Rotorua - a land of rotten egg:)

So it is! Steam and smell - two first welcome signs to this land of volcanic thermic activities with beautiful lakes of unimaginable colour, green valleys, endless bushes and walk trails… My first steps in the Land of the White Long Cloud or as locals call it Aerotera are meant to be here! 
Almost 20 hour long journey, comprised of a long taxi ride, two flights and a bus route, is finally over, managed to sleep of my jet lag in something like 12 hours… :) and jumped straight into my trek shoes for a 3 hour long mountain path trek amid the so called bush:) Well, just for a small clarification, that equals to a forest over here:))) In our understanding bush is something like big grass but forget that here:) Bush is big, tall, green, impossible to cross, dense and full of sounds!!! Enormous energy of our lovely planet! Trees that are impossible to hug and measure in height! In Rotorua everything is big - blue is deep blue, trees and deep green, mud holes are dark brown, thermic steam is hot hot and so strong that even the canalisation system, streets, pavements, gardens are steaming:))) Quite a strange feeling to walk on a steaming pavement but quite liked it! Felt good to be entirely alone in that bush, lost in the greenery of a different sort, amid tall trees of unknown kind and surrounded by strange bird sounds, to watch the bubbling pods and waters in the city centre under sign "walk only on the path, thermic area (Rotorua is stuffed with t:hess signs on your every step). 
A good walk up to contemplate on the passing year… it seamed that every step I made up there remembered me of every moment of the passing 2013… So many memories, so much to remember with love and tenderness, so much joy and inner discoveries and above all changes…. it was a good year indeed. Definitely a year to remember! A year of love and creation, a year of conscious choices and challenges and never ending divine gifts…! Yup, life is definitely good:) Bye bye 2013 - am ready to welcome the coming 2014! And to do that just in my home stay garden next to a streaming spring under the dark sky full of stars was something I never did before! Meditating and dancing MA-URI in there in compete silence that was disturbed only by night songs of local birds was indescribable. Only the tall hundred year old trees in Allaine's wonderful garden are my witnesses:))) Felt the coming 2014 on my skin! They promised to be exceptional:) Ready to jump into them straight ahead! :)


Goodbye Bali…

There is nothing you cannot be, there is nothing you cannot do, there is nothing you cannot have.

Those are the gifts I found in myself at Bali. The knowing that I can be, do, and have whatever I can imagine is so strong in me. All we have to do is not fear and love instead. And there is so much to love starting from ourselves… Nature is such a good example for it here in Bali. Every raindrop loves every leave, every ocean wave loves the corals beneath its surface and the orchestra of frogs pays its tribute to the rain swimming pools in the fields… Christmas here was full of nature miracles - have never before seen such a sky at night - half completely clear with stars, half covered with rain clouds, with the rising moon from the ocean and a strong lightening far on the horizon… Was sitting in a completely abandoned dark beach and seizing the moment with every cell of my body… No white snowflakes yet complete harmony in me and around me… The paradise around me allowed to realise that the real paradise starts within me… 
The last few days of countdown in here before I start a new page of my travel were full of thrill and going beyond my own limits… That for me was a class in FREE DIVING. Well, what can I say… if you ever get a chance to try it, just go ahead… go and experience yourself in the deep ocean waters… with 50 meters or so depth underneath, whitish water and the beauty of the breaking sunlight in it… There are no more corals that amaze you and no play of small shining fishes that distract your sight…. just you, water and the rope that takes you deep under the water surface…. ah, and yes, your breath… How far can you go? How long can you be in there in your comfort zone? What are your limits and how does your body react to your deep water play with it…? An experience that takes you beyond into life meditation… :) No wonder free diving goes along with yoga and meditation. 
If you ever decide to try it in Bali just head to Amed and look for Apneista (www.apneista.com)… that is a true yoga in the deep ocean waters and much more - super healthy food cafe,  evening yoga classes next to the breaking waves… a place and people with unique life style and philosophy… Loved those two day no matter how exhausting it was for my body:) 
Leaving Bali with new realisation that you can be all what you want even in your body as it is not a limit to go beyond… with a deeper connection to the nature of our beautiful planet and a touch of Balinese smiling spirit… Was great. Am not saying goodbye… you never know:)


Merry Christmas!

Travelling makes an interesting influence on your routines… You do not have them anymore. You hardly feel traditional festivals too. That happened to me with Christmas spirit. Might have lost it somewhere in the rice paddy fields or under the palm… 
and yet, miracles do happy, especially on Christmas Eve:) So here I was yesterday wrapped in never ending monsoon rain storm that went on for entire day… cosily lying on a comfortable soft floor seater in this yoga restaurant place, sipping fresh watermelon juice with mint, overlooking the wild sea and going through their tinny library just in the middle of the cafe… and then my Christmas gift came straight into my hands - a book. A book my hearth was searching for since I left India. A spiritual book on Love and Life and Faith and Connection with God… A book that reflected so deeply in me that I could not let it go out of my hands and that built in me Christmas joy in a single moment… Woke up with an enormous wanting to share with Christmas awaiting spirit with entire Universe! 
I may not have white snowflakes around me nor my beloved family seated next to me on a festive table but the WHITE Christmas spirit is in and around me. A lot of people think white is the absence of colour. It is not. It is the inclusion of all colours. The same like Love is the inclusion of all emotions in Life. A total sum of everything in Life. That is Jesus message to us. That is Christmas spirit! 
Life is about creation. Love is about creation of all possible experiences. So may this Christmas be filled with love without end in your hearths as that is never ending creation by how we choose to live! Create the most magnificent joyful day ever for yourself and your loved ones! Love you, hug you all, you are in my hearth no matter how far I am… Merry Christmas to you all!


Rain tour:)

Amed is a paradise if you do not want rain in Bali monsoon season. As the moment you make your move out of this lovely stretch, you face pouring rain wall:) And by saying rain wall I do mean a wall of water drops in front of you:))) Such was Mount Batur today for me… The secret wish to climb at least this peak for a sunrise collapsed after 5 minute talk with the guide. Even in the dry season the trip os bait of sadistic-masohistic as you have to leave hotel my midnight what means that you reach the mountain at around 2 a.m. at night and climb for 4 hours with a torch so that you reach the peak for the sunrise… Now I have rain as an excuse instead of being simply lazy and unwilling to torture myself, even though everyone tells the sun rise view is stunning. Well, as local people say, - next time:) The misty peak of the mountain was stunning enough for me this time. Was sipping my coffee on the terrace of one of the warungs (restaurants) and enjoying my rainy view and the clearing sky… Poor driver, that was the moment I spotted a stretch of black lava from the last volcano eruption and a road winding across the area… the driver was shocked to hear I want to drive there:))) Poor guy was trying to tell me there is no road, but my eyes did not believe him, so we landed going down to the volcanic rain in search of that mysterious road which appeared to be an off-road for trucks that carry lava:))) well, despite that we drove as close as possible to the region making a cross through local villages, lava tomato fields, chilli plantations and God knows what sort of plant fields… View was stunning! Especially the realisation that the vegetable gardens in Bali are located right on top of lava soil in Bali! Simply beautiful to watch red ripe tomatoes next to a lava stone:)

Unforgetable day! The road winding through mountain valleys, rain storms and sunny moments, coffee plantation with the most expensive coffee in the world and a farm of the animals that shit those coffee beans, saffron tea (did not even know that you can make tea of it), first time for fruits I have never seen before in my life, even a sleeping mouse as a pet in front of the spice shop:))) Was to lazy to catch the moment as it started to piss while hanging upside down, but that was hilarious! Have never been so close nose-to-nose with a sleeping mouse:)

Yet, the highlight in Bali for me are rice paddy field terraces… and that was the gem of today:) A treat for me from my guide:))) as the place he drove me to was simply stunning! A huge mountain surrounded rice terrace far from main roads and close to trekking spots, an hour and a half simply to reach its other edge (that is a very very big terrace)… With a rain coat on and feet soaked in rain water, left alone as the guide did not have umbrella, here I was wandering on the top of those terraces and balancing my feet on the edge of the open mountain water system for the paddy fields… completely by myself - and that was the best part! One hour of solitude in this greenery and rain storm energy… I felt as if I am every rain drop and every growing rice crop - completely connected with the place all I could think of at that moment was "Thank you, God, for the gift of life"… as life is all we need to be alive and feel life in others… Touched by the eternity of that moment am lying with my laptop on the sea terrace of my restaurant and typing these letters to the rhythm of sea waves in complete darkness outside… feeling blissful and ready to say goodnight to this wonderful day:)


A dream to come true - a biking day in Bali

I wish so much you would see the spot where I am right now with my laptop… somewhere in the middle on my way to the top of the Holly Mountain Lempuyang with the most sacred Temple for Balinese people - Pura Lempuyang. Trapped in a rain cloud that suddenly bursted into pouring rain, sitting in a half ruined small temple with an imaginable panorama of the Mount Agung in front of me, unfortunately covered in heavy rain mist… I am so brilliant to have my laptop with me! It feels unreal to write in here with heavy rain pouring in the distance of 10 cm from my nose:) Well, what the hell… might take a short break after all:) No way I shall make it to the top today… it is a 4 hours stair climb up to the top temple on the peak of the mountain, it is afternoon and the rain started, all the people are coming down, I am alone here… The temple people downstairs begged me not to go up to the top temple as the way to it is packed with aggressive monkeys who in the last few days bit 15 tourists, most of them beeing sick now, two people broke their legs on the slippery stairs too … Have to admit these talks only tempted me to choose that way and a good stick along with unconditional love for monkeys in my hearth… Took 10 minutes on the crossroad to the up and middle temple. Chose the last out of simple reason - am LAZY! Come on - 2 more hours after already one hour up in sweat and rain is simply too much for a lady like me! Did not sin lately, have to reason so suffer for my mistakes that hard:))) Decided to search for local spirits and gods in the midway:) am happy and content in my solitude in this discovered half ruined temple… just trees, jungle sounds and hidden valley around and beneath me! Much better as I could have expected!!! A good platform for MA-URI dance and meditation, which was unimaginably powerful in the stormy rain and blessed by God as the moment I opened my eyes the top of the Mount Agung appeared in front of me as if the clouds spread for me to see it… Isn't that a sign of God that am sitting just in the most perfect place in this mountain? :)

My rest day on a bike turned to be hard work for my "bumcheecks"… hahaha:) It is quite a torture to sit for two hours on a scooter on a mountain road! However, what a delight for my eyes and spirit! If you ever come to Amed in Bali make sure that you take the panoramic road towards Seraya that twingles along the coast and discloses all its valleys, bays, mountain terraces, rice paddy fields, local villages… I was so thrilled to discover that a few km from my beach there is nothing left of the luxury Bali for tourists - no villas, no spa and seaside resorts, just pure original local villages and the untouched beauty of Bali. I would not be surprised if that is the most picturesque road in Bali. A way full of mountain springs with bathing children in them and their white souped waters from laundry, a road of culture with water palaces and minor village temples and of course the gem of Bali at it's end - the Holy Mountain. Spirits are present in every moment of daily life of every Balinese. Every day numerous times offerings are being given to spirits that guard the family house. Every house has at least one shrine where rice and flower offering are left for the Gods at every possible occasion. Even in the shops and tourist restaurants you are expected to leave your shoes outside and there was an offering to Gods right in the middle of the dance floor yesterday at the disco bar (had to be careful not to step on it in my salsa). Every time you come back to your hotel cottage you find new flower offerings left on your entrance. No big pujas as in India, just numerous daily offerings and small rituals… And even though Bali is a hindu island in the islamic Indonesia I often have a feeling that indigenous believes rule this island of beauty. Right here right now on this mountain this feeling penetrates to the core of my soul… 

Few more moments to contemplate in here in the silence and then I shall pull my raincoat out and make my way down the slippery stones to the footprints of this adorable mountain. More rice paddy field terraces awaiting for me and another water palace… A day of Balinese culture on the back of a bike:) … and then some cool beer or whine in the seafront restaurant back in my village with my feet dipped into the refreshing ocean waters… can't wait! And just made my mind - am coming back to this mountain. Have to make to the top even if that means fight with furious monkeys:) … yet preferably not in the rain so that I can enjoy the majestic panorama of the Agung!


Mountain rice paddy fields…

There is one thing in Bali that fascinates me every morning I step out into my small flower surrounded terrace and take a look at the ocean - that is tranquility of the place. And its combination with full moon is beyond mystery! Last night was a perfect moon shine in its heavenly fullness, hiding behind shattered clouds,  accompanied by few hardly visible stars, with moon shine shimmering light on the ocean surface and vivid underwater coral world beneath it… all that in complete silence. I was there just by myself on my rocky beach facing the power and energy of that blissful moment. Felt majestic! I Was a part of that eternal tranquility. The first night in Bali to see stars for me:) That is something in monsoon time, as if the skies themselves paid tribute to the full moon and scattered the clouds for its solo performance… and then suddenly the rain storm came again, as if sneaked and stole the stage from the moon…

I could not stop myself - opened the entire terrace, unlocked the doors and slept like that with a feeling that am a part of the rain! That was wow:) From tonight am not closing my door at night - thought to myself before I fell  asleep - none will steel me, am too heavy:)))

Sometimes it seams to me that Bali in monsoon is like a lady who can not make her mind what she wants - rain, sunshine, storm, heat, wind, clouds, stars… you get all that the the range of 24 hours:) The morning promised a rainy day but that was so misleading… and the prove to that is my purple-brownish suntanned face after my meant-to-be-chilly walk into a local village in the mountains:)
No bike ride as yet. The owner refused me to rent a bike due to the slippery roads after the night storm and told me to walk better:) Not a good day for learning how to ride a bike in the mountains - he said. So, I walked… something like 18 km.!!! 
And that was the first highlight of the day! The road was just gorgeous - the slopes of steep mountains all around me, rice paddy fields (finally found them!), banana, jack fruit, papaya, guava, kiwi and cheeku trees with fruits just on the road side, local farm houses, my first to see pigs and goat in Bali, lots of chicken and peacocks… Smiling local people, a real local village with its simple traditional houses and temples and ordinary quiet mountain life. The place is not listed in the must-see touristic route but that was finally the original Bali as it still is for local people behind the luxury touristic villas and resorts (by the way, as I found out, most owned by foreigners too)…  Life seamed scars up there with farm fields high on the slopes of those steep mountains. That must be the reason why local people look skinny and strong, eager to face any physical challenge and lift any burden, yet with eyes full of wisdom and inner peace… 

Was sitting there for it seamed endless moment just by myself on a side of the road, facing one of the many valleys and observing the panorama … and all I could think of were few lines from my favourite MA-URI prayer:

when we can see a world in a grain of sand
and Heaven in a wild flower,
hold infinity in the palm of our hand
and eternity in an hour - then we have not lived this day in vain…

It was there! That knowing and feeling! All of that was there and in me! An eternal world in those mountains, a moment of infinity in me being there and definitely a Heaven in this world! Felt surrealistic and yet so real. Just peace around and inside me, no desires, no claims and prayers or wants, just being where you are and knowing that all that is eternal and shall never end… A moment to cherish forever… ! 

P.S. (added 4 hours later)… The second most unpredicted highlight of the day… It is 7 minutes to midnight. Full moon, orchestra of frogs in my garden, second might in a row unforgettable sky with white clouds and stars in the moonlight…  just got back home. Amed can party too:))) went for a local music band 3 km from my hotel. Ended in the most crazy company of a Russian girl and an American man. All strangers, all down for the same reason in the only bar with live music, basically the only clients too. Great music by the way! Balinese sing world singles so well. The hello grew into  the best-craziest-most spontaneous dance party ever!!! … which ended in the most surrealistic night-swim in the ocean! Hahaha:) Floating in there under the full moon and on top of the corals, being bit by microscopic jelly fish, connected with entire universe, doing what you are not permitted to do at nights here, riding home along empty coast road (Balinese believe in spirits and that the bad ones rule the world at night, so you will never see a Balinese outside at night) and on top of all that being completely sober… that I call LIFE and LIFE! Just love it! The craziest most unforeseen ending of another day in the paradise:) Goodnight! … 


Bali # Day 3 # Cycling torture:)

Wow! I made it! Hahaha:) Keep wondering now what my legs shall tell me tomorrow morning:) What can I say - cycling in Bali on the slopes of Mount Agung (the highest volcanic mountain in the island) in plus 32 degrees or so is a challenge and only such crazy like me go for it:))) Perhaps that is the reason the rental price for a bicycle equals to bike rentals and you have to search for bicycles to rent while there are numerous rental bikes on every corner of the local village street… 
… anyway, started my day dressed in my beloved violet dress and in my everything surviving stylish red ballerina crock shoes - ready to conquer the surrounding villages with my charm:) The bike man asked me repeatedly - are you sure you want to do this? Take bike! I will teach you how to ride! That was hilarious:))) But nope - I took the bicycle… and only after a few kilometres out of the 8 that I made today in this up and down mountain area I wished I listened to him at least a little bit:) Well, at the same time thought to myself - you just have to peddle while cycling, so what the hell - just enjoy:) And I did! Picked the direction where according to the locals there is nothing - as if the island ends:))) But that is so to the opposite - yes, the cafes and hotels and white tourist faces end with the mark of the villages but then real Bali starts… and that are mountain peaks tucked with local houses and gardens, fishing beaches, simple farmer's houses, the rubbish (well, apparently they also have it), numerous small rivers with the monsoon waters that run down from the slopes of the Agung, and endless greenery… Loved it all! Bali is so so so green right now! Even in our deepest summer we do not get that deep green combination with a blue sky and mountain clouds. Wonderful! Unforgettable! Breath catching! The running kids, the smiling faces of men and women of all ages… Village Bali has its secret for joy, smile and tranquility…
… and good food! Yup!!! Did it - checked every street stall for street junk food and local specialities:))) From local chips of unknown origin to the best so far meal I had in a Bali - BENSO. And Benso is something we would call soup:) You take a ball and put boiled rice noodles, some herbs, cut cabbage, deep fried crispy spice onion, and then you add pork bullion with minced pork balls stuffed with egg inside. Soya and chilli dressing is after you but just go ahead and mix like locals do:))) Still not running to the toilet and still not regretting I stepped out of my vegetarian shoes for a moment:) That street shack food was super, tucked with locals and busy as hell:) They even did not have coke to disinfect the possible threats of the meal - well, so tried some local drink instead:) Don't know what it was, but it was definitely sweet:)))
So, now that I survived my torture cycling day and am finally mentally ready to try riding a BIKE tomorrow, time for some local whine and dessert:) this time in a 5 start SPA resort next to my door. Hahaha, love the contrasts of this part of the world - you simply get all that is possible in one place:) Time for traditional Balinese dance. Now that I found a working ATM in the diameter of 10 km (of course the one that was working was in my village even though locals said it is shut down) and have cash and am rich again, a SPA sounds like a good evening choice:) Viva la vida! :)


Why Bali…?

Woke up with an immense joy and an endless smile on my face:) … and a wonder why for God's sake did I pick up Bali from the entire archipelago of Indonesian islands? I was told yesterday that there are 17.000 of them! Now I know - Bali was meant to be. I was destined to experience it's exceptional energy:) And that is endless smiling, pure joy of life, happiness signature on every face, joyful never crying children, connectedness with nature and each other, millions of blossoms and deep greenery of nature, richness of our mother Earth on every step… Such is Bali! No place for sadness and regrets on this sacred Land! It is the most prefect spot to remember and rebuilt the connectedness in me! There are no words to describe the power of meditation and MA-URI dance while overlooking the morning sky's reflection on the sea, countless small fishing boats floating in the waters and first sun rays on the mountains… Perfection of being! No wonder they have no reason to spoil their day with ego tricky plays:) The only way of being in Bali is a simple surrender to LIFE and LOVE within YOU! Cheers to the day with fresh watermelon juice:)



What a welcome, Bali! What a birthday!:) Definitely one to remember:)))
Am feeling like I have stepped into a new world for me. Singapore was that invisible line that I simply crossed… not even realising where it shall lead me… It took me a decade to go beyond India… Finally am here - new faces, new cultures, new landscapes… everything NEW!!! And I am loving it! No, am jumping out of anxiety and joy!!! Suddenly the hunger for more and more travel is revealed in me again:) For some reason I was always convinced that am not interested in Cambodia, Vietnam, China… but something happened in one sec after I landed in Singapore - suddenly I knew I want it all! The change was immediate.  The best birthday present ever - childish hunger for new discoveries! Finally in my life I feel that I belong to the WORLD!
The terminating year was spectacular for me - all wishes came true in most unpredictable ways!!! Dreaming big is dangerous as the moment you step into the stage of your life where dreams come true you must be careful what you ask for:))) Everyday was a gift of so many inner discoveries and growing in my conciseness… Waking up this morning in my lovely balinese bungalow I was triggered what should I wish for this year… and then a knowing came in me that I do not need to wish for anything anymore… all I have to be this time is to be grateful! So I am - that is the logo of the newly starting year of my life! I am so grateful for the most pressures gift of LIFE itself and that is enough to celebrate every day with love withought end for everyone and everything… Viva la vida!!! :)

Now Bali… Hm, what can I say…? Definitely green… for sure smiling… Balinese just have it on there face… I wonder - do they know how to look angry…? Very very clean! What a shock it was for me to discover no trash on the roads after a month spent in India:))) No cows-dogs-camels-goat on your way on the street:) I counted - saw 12 cows in the range of 2-3 km from my home stay, nicely bound to their stables with nice wooden fence and even a roof to protect them from rain and sun. Wi-fi in every spot along the sea:))) Balinese seam to be well connected:) Definitely different spices. Was thinking to try grilled barracuda for dinner … hahaha… Lithuanians shall definitely understand the joke:) 

The results of my first day in Amed/Bunutan:
  • apparently picked up the best side of the island for me - Amed if for nature lovers, mountain trekking, peace, reef snorkelling, diving and with a direct connection to the other surrounding islands!!! That I call divine connection in life:))) I just spotted the first hotel and booked it as the reviews were fantastic. Was too lazy to search through www.booking.com. Bali has simply too many hotels to offer:) And as a result am sitting in my awesome private bungalow on the rocks with a private sea fencing terrace at a cost that is unbelievable for our estimations:))) The place is called Warung ARY Homestay - lovely and highly recommend! 
  • first time soaked through in monsoon rain:) That was something! A nice wet rainy lighted by monsoon lightning 2 km walk back home through the village was a walk I shall never forget! Enjoyed every moment of it:) My crock ballerina shoes rock in this season:))) and the ocean in monsoon rain is an experience to indulge!
  • medium grilled in non-visible balinese sun:))) One more stupid foreigner! That is ME! Finally have my quick light brownish tan that even India did not manage to give me:))) Do not get tricked by the cloudy dark balinese sky and better sleep in your bed but not on your sun-bed:)))
  • three dives and snorkel swims in one of the best coral spotting beaches at this side of the island - that is my beach:))) Perfect pick again:) For someone who loves snorkelling but did not expect it in Bali - best birthday present ever:) The underwater is simply magical here! Even Red Sea did not have such beautiful reef as I saw today! can not wait to see more!!!
  • first balinese massage just on the mattress in the garden next to the beach. Nice oil, good strong touch, monsoon rain around instead of music, half naked in the invisible but still existent public:))) Love Bali just for that today! :) 
The end result - 3 times soaked through in the ocean and once in the monsoon rain, chocolate instant balinese tan, massaged all over and ready to try and get some preferably not local feni to celebrate my birthday:) The first day is not yet over! :)



Another pearl of Rajasthan! A return to the Blue city after more or less 7 years… The majestic Joghpur with the splendour of it's fort and palace, which still belong to the Royal family. An exceptional life story of the maharaja and the magnificent palace that he built. Even today it is not only a luxury hotel and a museum but as well one of the biggest private residencies in the world! My favourite is the fort though. Even a single sight of that pearl of architecture captures your breath and the panorama of the turkish blue city down the steep hill captures your look forever. It is simply unbeatable!!! Definitely one of the places you shall never forget in your entire lifetime! The variety of blue walled house colours, the street labyrinth inside the old city walls, the 500 year old hotel with a stone bed, the light of the fort in the dark evening sky and the majestic history of the Land… Lovely and unforgettable!


The perfection of location… sitting in a balcony that is nothing else but a soft sofa-seater that is approached by crumbling on your knees out of your hotel bedroom window:) Take that! Legs sticking out of the balcony, all tucked with soft embroidered pillows and covered with my warm shawl, feeling almost like the wife of a maharaja:) Ah, one more small fact - the room is just inside the Golden fort of Jaisalmer, on top of a huge artificial hill that was built by the order of the maharaja. The balcony is overlooking the entire city of Sand. 
Apparently the people did not like their king too much, so they threw him out of his own palace and settled within the fort walls themselves (that is at least the history version of the car driver). Today a part of the fort are still houses of locals, part is diverted into a museum, the rest are simply ruins or history heritage hotels. The Golden city (as it is called due to the colour of the houses that so naturally mingle with the surrounding desert) is unforgettable, unimaginable, majestic! 
It's streets are so narrow that no cars can enter them. They almost remind me of the Venetian labyrinth of passages and streets. It is such fun to see how autos mingle with cows and bikes and pedestrians… a mission impossible at first look but they know their ways:)
It's a special feeling to be in the most Western point of India with a pure desert ahead you. The next stop behind those far away laying sand dunes is Pakistan. No wonder that ages ago this very city was the point for opium, diamonds and gold trade:) The richest man in the city was actually the biggest opium trader and you can still visit the opium sell-room in the museum of his house:) There is a rumour that you can still find a marihuana shop in Jaisalmer. Well, did not come across it:) 
People are different here too… As if everything shrinks in the desert - less water, less greenery, skinnier cows and skinnier, shorter people … The desert dries everything out! You have to mind your head in every single old house. Feels as if you are abnormally tall:) Bumped my head numerous times in this Golden city:) Shall always be fascinated by the colour of this city, the bright red sarees of local woman, the subtle ways how they cover their face with a transparent shawls to protect themselves from the heat and sun, their heavy silver jewellery, royal raga music sounds, numerous safari jeeps on the roads, deep sharp penetrating look of the local faces, the sound and feel of desert hot wind on your face, the dryness in your own skin… that's my way to know I am right in the hearth of the Indian desert! A dream to come true - finally a tick for The Golden City, definitely one of the must-see while in India and a place I shall always carry in my memories! Leaving with a feeling of complete fascination and respect for the hard ways of desert life and the strength of the spirit in the eyes of local people… 



Goa was the time for many inner insights. There is nothing better than MA-URI dance steps on the soft morning sand next to the breaking waves of the ocean… An experience to remember! … and morning silent meditations in the rising sunlight… a time to connect - to connect with nature, sun, water, Earth, stars, Universe and above all - yourself and your body. A time to remember who you are. A chance to catch a glimpse of the inner child that we all are at any stage of our life journey… and to look for "troubles" :) - play, laugh, try, experiment, search, discover… Something changed. I changed. Again:) Love changes as where are changes there is life:)
It's another perfect morning in a bursting and never sleeping India. This time - up in Rajasthan. The biggest state of India. And it's capital Jaipur. The Pink City as it is known:) A city of pinkish and sandy-brown colour walls, stuck with sandy-orange-brown colour buildings, palaces, maharaja historical heritage, forts that can be visible on the surrounding deserted hills… no more trees, no more green colour… That is left in the South of India… the green here is alike an oasis in the ruling sandy shades:) The wild cows on the busy streets no more mingle on your way… instead there are camels, men on horses and coloured elephants! :) It has been more or less seven years after I first stepped on this maharaja land, yet the feeling is as if it is my first time:) Especially the experience of staying in a hotel that is a real palace. Ups, used to be a real royal palace, built end of the 18th century. Simply breath catching! No need to go to a museum - there is a glass separated museum space in the room itself:) Am lying right now in my bed and looking at the original maharaja's chairs just in the room:) Every corridor dwells with history - original mosaics, carvings, saved and exhibited old door handles, locks, swords… small inner yards with fountains where the royal family used to spend there time, night lights of the entire building complex that blend with candle light of the restaurant tables and lights on the garden trees… the performance of dancers and singing of local singers, play with fire, dance with pots on the head…. all in one day with no need to step out of your hotel:) That was a never to forget experience:) True, will be open to the end - the top for me was to discover a bath in my bathroom with a relaxation music:)))) What a joy and small memory of home:) Stupid, isn't it, but loved to indulge into it anyway:)))


Goa goa goa...

Love my unpredictable ways in India… you come to the seaside for a few days and suddenly find yourself there after a week too:) The ticket gone (who cares, there are at least ten other buses each night back home), the survey "Mam, how did you like your travel with us?" on your e-mail is left unanswered…:) Instead - the morning breeze, long walks at the ocean, meditation facing the rising sun or the starlit sky and this never ending sound of breaking waves or ocean's play with your body while you are floating in those deep warm waters… the perfection of fresh fruit juices and Tandoor fish, wild dogs, pigs, horses and cows on the beach and … tranquility… 

Don't misunderstand - Goa is rocking with "yoga chicks" (just love that saying of non-yogis), India-through travellers (I call them hippies), almost settled in Russians, local youngsters-weekenders and sun-hungry mostly German pensionaries… there is space for everyone. Sometimes it seams to me that Goa is like a sponge that has the magic of shrinking and expending upon need:) Beaches for partying, villages for yoga and meditation, settlements for Russians… There is everything! All kind of stripes of beaches with still few wild ones in between!!! Those are the ones you shall never forget:) The feeling of discovering a new land as if you are Vasco de Gamma itself penetrates you the moment you step your feet in them… Wonderful feeling! :) 
… wonderful nature, beautiful flowers along your road and hundred year old trees we do not have at home, amazing people every step on your way - may it be a local old man or lady, a small curious child, an dancing-partying Russian on the beach or just another searcher for himself/herself like you… Bikers on every possible road, mixing with travelling cows and barking dogs, overtaking lorries and endless "Tourist vehicles" (luxury AC taxis)… Love that blend - like a perfect traffic smoothy:) 

Every time I find myself in Goa is a time for discovering something new - new beach, new dish and something new in me… This time it is CHANGE. Change and the power of letting go in you what is no longer life, what does not take you beyond the rainbow, what keeps you frozen. For CHANGE means LIFE… and I choose to LIVE! :) So, Viva Goa and viva la vida:)))
A few tips for those on their way to Goa:
  • Agonda - the top beach to stay with its wild cows, clean sandy coast, rocks that tempt to climb them and the most starlit sky in the Goan area;
  • Dunhill Beach Resort sea front cabanas- the right place to indulge in the real beach experience:)
  • Dunhill Beach Resort restaurant - do not miss their fish tikka, fresh watermelon juice and tandoor seafood…hm, yammy:)))
  • Space Goa on Agonda road towards Palolem - super gift shop (ask for Kate) and fantastic raw cocktails, home baked breads for homesick tongues, perfect salads and fresh lemongrass tea:)))
  • a real coffee experience - cafe Budan! The only cafe in Agonda that has a real espresso machine:) Loved their coffee Latte!
  • Real Tibetan momos (steamed dumplings) and cooking classes with always smiling Sami - try cafe Rumba in Palolem (on the main road to the beach)
  • for Vasco de Gamma experiences head towards the wild Cola beach (North to Agonda)
Goa, I shall surely be back! :) Next stop - finally Rajasthan!!! Am coming! :)