amount of a people and a country that have long interested me.
For the final post on India, click here.
This is where my next adventure begins, one I have dreamt of for too many years and as with so many things, came in a different shape and time than I expected. There’s a lesson in there somewhere about expectations I’m sure.
I’m going to India. My friend asked me to join her on a week long eco-yoga retreat in the southwest of the country and that would be exciting enough. We’ll be staying in comfortable tents, on the balmy and exotic coastline of Goa. We’ll begin our day with a cup of tea brought to us, meditation, yoga and then breakfast. There’s more yoga throughout the day if we want, massages, ayurvedic treatments if we desire and more. We’ll have time to explore and to unwind too.
But that’s not all, click here for more if you’re intrigued.
The road back. It was intensely tempting to extend my stay on Skye. It came to me driving alongside this disused road, the road I learned to drive on, that it was time to go. Of course it was a painful decision but then there was relief too, like light breaking through clouds. There is a time and place for everything and wisdom in recognising this. On Wednesday I travel back after what has been an epic adventure. Thank you to all who were part of it, and in these last days, a heartfelt thanks to J, J and N - I’m having a wonderful time.
© S. Marian. The old Sleat road and The Sound of Sleat from Ostaig, Southern Skye.
J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Hobbit” (via memeengine)
It seems something Tookish woke in me this summer as well. I could no longer just look at pictures of the great Cuillins, or be satisfied with remembering the smell of Scots pine, the sound of the waterfall at the Faerie Pools, and would not be content to say, ‘One day I will visit the remarkable Spar cave’ - no more a tumblr traveler, now I will carry the sword of adventure and am so excited to see where it takes me.
Looking through the trees toward what was, my first home on Skye, a youth hostel. I landed in stormy weather, choppier and much wetter than this photo with wind that nearly blew me over. If I think back to those days, I can still remember the excitement and novelty of everything, trees but not the same trees, different food (I learned to love tea during this time which was just as well), Hobnobs (still love those), the smell of the gas fire, the damp cold that seemed to penetrate to the bone, but mostly, the most beautiful, astounding place I had ever seen.
(Armadale, Isle of Skye)