domingo, 9 de dezembro de 2018

Choosing Love – Thank you Mother India/ Part 14

The Unexpected 

Day 20 (Day 7 of our Wonder-Bike Adventure) – 8th May 2018

Sun rises early in this part of the world and as its rays gently start blinking through the white curtains, we smile at each other happy to be here, despite the night’s tribulations, happy and at peace for all is part of our infinite treasure of Life.

We decide to go for an early morning walk on the beach and eventually another dip in the ocean.

We see a man crouching at the edge of the ocean’s soft surf and watch him washing his backside, which we assume to be a way of hygienically greeting the new day and make nothing of it.

As we start our walk on the sand, merrily enjoying the feel of the sand beneath the soles of our feet, we see a pile of red stool and wonder what kind of large dog might have been the author of this signature dung sculpture. As we keep on walking we see another and yet another and then again further on another man crouching and lo and behold! Realization strikes us like a thunderbolt! The red piles of stool are man-made! Apparently the men around here prefer to go to the edge of the ocean to leave their “mark” rather than use the bathroom which their houses now have and instead of at least digging a hole for their bowel’s refuse, they just leave it there, lying on the sand for the high tide to later on wash away!

So that’s what the strange smell must have been yesterday!!! The sand has this smell impregnated in it from days upon days, upon years and years of poo being non-challantly left on the beach without a care in the world… A tradition surely passed down from generation to generation, time and again – a tradition so strong that not even the advent of sanitation, toilets and running water has managed to erase, with the added surplus of current population making this habit a definitely “shitty affair”! 😊

We are mesmerized… or should I say shocked… well, humorously dumbfounded would maybe describe our reaction best. Laughter starts tearing out of our bellies incessantly and we laugh so hard that we cry, realizing how the dichotomies of duality can be so contradictory, making us believe we are in Paradise at one moment and then that we are standing on a huge toilet, all at once. Our initial idea of going for a morning swim fleets away like a boat in the mist of our laughter and we look at the sea with renewed insight as to the reason for its not so clear waters.

Actually it would make no difference at all for us to go for a dip in the sea, since yesterday we did so… when we didin’t know the hard facts 😉 But knowing them, makes a bit of a difference, though we realize deep inside it really makes no difference at all. Yet, we do not venture into the water again…

We become extra careful of our steps, minding each one, which makes our walk all the more focussed – a fine way of active meditation – total focus with a smile.

Suddenly along the way we see a huge pack of stray dogs with their litter and they start barking, frightened of our presence, immediately identifying us as strangers. We realize they are all she-dogs, fearful of anyone harming their little ones, so much so that one of them courageously comes up to us and manages to bite Pedro on one leg, though not hard – just a warning graze. I suppose since I am a female, they take no notice of me, they view me as a non-menacing equal.

What happens next is impressive. Young men spring out of nowhere and shoo the pack of dogs away and then, very concerned, they approach us to see if we are ok and are very worried about Pedro’s bite. Many stray dogs around here have rabies and they insistently warn him to take care of the wound immediately. We take heed, calmly, thanking them for their help, but move on, knowing all is well.

Some time later, when we are already at our cabin, Atul calls in to see if everything is ok. The news has already travelled up to him! We are amazed at the efficiency of this mouth to mouth information service, but we calm him down, letting him know it is somewhat inflated and everything is fine. 

Anyhow, we feel deeply thankful that despite being on foreign land, we are taken care of with so much love. We really appreciate it and in our non-dramatic attitude receive only the best part of this care.

Love whispers: delicate and fragile like a flower, Love spreads its abundance unconditionally.

Our “plan” for today is to visit the estuary where three rivers converge to the sea, right around the corner, and then go to Manipal and visit the Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village that Atul has spoken so highly of.

Once again we get to experience riding on a thin strip of land with sea on one side and river on the other, with no helmets and a broadly smiling heart, allowing ourselves to take in the simplicity of this place, where temples are aplenty, houses as quaint and modest, nature is exuberant and peaceful and everyone is calmly going about their daily chores, in tune with the hot, humid weather.

We go right to the edge, where the land ends and rivers and ocean meet and meld into a vast expanse of water, becoming one.

We watch a lone fisherman throwing his net and contemplate the silence. Thankful.

On the way back, we stop at this beautiful white Hindu Temple, take off our shoes and go in.

Peace. It is always the Peace that I most revere at these places, out of celebration times. I find all places of worship, of any religion, to be equally peaceful for their very purpose – to honour the Divine, and in doing so, even oftentimes not knowing it, to honour God within each and every single sentient being and even beyond that, within all that Is form or formless. It is this all pervading, omnipresent blissful peace, the same one I feel in my Sacred Space in my Centre, that I feel in all places of worship. If only everyone stopped inside their own selves to honour the Sacredness within them, with the same devotion as this is done in Temples, all would indeed realize that there is no place where the Divine is not, living in honour of each other and thus in harmony and respect for all that Life contains.

On the other hand, All is Well in All of Creation and it matters not whether some know of their True nature and others are unaware, because the True nature of all that Is does not depend on knowledge and the pure perfection of this creation called Earth, allows for zillions of experiences, all flawlessly fitting each one’s evolutionary path. When each day I stay in this special place within me and contemplate the absolute perfection of all, I always feel overjoyed to tears for the sheer abundance of infinite possibilities, resting in my blissful harmony of surrender to the God that I Am also, happening moment to moment, as we Are all.

And so it is that on our way to Manipal, we come across this beautiful Catholic Church in honour of Our Lady of Fátima, a world renowned Lady that as legend goes made her appearance in the town of Fátima, just 30 km away from where we live in Portugal. When we travel, we realize the world is a large village where everything is interconnected.

Manipal happens to be a large city with many universities and as is common in India, many youngsters. Indian population must be amongst the youngest in the world… and growing. Hopefully these youngsters will soon become aware of the garbage surplus and gradually find cost-effective solutions to curb this growing economy related issue. I believe education will be key for this turnaround to happen, for no government can single-handedly change the habits of over two billion people! It’s around 20% of the world’s population in just one country!

Arriving at Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village is not easy, as it is not signposted but the GPS on the mobile clearly says it is here. We tentatively walk up to the gate to ask, and yes it is. Thank goodness for the advent of the GPS!

Apparently there will be a visit at 11 am. We are the first to arrive so we wait and admire the beautifully carved wooden portico we are brought to.

The guide warmly welcomes us and a few people start arriving. A young man approaches us, asking us where we are from and we engage in a nice conversation until the guide begins to speak.

We find out that the young man happens to be the son of Vijayanath Shenoy, founder of Hasta Shilpa, as he briefly recounts what it was like to live as a child in a house that was a Museum, with hundreds of people coming into the house’s private places each day. The reason for this is that his father, Vijayanath, though working as a banker all his life, had also always been extremely passionate about conserving architectural and cultural heritage so that the precious beauty of each epoch’s creations would not be throughtlessly destroyed. He began by using beautiful pieces of homes that had been torn down to build his own family home, back in 1990. He could not bear to see centuries-old homes being demolished and their intricately carved wood being burnt in the fireplace, so whenever he could he restored them to their rightful glory in loco. Whenever this was not possible, he translocated them to be reconstructed in Manipal. This is how in 1997 the Hasta Shilpa Heritage Village was born in Manipal, not only comprising reconstructed buildings, but also arts, crafts, utensils and tools, textiles, furniture and toys together with the documentation of lost classical and folk traditions. Hasta Shilpa has thus become world renowned amongst art and architecture scholars in India and in the rest of the world, being the object of studies that shed greater light into the history of the people who have crossed and lived on this land.

This man was driven by amazing passion and this place is once again proof that when one dreams with enough conviction, virtually anything becomes possible. Living proof that Life is willing to serve you when you are willing to Love it.

We thoroughly enjoy the 2 hour visit, listening with all of our senses, deeply impressed with the amount of dedication this whole complex exhudes. Each artifact speaks a story, each stone has a purpose, each building holds centuries of knowledge.

Thank you so much Atul, for guiding us to this beautiful site.

Fulfilled and honoured for having had this opportunity, our next choice is to have lunch in town to celebrate the day’s bounty.

We stop at a nice looking restaurant with air-conditioning and not only relax from the strong heat, but also once again enjoy a fine Indian meal… and a pizza, Indian style 😊

Back at our cabin we sink in all of the richness we have come to encounter so far, letting it settle into our cells and dissolve into the pool of existence that we are, making way for more… In India there is always more. Such an abolutely abundant country in all possible senses. As I have said before: Intense is the best way I can find to qualify the whole experience of being here, in this overflowing now moment.

Later on, after enjoying the sunset, we take a walk down the nearby village’s main street and eat some street food, trusting our bellies are now harmonized with the local concept of cleanliness, always being careful about the water that we drink, of course. Next time we must find a way of being more ecological and not having to buy plastic bottles on the go. I have heard there are some pills that are dissolved in water to elliminate bacteria. I’m sure that will be a good solution.

Brimming with joyful freedom, we are ready for our night’s rest and so is the thunderstorm.

Today, as yesterday, nature whips up a powerful spectacle, complete with power cuts and with the added bonus of a coconut falling on our roof and breaking the tiles, so that the rain can pour in at its own leisure. Once again we are fortunate for it not to have happened over our heads and for the water to be streaming beside our bed and not towards it. The muezzin once again chants from the nearby Mosque’s loudspeakers – the fifth prayer of the day. To us it seems like the 10th, since each time we are settling into our silence, here comes the unexpected prayer. When there were no loudspeakers I trust it would have been different, but then again, now is not then. We highly respect all faiths and do understand that without these loud reminders it might be hard for followers of the Muslim faith to remember to stop at the 5 right times every single day, but we ourselves could definitely make do without the loud chanting.

Since there is nothing we can do about the rain pouring in or about anyhthing else happening right now, we just cuddle together and allow ourselves to gently slip into sleep valley, knowing all is well in all of Creation.


Read Post 1 of this series here, post 2 here, post 3 here, post 4 here, post 5 here, post 6 here, post 7 here, post 8 here, post 9 here, post 10 here, post 11 here, post 12 here, post 13 here

quarta-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2018

Choosing Love – Thank you Mother India/ Part 13

The Fairy Tale Beach Cabin

Day 19 (Day 6 of Wonder-Bike Adventure) – 7th May 2018

Time to move on to our next destination. We intend to get to Maravanthe Beach but will take it step by step – or wheel by wheel. First the aim is to get to Udupi, around 70 km up, and then we’ll see.

It’s early as usual – 7 am and we’re off, headed for Route 66, right beside the sea, which we sometimes see and sometimes don’t.

The heat. That’s our most impactful challenge. As the sun gets higher so does the heavily moist heat, though the advantages of being on a bike with air circulating freely are a mega plus.

We come to discover that motorbikes don’t pay tolls on highways in India! So we get to experience a better road for a while, though even highways have those huge road humps that make me have to grab onto Pedro and lift my backside off the seat so as not to feel the bump so strongly.

The heat, the road humps, the pot holes and my sore backside, the noise, the movement… There are moments when I feel overwhelmed, exhausted but never unhappy. How could I? There is so much abundance in my life each and every moment! Life is so generous to me always.

The duality of feeling these waves of overwhelm at the same time as I feel infinitely grateful, in Love, at Peace and innocently Joyful make me listen to Love’s whispering Wisdom:
What if I am in a situation I do not Love and cannot change in that moment? I can change how I feel about it by practicing unconditional acceptance. I realize very clearly that sometimes making a Conscious Choice does not change outside circumstances but invariably changes my inner world, therefore bringing me back to Love, no matter what.

Round about 50 km of progress and I just have to stop. Fortunately Pedro is also considering a stop so we find a nice place and hop off the bike for a rest at Kapu Beach. It’s around 10 am and we are already considering: what if there were a nice beach cabin right here?

We ask the young lifeguard on the beach if he knows of any place to stay and though his English is rudimentary we manage to get the message across. He asks us to follow him and indicates a sort of a resort. Not really what we are looking for. He then calls a friend who has a house right in front of the beach, but as we go in it is not exactly to our liking.

We eat an ice-cream – our first in India (other than the spoonfulls at the hotel) and elect our next stop to be Malpe, a beach another 20 km further on.

We decide to take a road that runs in between the sea on one side and a river on the other, a thin strip of land with fishermen’s villages all along.

Wow! What a scenic experience! We take off our helmets and feel the wind blowing through our hair, refreshing our hot skin and giving us a taste of its raw freedom. This no rules feeling is something so rewarding, something one can only feel in remote places where things function under a different domain of acceptability.

I am mesmerized the whole way through. We go right to the very end of the road where the strip of land ends in the sea. We soak it all in, brimming with delight.

We have to go back to catch the connection to the road that heads up and ask around for Homestays on the way, but we find only one which is too large for us. We would have loved to stay somewhere around here but apparently Homestays are not a business the people choose to explore in this area.

Malpe, on the other hand, turns out to be one of those beach holiday hubs where everyone comes to spend summertime. The beach is rife with water-sports and there are people, mostly youngsters everywhere. 

Fried fish coated in a red paste is sold at street stalls, as well as iced beverages and other seafood delicacies which we refrain from trying due to the intense heat and its possible effects on the fish and seafood sitting out in the sun.

We look around for cabins, cottages, homestays and find several but still our decision is to keep on going. There are too many people here.

We have a peek at google maps and head for a place called Beach at the White House, some 6 km away from where we are, at Hoode Beach.

When we get there it is round about lunch time – 2 pm.  The house is beautiful, large and yes, white.

A lady comes out and says she has family staying so they are not renting rooms for the night. Oh well, we’ll just have to look somewhere else.

As I am getting on the bike for us to leave, the lady comes back out and calls us. She has a friend there having lunch with them who has just restored a fisherman’s cabin, a mile down to the right. The gentleman is willing to let us stay there as inaugural guests if we don’t mind to sleep in a completely empty cabin, with no real commodities, which is the actual purpose of the place: to be authentic.

Well, why not? We ask how much it is but the gentleman, called Atul, does not want to charge us. 

The lady will give us mattresses for the floor, sheets, pillows and towels and we can stay there for free.

You see what I mean about life being always so infinitely generous when we are open to receive its unconditional gifts?

We are still a bit incredulous but super happy for this offer. We can’t thank Mr Atul and the owners of Beach at the White House enough!

Atul takes us to the cabin in just a few minutes and it is everything we had asked for! So cute and right on the beach, under the coconut trees.

Inside it is completely renovated and there is a bathroom, with running water and even a small stove which we don’t intend to use.

The floor just needs a clean up because it’s dusty from the construction work so we ask for a bucket and since all we have are some very efficient dried coconut leaf brooms, we use those to sweep the water we throw on the ground out of both the cabin’s doors. Soon it is all nice and clean and ready for the mattresses on the floor and we even have two chairs to sit outside and contemplate the sunset later on.

Idyllic. The whole scene is surreal. It seems to have jumped right out of a children’s fairy tale.

I am sooo relieved! I just couldn’t take any more riding today. Not that we rode much but the heat and the intensity of the whole experience makes me want to just stay still and rest, absorbing it all.

I comment with Pedro that this is like a bootcamp resilience experience where one hones one’s capacity to sustain extreme conditions so as to find other more pleasing ones extremely easy to bare. So when we get back home we will feel stronger but also be able to thoroughly enjoy the milder climes and intensities.

The funny thing is we cannot say that less intense is better… or worse. It’s all just life happening, or in other words, us being life.

With the sea rolling into the sand right in front of our cabin, we get ready to dive in and feel its warmth. The water here is like a gigantic warm bathtub, the waves are mild and it is so shallow we can walk far in.

A curious yet beautiful peculiarity of this cabin of ours, is that it rests right across from St Mary’s Islands, one of Karnataka’s 4 geological monuments, a rare columnar basaltic lava formation with coconut trees growing on them and this is said to be the first place that Vasco da Gama landed on back in 1498, when he arrived in India and baptized the Island he fixed a cross on as “Padrão de Santa Maria”, which is where the islands got their name from.

So we are literally standing on Indian soil, looking out onto the sea route that first connected Portugal and India.

Pedro goes to the nearby village to get some fruit and coconut oil for us to rub on our skin, as Atul has advised, for a beautiful sea spa sentation on our skin.

When he gets back we oil ourselves from head to toe and embrace the water, bathing and playing until I just feel like lying on the warm sand to dry off and Pedro prefers to sit on a chair… the sand doesn’t look all that clean.

There is a strange smell we cannot identify, because it does not seem to be coming from a pile of rubbish nearby but rather from the sea itself. We try and put a name to it but we cannot.

After lazing around for a while we need to get dressed and go up to Atul’s house. He is rebuiding an old house nearby, which he also intends to rent out when it is finished. As the sun is going down fast we have to get going so we can still catch some daylight.

The house is quaint and full of beautiful antique reminiscences, local handpainted scenes on the walls, a very well restored wooden ceiling, a small patio and a large coconut grove right in front, all the way up to the beach where Atul says he goes and bathes early every morning when he is around. Lovely place!

Once again we have a meaningful conversation about love and life and he shows us this heart shaped tree trunk he found, where he wrote “Loving is Living”.

I know I’ve said this before, but one of the things I thoroughly enjoy is being able to have deeply meaningful conversations with just about anyone we come across. The common language of our Souls seems to be clearer here and communication easily slips into what lies beyond Illusion. I suppose this is what makes people come to India from all over the world to experience a deeper connection with the Divine. This land, even the air here, is impregnated with Divine Wisdom through and through.

One of my choices when I came to India for the first time and now again, has always been to connect with its grand wisdom, with the enlightened consciousness of this abundant Mother and to receive all of its bounty as I open up fully to BE all that I Am. And I can guarantee that my Choice is completely fulfilled.

Atul invites us to go for a drink in Udupi, the nearest town, but we prefer to stay behind and go and eat some of our fruit, before going to our floor matress bed.

As we retire, here comes the thunderstorm and the heavy rain. I don’t know if it’s because of the ceiling being bare roof tiles or because of the coconut trees shaking in the wind right above our cabin, but Heaven seems to have burst open in a heavy torrent of cascading water and booming thunder, the likes of which I don’t think we had felt as strongly as today.

The power goes off because of the lightning slashing ruthlessly on the trees. It starts raining inside but we put the bucket under the dripping water and hope it doesn’t manage to get to our matress… Well, we know it won’t. It’s not consistent with our choices 😊

A group of rowdy youngsters drinking beers takes cover under the eaves of the cabin and we wonder what on earth they’re doing outside with such a powerful storm going on.

We have no electricity, the youngsters are outside laughing and talking loudly, probably unaware that there is someone staying in the cabin, as it has been empty for so long and the storm is booming. However, we do want to sleep.

Then, out of the blue, loud techno music starts pumping out of a car radio and I breathe. There is nothing I can do outside of me to change what’s going on so the only thing I can do is stay in my Serene Safe Space, in my Centre, in full Acceptance of all of the circumstances and of my choice to rest. After a while the noise stops bothering me and the next thing I know all has quietened down… except for the muezzin’s prayer call from a nearby loudspeaker, some time before sunrise.

India is a land of Acceptance of all creeds and here Hindus coexist mostly with Muslims and Catholics, though there are other faiths as well.

Acceptance is my key to bliss. After all of the night’s challenges I ask myself what’s with my Conscious Choice for Peace and Serenity and I smile as I understand that no matter what goes on outside I can reside in my permanent inner Peace, knowing that this too shall pass.

I am very very thankful to be with Pedro right now. Going through this whole experience on my own would have been even more challenging and having each other's comforting and loving presence makes all the difference.


Read Post 1 of this series here, post 2 here, post 3 here, post 4 here, post 5 here, post 6 here, post 7 here, post 8 here, post 9 here, post 10 here, post 11 here, post 12 here

domingo, 2 de dezembro de 2018

Choosing Love – Thank you Mother India/ Part 12

A peculiar day

Day 18 (Day 5 of Wonder-Bike Adventure) – 6th May 2018

So we have a Plan for today. Riding up to Maravanthe beach and finding a beach cabin.

However, we also know that plans are generally to be broken…

At breakfast I happen to send a message to Abdul Ghani, the Tree Man of India, whom we met in Varanasi. He had expressed earlier on that he might be able to come and meet us round about today. He’s from Kerala. 

Apparently he won’t be able to come, but he’d love for us to come. We inform him we can’t come with the bike because of border patrols so he suggests us leaving the bike and coming by train. He would pick us up and show us around. Since I’d love to see the Green School he works at and also we had initiated conversations towards a possible cooperation between Portugal and India, we start figuring out how to do this and let go of the Maravanthe plan for today.

Vazco Beach House’s owner doesn’t mind us leaving the bike there. We would only be away for one night or two and then come back to retrieve it.

We go up to Mangalore to find out about train schedules. We also find out about bus schedules to get us to Mangalore early in the morning.

Mangalore is a huge and quite messy city which we don't find very pleasing to our aesthetic taste. Good to know, anyway.

Back to Abdul Ghani. Meanwhile something strange starts happening. We keep Abdul posted on our progress but strangely get no replies, he does not pick up the phone and it is already past lunch time by now. His initial enthusiasm which actually led us to consider changing our plans seems to have dwindled and disappeared somewhere unknown to us.

Up to this day we have no idea what might have happened, since he never communicated with us again, but we are proficient at letting go and making do with what we have right NOW.

As Love says: acceptance is the key to Freedom, the doorway to Resilience and the path of Peace.

We have no need to try and understand what went on or to judge the person or the situation. We just move on.

We have, however, como to realize that in India YES and NO are not linear. Even the way people nod is different and a Yes is gesticulated with the head bobbing sideways, which to us means a maybe :) We never see anyone gesticulating a No though! And even when we ask for directions or any other kind of help we never get a flat No. People will always try and accommodate, even if they don't have a clue about what we're asking. Different cultures, different understandings, different customs. This is the richness of travelling to faraway places. 

We decide to go for a ride towards the beach on our way back from Mangalore. We see beach signs and turn.

The road we run into is quite a surprise. Broken and black, leading to a huge refinery. We head on towards the beach beyond it and it is a peaceful place we find. 

It’s time for a dip in the sea! There is no one on the beach except for some fishermen up on the wall, lazing away the heat.

I decide to do “as the Romans” and jump into the water fully dressed! I just love it! What for the locals is normal, is totally new for me and I decide to have fun with this new experience, not in the least concerned with afterwards.

Pedro goes in wearing his underpants and we both behave like two kids fooling around in the water in complete freedom!

Rather than just being in the flow, we become the flow.

We play until our bellies feel satisfied with the endless tickles of laughter and then we dry off a little before hopping onto the motorbike again. For the first time we ride with our helmets on our arms, letting our hair dry in the hot breeze and an amazing sense of freedom takes hold of us.

We are sooo grateful, happy and free at this moment that even the contrast of the black refinery soot up ahead cannot blacken our spirit.

By now we are of course staying at Vazco Beach House for one more night and this time I go in the pool fully dressed when I get there. Of course no one here thinks anything of it 😊

Oh dear Lord, life is so grand!

Today we are once again having dinner here and tentatively stay outside but it starts raining and we have to go into the meals room to eat the rest of our delicious “banquet”.

I think today heaven wanted to give us a special spectacle and the thunder and lightning gets louder and stronger as the heavy rain pounds down, soaking everything to the core.

Wow! What a feast! I am absolutely fascinated by tropical thunderstorms and their majesty.

And so it is that we get to witness a night show for free, with the special bonus of cuddling up in bed while listening to the rainstorm outside, which is one of the things I have most loved every night so far.


Read Post 1 of this series here, post 2 here, post 3 here, post 4 here, post 5 here, post 6 here, post 7 here, post 8 here, post 9 here, post 10 here, post 11 here

quarta-feira, 28 de novembro de 2018

Choosing Love – Thank you Mother India/ Part 11

The Beach’s Blessings

Day 17 (Day 4 of the Wonder-Bike Adventure) – 5th May 2018

Today we are getting around 200 km under our belt, heading for Ullal Beach.

Pedro has had the most brilliant life-saving idea for me! By using the ladies’ footrest and his super handy red rope, he has tied the backpack to the side of the bike so I will no longer be carrying it on my back! That is a huge relief, especially when we will be travelling 200 km!

It is 7 am. We take a deep thankful breath and bid the lady of the house farewell.

Looking forward to finding out what it is like to bathe in the Arabic Sea. Somehow heading for the sea makes me feel like it will be a way of refreshing body and soul.

The way there is beautiful, as it has been every single day.

Mid-morning we stop for a bite and a rest and once again enjoy one of those special Indian breakfasts that last us until dinner. It is so very wise to eat something spicy right in the morning, to clear the whole body of any unwanted bacteria and liven up for the day.

While going down a curvy road we come across our first (and what will come to be our only) accident. And even this one was not a collision of vehicles but rather a truck that turned over on its own. Anyway, it is being taken care of and there are not many bystanders. Life goes on.

Though the journey is fairly long, the road is in good condition and we make steady progress.

First we stop at Someshwar beach and then head for Ullal. It is about 2 pm, scorching hot, yet we are brave and choose not to view the heat as negative, but just as a momentary circumstance we are willing to accept. No point not doing so.

Love whispers: the difference between the Mind's judgement and the Essence's discerning wisdom is that the first is exclusive and the second inclusive, therefore containing no negativity.

We start looking for a place to stay… which leads us on a local sightseeing ride, interspersed with a few inquisitive stops where we find out accommodation prices and conditions and then, as it were in India, a young man offers to take us to a good place. 

We are open to his guidance but in the end choose another place we had found initially ourselves.

Here everyone knows everyone, everyone gets a percentage from everyone and we are a rare commodity – foreign tourists. We have so far come across none! So whenever someone picks up on our foreign vibe, they are very glad to be of service, some to obtain something in exchange, others just because we are peculiar and they love to help.

We have come to find that Indian people are warm-hearted and caring, generally innocent, wise and we have definitely felt no hint of danger. We feel welcome, loved and honoured and that is such a wonderful gift! Thank you Mother India!

We stop on the way to the place we intend to stay at, in order to buy some soap to wash our clothes and we find this curious display of tiny packages of all sorts of washing gear and more -from hair to body to dishes to clothes to food -all in small proportions :) Like this we don't risk carrying a heavy load or wasting unused commodities.

We end up at Vazco Beach Resort, Uchilla Beach– a simple, clean and welcoming place, whose owner and receptionist are ever so kind.

Going into a room with air-conditioning is solace to the body and soul! Phew, what a relief!

A fresh shower, clothes washing ritual and a rest is in order.

It is only when we are exposed to extreme conditions that we come to cherish these “little nothings” that in fact are so much. We learn to take nothing for granted and to embrace each pearl of comfort that comes our way.

We rest until late afternoon and then take the young man who wanted to take us to a good hotel’s advice: watching the sunset at Someshwar Beach.

Apparently we are not the only ones! Many people have chosen to do exactly the same but this does not create any hindrance to us finding a good spot on the main viewpoint – a large rock at the edge of the sea.

We see many women of various creeds bathing fully dressed, children semi dressed and men ranging from dressed to just wearing shorts. I start to imagine what it might feel like to have those long black bhurkas soaking wet and clinging to the body – might be refreshing, on one hand, then again, washing all of that every day while on holiday and heading home with wet robes weighing you down might not be very comfortable. 

Above all I am fascinated by the diversity of people, all bathing in the same sea and I am sure that if I came along in a swimsuit I would be equally accepted, though it might be initially shocking, I suppose.

The sunset deserves its popularity as the best show in town, even though it is a bit cloudy.

We sit on the warm rock and just absorb the silent spectacle, thankful that the air is slightly fresher. 

Nature is by far my favourite performer, especially because in its humility, it offers its wonders with majestic grandness irrespective of our standing ovation and words of praise. I love it!

When we checked in we were asked whether we would be having lunch but instead we chose dinner so we know we will be having a fine meal when we get back, but not before I go for a dip in the Hotel’s pool! Watching everyone bathing has enticed my “swimbuds”.

Ah, life is good!

The meal is delicious – we eat tomato and asparagus cream soup, pulao rice, mushrooms and lemon soda, plus some pappads with peppermint sauce and a few more tasty delicacies. Hummm, our bellies are now as satisfied as our souls 😊

It’s time to rest, once again overflowing with Gratitude.

Tomorrow we intend to head up to Maravanthe beach, around 120 km further up…

Ah, yes, today the rain has come also to water our night's rest.


Read Post 1 of this series here, post 2 here, post 3 here, post 4 here, post 5 here, post 6 here, post 7 here, post 8 here, post 9 here, post 10 here