Saturday, November 12, 2011

Serendipity, my old friend, it's nice to see you :)

As The dust settled, we'd found ourselves in a sun soaked Round Valley somewhere in Northern California.
What seems like only days has quickly turned into weeks, and now months. The first strong tastes of home came in a white paper cup. Fresh brewed coffee, the best we'd had in the states yet. After pouring lattes and espressos this summer at the Cortes Co-op Cafe, we were rather impressed with the mouth watering aromas of a rich roasted bean and spices wafting from this little shack.

As close to the seclusion of an island you can find with out being at sea, Covelo is a little round valley tucked away in the wandering hills of Nor Cal. Only one very windy road in and out in the winter, and absolutely encompassed by the wilderness.

The coffee shop, aka the The Farmer's Market, where there is of course a market every Friday, was having a growth spurt (just like to co-op at home). As their new space prepared for rebirth, so were many other beautiful endeavours also flourishing. This post has been slowing coming to fruit, apple by apple, ripening over these golden fall days. More and more so as my roots find fertile soil to grow in with my every moment here.

Journeys into the woods with puppies abounding, and baskets laden with chantrelles and porcini. Gardens overflowing with abundance, and apples ripe for the picking. I even learned to use an old Amish cider press.

These days Russ and I have found ourselves on the southwest hills of the valley. Looking down from this abundant ridge I am greeted by the big glossy brown eyes of a doe, happily nourishing herself on the glistening umber grass. I've been enjoying this brilliant sunset spot on the deck for a few evenings now. Vineyards with grapes still on the vines to my left, the yurt below them, and further down still the pond. Where funny enough, the six pointed buck awaited the doe on the other side of the fence. As he hopped up onto his hind legs, showing off how he could reach the high branches of a near by tree, he jumped back in panic. A long beard like strand of lichen had attached itself to his antlers. He ensued a vigorous battle with the intruding flora, and danced around valiantly attempting to shake it off. I sat in wonder as the commotion took way, while our little pup Luna lay next to me oblivious to anything other than her bone.
As bliss filled synchronised moment follows another, I feel at ease and perfectly serene with where I am in my journey. And that I am exactly where I am meant to be, on all planes.

In the blink of an eye, under the glow of the Freeze Up Moon, we have awoken in a palace on even longer rollings hills of the fertile valley. A space created with intention and love, built on family foundations. A sliver of a stair case led me up to our new room, of what was once a humble shack.
The sun poured in this morning from the East and the vibrancy of that space filled me with the memories pf a fresh summer rain, cooling the warmth of our star. His warmth lights up all the frosty fall landscape with fire and swirls the color across the playing winds. I am greeted, of course, with friends and the puppies have a chance to whirl into explosions of excitement with the reunion of two little sisters. I'm off to vibe in the pyramid for the day :)

Where tomorrow will take us, I can't say. For my imagination at this moment may only limit the potential of where I might end up. As if in a fairy tale, every moment is infinitely more perfect than I could have ever dreamed up.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sagebrushed grasslands to our Standing Brothers of the Redwoods

We follow the wind across whispering golden plains, and I can't help but feel the sacred, spirit and power of the buffalo that used to roam these grasslands. An affinity creeps into my being, like a warm touch, for the great migrations that take place across these valleys nestled between the Rockies and the Pacific.

Day two on the road brought us into into Mt. Shasta, where we indulged ourselves with a meal at an actual restaurant, With A TABLE and CHAIRS!!! :-D !!
Not that I don't like roughin' it, but I do enjoy glasses, chairs, and hot food served to me once in awhile ;-) And boy was it goood!!! Thai food that brought me right back Bangkok like it was yesterday. You could even hear the ladies chattering away in Thai in the kitchen. MMmmmm..... I want more tom yum!

Our journey south bound brought us into the sunny warmth of California and as we started making our way West, the sage brush and grasslands began to fade away into groves of standing Elms, Ponderosa Pines, and lush greenery. It seemed as though with every hill we passed we came into more greenery. My body and mind in complete chills of bliss as the resonance of coastline inched ever closer. We took the 36 west and continued down HWY 101, stopping of course to hug some of the biggest trees in the world! If you ever find yourself on the Avenue of Giants, stop at the Women's Club of California Grove and have a wander around. Hiding away in a small gulley not far from the road is one of the most breath taking living organisms I've ever been blessed to meet. A young redwood amongst the giants, but oh so different, as she is an albino, and has only white needles. MOONLIGHT POWERED TREE!!!! What a beauty if there ever was one. We took our time in the serene groves of ancient standing brothers and felt so blessed to be here in this moment, with some of the oldest friends we have. So much love to the forests of the world.

After all this driving we've found quite the little community in cozy Covelo, CA. I'm feeling strongly that this will be somewhere we're gonna put some roots down and be back again before we know. I'll fill you all in on the wonders of Covelo, that reminds us so very much of the vibrant love on Cortes, in the next post. Until then, love to you all


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Past the 45th parallel and still Southbound

It's been quite the drive, I'm still in awe that we got through Washington State in a half a day! Our first day out of Vancouver, I'd left a little something out of my previous posts..... which was that on our only night in Kelowna, picking up Princess Peach, we'd had our sweet Van, Lucy On Cloud 9, broken into.

It truly didn't seem like a big deal at the time, and the prowling intruder didn't seem to have taken very much. My silver seed of life ring off the dash, random bits and bobbles perhaps? The prowler appeared to have been somewhat out of touch with reality, and hoping into our van on any kind of drugs would not make for a sensical time. What with the feathers, faeries, and weird shiny bits everywhere. I figured he gotten freaked out with the owl talons and holographic art, and taken off. I couldn't help but be grateful that he didn't take our laptop (all our photos, music, and business info.......gonna back that up today...) or any of my sentimental things like my baby blanket, tarot cards or crystals... Not that he'd get any money for those... But as time and the ran has rolled on we've noticed more and more items had vanished.... sigh.... two of which make me kind of sad.... a ridonculously pimped out purple leather tophat with some of my finest charoite cabs, antique keys, and favourite exotic pheasant feathers....made special for Russ...... and my next heart drop was my DSLR and 300 mm zoom lens. Neither of which were cheap....and wouldn't go for much at a pawn shop.

I'm not really bummed because of the materialistic attachment...... but more so because of all the absolutely AMAZING things we've seen in less than 24 hours of driving!!! GAAAAHhhhh! lol.... I just wish I could show you all!!!

Regardless, I would appreciate it if when you read this.... just take a moment and send some love and compassion to that prowler, and know that they, who ever they are, are in a difficult place. Wish them blessings, love and healing as we already have.

One of the first amazing canyons we went through was Dry Falls in pics but heres a link to some google images on it..,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1222&bih=614&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi

Theres been so many others, who's names I don't even know....and I'm seriously considering buying a point and shoot while we're in tax free Oregon :-D At least I can let you all know that we're in absolute bliss rolling along these nearly deserted secondary highways through America's wilderness.

Past the 45th Parallel today, nothing but a small sign on the edge of the road that looked rather weather beaten. Took a moment to recognize that we were exactly half way between the North Pole and the Equator. Well continue on we shall. Hoping to make it to Mt. Shasta today, and then head for the coast!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Spirit Blesses us all the way

The road onwards. vancouver and beyond. Departing K-town bound for the sacred healing waters of Ainsworth with Princess Peach in tow. Adventure abounds like a heavy fog, embracing us from every which way. 

These rolling hills gently smile down upon us as we ready depart. 

Cleansing, purifying blessings rain over our breasts and crowns

Ravens dance on the wind. A graceful twirl and flurry of wings, just for us.
Coyote gazes over our passing with approval.

And the winds follow us all the way,

The Road onward calls.


Fall floats in across foliage,
Mountains moan as the North winds
make their presence known.
Nelson nestles up for the ever nearing winter,
We fly on the wind across paved dream ways,
Aloft our Crystal Light Ship.
The Road onward, ever calling to us.

Yoshi and Mario split ways with the infamous Princess Peach. Restored anew after soaking in the mysterious and rejuvenating waters of the Ainsworth caves. A big calm creeps in as the last of our Canadian ends get tied up in big beautiful bows of purple silk. The journey into the South West sneaks into reach. What a way to leave our beautiful friends and family but with two house-warmings in two days. The big love follows us everywhere. I can't help but let a smirk sneak across my face. Big love to all you beautiful people too!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Onward we fly.

I'm still a little bit surprised to be on the open road again, it seems as though summer simply vanished on the ocean breeze. This past few months on Cortes has been like a fairy-tale dream. 

Faery friends, creative community, love, that washes over you where ever you wander, when ever you hug a new friend. What a season on the coast indeed! So much love to what I dearly hope to be lifelong friends out there! 
Gratitude and Infinite love to Amie and Henri! You are both so very fabulous and you have both found a pedestal in our hearts for the rest of time.

The weeks leading up to our departure, I was getting so excited to leave. Oh the exhilaration of possibility and potential as you hit the open road with "Nowhere to be, and everywhere to go" This enthusiasm continued to build, bubbling bigger and bigger, right up until the day it felt like we might actually leave. And it dawned on me that we actually had to leave Cortes to go on this adventure, delight faded into a tinge of sadness. But my heart warmed at the thought of reunions with everyone when we get back. 

And so we whirl winded off..... 
"The last ferry off the island is at 5:50, think we can make it?" "It's 4:30 now....we better get a move on" 

Henri later informs me that Amie had come up with the wonderful plan that if she doesn't see us, we can't say good bye, and so can't leave.... lol .... So we leave in a flurry, managing to get everything put away beautifully, car loaded, with our little bunny Totoro and all, and whisk off to Amie's for a quick bon voyage. 
 As we drove north on the island, towards the ferry ever pondering if we might make it, I realize that this may be the last time I may know every single person that drives by.... at least until next summer. What a feeling of community, being able to name and wave and feel love for every cyclist and car that you pass. 

 We made the ferry, last one on the boat, sitting on the back of the ferry under golden rays bouncing off the ocean. I crash in the van due t my flurry of cleaning and packing that had me up until 6:30 am the night before. 
Vancouver bound. 
 The city is such an interesting place, any city, any where.. A cacophony of energy and noise, bumping and bustling everything that moves, or doesn't move. Not my exactly my first choice for a zen filled, grounded setting. However we were there to see the beautiful people. Heart warmth shared with our friends and family is the best kind of warmth out there. 
So a quick visit of a two nights and one full day, and we were on the road again.

 Off to save Princess Peach. I love this game. Slumbered well in Kelowna last night, and we prepare to depart for Ainsworth hot spring for a refresh with good ol' peaches :)

 Until next time friends! Love light and bliss all your days! 

 My quote of the day 
 "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others" Nelson Mandela (1918 - )

Sunday, March 13, 2011

moments of awe captured in time

Off to bed for an early flight tomorrow, almost done the Flores story, and will have a couple posts of catch up to get to today! :) more pics soon!

The Fantastical Finds of Flores continued

After a night spent in Bajawa, we journeyed forth towards Mt. Kelimutu, but not before stopping at Bena Village, where their old school bamboo, and tulu (woven grass) roofs have been standing for about 700 hundred years. Living under a towering volcano, I can kind of understand why some cultures adopted human sacrifice. Wouldn’t you throw a couple people in there to satisfy its treacherous hunger, if it might save your entire village?? It was incredibly picturesque, and other than foreign visitors, and Christianity, hadn’t changed a whole lot since its humble beginnings. The people were so friendly! And I was overjoyed at the opportunity to practice my Indonesian, which has been coming along rather well! I was having full on conversations and understanding a decent amount of what was being said. :D!
The people here also wove their own Ikat, with much brighter colours than we had seen before.
That second day on the road, as we neared Ende, also brought us to a glistening black sand beach; Known by the title of Blue Stone Beach, due to the numerous brilliantly blue coloured stones littering the shoreline.

OOOhhhhh! And there were these unbelievable little crabs everywhere! They had utterly huge eyes that could spot you three meters away! Then they would flee across the sparkling sand like miniature bolts of lighting whipping by! They were so incredibly fast! I was enthralled! It took me nearly an hour, and many peculiar looks, as I darted back and forth across the beach, before I actually managed to catch one. Mostly due to the fact that I saw one get stuck in between two leaves…..

After the beach, we zipped through the Southern port town of Ende, with only a quick stop for snacks, and started the up hill excursion bound to Mony, the base camp town for Kelimutu and the three crater lakes.
Our first night in Mony was quiet and quaint. As our lovely family of five came to the decision to get up at 4.30 am for the sunrise trek, I gratefully contemplated, perhaps the best vegetable soup, ever put before me. I was soooo ridiculously hungry after our days voyage, and they had sure taken their time making it……..but when I had my first taste, all my angst melted away for this petite, but fully satisfying bowl of soup made from scratch to order. All of this lead to a completely blissed out belly, and a long awaited snooze.

Slept through the alarm……. Oops… I guess we needed a little more sleep than we had allotted for. Though only ten minutes late, it felt like I had gained a few extra hours of rest. Big sleepy, half eyed grin =)

I love so dearly being conscious and alert for that transitional vortex in time that is dawn and dusk. Feeling the source of all our energy awaking, and slowly climbing up into the heavens is one of the most peaceful and fulfilling things I have and will continue to do in my life. It fills me with such awareness in those glimpses of timelessness, as though I am again, nothing but ether and air floating around, waiting for the Sun to materialize me into an earthling once again.

And oh my what a mighty daybreak this was! The climb up was rather leisurely, and a great deal easier than I had anticipated. Mt. Kelimutu is a National Park, a rather well maintained, and in fact improved park! There were concrete stairs up most the wait to the peak! I was incredibly pleased about this stumbling around in the dark at quarter to five in the morning. This magical morning, actually the entire day, couldn’t have come together any more perfect if I had tried to plan it myself!
As our star broke through the clouds, it set the milky emerald green lake before us, on fire like a shining jewel. Just behind that first lake was a slightly smaller one, a deep, dark forest green, with only a hint of blue. This petite lake was known to drastically change colour depending on the mineral content. It is usually the red lake of the three, but on this day decided to be a lovely green of intense depth.
The third lake, separated by the viewing point from the other two was the black lake.
It is believed that when someone dies, their soul comes up to Kelimutu through a portal door around the base of the mountain (a ginormous rock, that looked incredibly a kin to a door, that our driver pointed out to us) each soul goes into a different lake depending on age and character. The black lake is where the souls of the bad go, the souls of children into another, and those of the old to another.
As we all stood breathless and in awe, a man offered me a cup of hot coffee. Oh dear me! Mmmmm Kopi Flores!

Back into Mony for breakfast, banana pancakes again, though I opted out for another Soup Sayur (vegetable soup). After filling our now quite appreciative bellies we headed for waterfalls and a hot spring in the middle of terraced rice paddies.

A late lunch and we speedily packed up for Ende before the torrential rains washed out a road, and our only way back to the coast. On the drive out we stopped for possibly one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in my life. Five waterfalls in one photo frame!! An absolutely epic end to our Volcano journey!

Up next some photos from Flores and our Cocoa adventures in Ende!!!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

And we trot off of Bali …… Eastward bound

And we trot off of Bali …… Eastward bound


Our first wander off the lush lands of Bali, and we find ourselves in Labuan Bajo, on Pulau Flores (Flores Island). This quaint fishing town has only begun to erupt with the explosion of development that the impending tourist industry brings. Quiet as it is now, with its barely paved roads and relatively few hotels, there is already a mad rush of luxury hotels being built just outside of town on every square inch of beach front property.
The thing that stands out the most to me here was the people! They’re all so kind hearted, and REAL. There isn’t the same discreet alternative motive that some (not all) folks on Bali have. An island where, we’ll learn later on, that there can even be two different religions (Islam and Christianity) in the same family without animosity or even distaste.

Above all, my heart stops for the seemingly infinite amount of wild beauty here. A change of local flora & fauna has caught my eye every step we traverse. Our first days in Labuan Bajo, we decided to play it safe and take heed to Lonely Planet Indo’s advice on hotels, simply because it doesn’t exactly look like a town with very many affordable hotels. So the Gardena it was! A simple hotel with private bungalows, in a decent price range (the prices had gone up since the L.P.’s writers/travelers had visited) There were “budget” and “standard” rooms, with the only difference being with a fantastic view, or without. We settled on the climb up the hill to the rooms with a view. And oh was it ever spectacular! Through sweeping leaves, rustling in the wind, and an abundance of papaya we could take in the whole town, bay, and the wandering bounty of boats.
After dropping our bags and settling in, we took off to explore the town itself. A few dive shops, the occasional tour guide desk, and predominantly local shops for the local people.
After hearing from a man, we later could not find, about making a trip to a nearby village to see ikat (traditionally woven cotton fabric for sarongs, hats, and other clothing articles) we undertook the task of finding it ourselves. Which we did! Rather easily in fact. So a B-mo (local mini buses, typically decked out with absurd stacks of speakers, LED’s, non-sensical decals, and hilarious looking spoilers) ride later and we were in front of a house where 6 women were toiling away at the endeavor of weaving these fabrics with the oldest, and quite possibly most obsolete method of producing fabric. They were pretty ecstatic to have visitors and we were more than happy to support women in the arts by purchasing a hat. =)

Our second morning on Flores, just as we finished our breakfast (banana pancakes! YUuuuummmmmm!!), we connected with another couple traveling the island; Candi, a half German, half Thai, American raised goddess, and Jay her Dutch counterpart. Russ and I had been discussing what we were interested in doing on Flores the night before, and decided that Komodo and Rinca Island were pretty expensive ($70 minimum per person for a half day trip, the price only goes up substantially from there), and despite being interested in the archipelago’s diving/snorkeling and komodo dragons, that it might be best another time. So when Candi offered that we travel across Flores to Kelimutu with them by hired car, we were totally excited! Russ and I accepted the offer and less than an hour later, begun our 3 Day tour across the breath-takingly magical Island of Flores!

Oh my good goddess!

The roads here are the windiest, up and down, roller coaster like paved way I have ever encountered. If you ever want to take this trip make sure you find yourself a phenomenal driver, with at least 10 years driving experience, and preferably local driving knowledge and expertise! Don’t forget to bring some gravol, ginger, or even just a barf bag. It would be a fantastic roller coaster, but its not, it’s a road. Pardon me, a trans-island highway in fact.
If you’re willing to feel a little queasy along the way, it’s absolutely worth it! This overland ride is by far one of the most magical I’ve ever set my eyes on! Terraced rice paddies surrounded by lush, wild jungle covered mountains as far as the eye can see, roaring waterfalls around what feels like every corner, food forests of banana, cocoa, coffee, cassava, mango, coconut and endless more, jagged mountain and volcano tops shrouded in a creeping veil of warm mist, highland lakes sitting like hidden jeweled mirrors reflecting the sky and surrounding scenery. Every split second of the voyage was a delectable feast for my eyes.

Catch up time!

Catch up time!

Wow! Such a brilliantly, synchronistic circle of life we have found ourselves in here! And though I have been experiencing an enlightening journey, full of new friends, and rekindled relationships with old ones, learning about cultures, their similarities and differences, I have not been near a computer or internet frequently and now have the seemingly, gargantuan task of writing about the last week all at once!

So here we go! =)

Batur and Beyond


Our last day in Bali before we wandered East to the magnificent mountainous island of Flores, and Russ and I opted to mission towards the nearest volcano, Mt. Batur, for another attempt to see it, hopefully without the clouds of smog. The heavens broke open and gifted us a little shower the day before, so we were covered in grins of optimism and motivation.

The motorbike ride itself had been marvelous and rather adventurous! Winding back roads, and isolated farmland for much of the journey. Exploring what we “think” are roads, but end up turning into foot-wide paved paths down steep jungle ravines, edged by treacherous cliffs. However, popping out the other side, we stumbled upon terraced rice paddies as far as the eye could see. Emerald green blades dancing to a soft warm breeze, the sound of rushing water down the irrigation ways, and the odd silhouette of a farmer doing their rounds. It was like barreling through a time machine, and finding your self suddenly imposed in someone else’s life. A life where the daylight barely meanders in passing, and the sound of rushing waterways will always move far quicker. I would say breath-taking moments, but in fact it feels as if your breath simply slows. And you feel no rush to enjoy every last molecule of oxygen in that deep, drawn-out inhale.

The volcano and its crater lake, glistening at its base, guarded by jagged peaks, is encircled by a nice little highway that reaches its arms nearly all the way around the looming peaks.
The trip itself was interesting escapade, to say the least. Our last venture to see the peaks, ended with us turning around due to the thick layer of heavy pollution and smog engulfing the mountain. It was agreed that it would fulfill our hearts a great deal more if we were to wait for a day when the peaks weren’t leaden with the dense, grey haze. This day, the sky hung high with fluffy cumulus clouds that lazily drifted far above our heads. The summits rose, unbounded by any murky fog, from the topography.

Our sights focused in on tracking down some steaming, hot springs that we might melt in. Absolutely necessary in the relatively cold alpine climate up there! But on arrival to the Kintamani Highway (that’s the one encircling the mountain) we were met with the strange vibe of a tourist town that was pretty much empty. It felt a little bit reminiscent of a zombie movie. Show up to an inhabited place and suddenly every living thing starts speedily swarming, running and shouting at you.

“EAT HERE!! EAT HERE!!! JUST LOOK THE MENU!! ........ POSTCARDS ! Please Mr! Just ONE POstCARD!.......... Stay at my hotel? Please sir? Just one night?”

Desperate pleas from a whole mountainside of people who have geared their lives around tourism, and quite possibly have left what they were doing before to cash in on the foreign visitors, but find themselves with no one to sell their wears to during the low season.

All of this has been leading me to take in some rather serious contemplation into what it is exactly I’m feeding and supporting as a “tourist” here.

This contemplation has germinated a seed of confusion in myself. As I’m not sure how to feel about where helping others have a better life ends through economy ends and when feeding greed and corruption through money begins….

Perhaps they’re the same thing, and it’s up to my own being to make the call. The bottom lone there was that I’m not sure how to feel about being a tourist right now.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Inspirations from a world away

Early mornings and sunrises are by far my favourite moments of being here. I rise to the calm of waking birds and bugs all chiming in on this sunrise orchestra, as the source of all our energy breaks the horizon and fills the landscape with light and humid warmth.

The Yogi's here (Russ and Sven) are often already engulfed in deep long stretches, and surely zenned right out on the sweet, moist morning breeze.
These brilliantly lit, sparkling mornings are also my preferred captures of time in photographic moments.

Dewey, shining rainbow like flowers abound all around us; Literally everywhere. Not to mention the hues of green as the shadows recede.

But enough about mornings, teeeheee, Let's talk about what we've been up to. Yesterday was a nice relaxed morning, as are most mornings at our Paradise Palace. We recently decided as a whole to start creating our own meals in the mornings, as our cook Kadek often took a rather "Island time" like attitude in making food. We decided we no longer felt compelled to wait until 2 pm to eat. So Isaac and Kaery (the lovely elven kin that they are) took nourishment duties that morning with unbounded zeal. We were gratefully presented with an abundant pile of pancakes filled with bananas, currents, and fresh young coconut. Topped with a delectable fruit salad, of papaya, coconut, papaya, and lavished with coconut cream.

mmmmmMMMmmmMMmmmmmmm..... So glad we smuggled Canadian Maple Syrup here with us =-)

Russ and I headed out to the Green School for their 3 pm tour, and were left with our mouths a gape at the beauty and ingenuity of such a marvelous and innovative place of learning. Unfortunately, due to a massive Christmas storm, their iconic bamboo bridge was washed out. However the positive side to this was that we were forced to take the breath-taking back route to the school, which led us up and down a tiny winding road (only fit for motorbikes), through Balinese Jungle and over a amazing ravine.

The school is self was unbelievable. Truly the funnest, most creative, innovative, dazzling, "green" school on the planet! Our tour started off on a bit of a scare, as our tour guide Tom began proudly stately how strong bamboo was, the rail of the structure we were standing on gave way and a few people toppled over the edge about four feet to the ground.
Yikes! Luckily no one was badly injured, asides from a scrape or two, and probably bruising later. With sincerest apologies and a thorough examination of all the survivors we began the tour.

Due to the incident that began our tour, Tom first brought us to Green School's Healing Circle. When they began construction, three years ago, they brought in a douser from Australia to find waterways and an appropriate place to dig for a well. Naturally, he found an ideal spot for a well, but the locals were not as easily convinced and protested the well being put in there. So they found another spot, as well as an energy channel convergence. Which the douser stated was an excellent source of energy for healing, and where a gargantuan Record Keeper Smoky Quartz was placed!

It took quite the restraint not to leap out and hug it in front of everyone on the tour! We walked by the school's aviary, where they were breeding Balinese Starlings (Highly endangered). Its thought that less than twenty of these beautiful white birds are left in the wild. Due mostly to farmers killing them because they eat rice crops, and now that they're endangered, their capture and sale on the black market to bird collectors. The pairs mate for life, and it is estimated that a breeding pair sells for $3000 USD on the black market in Jakarta, and that price doubles every time it you go slightly further East.

As we journeyed on through the jungle maze that is Green School, we witnessed that every classroom was open to the humid tangle of forest air all around us and had its own garden! Literally everything was made of bamboo, from the classroom structure, to the kids' desks!
There is garden bounty everywhere! From naturally occurring cocoa, banana, and papaya trees, to intentional corn, tomato, and eggplants.

The school is a fantastical maze of education facilities and tropical Jungle.
There is so much more to tell....but Sven has brought out a divine looking breakfast of organic fruit granola, made at Bali Buddha, tropical fruit salad, and a spirulina shake. YUMMMMM!!! I'll upload the Green School tour videos we took a little later on.

So much love folks! And thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Land of Magick and Beauty

Our voyage to Bali was blessed and speedier than we had anticipated. Instead of a 12 hour layover in Taipei we traded up for a two hour wait (though unfortunately forfeiting our vegetarian meals; a small price to pay for a sooner landing in Paradise). Damn I love China Airlines with their cheap flights and awesome veggie meals :)

Our welcome to Paradise was superb! We were met by Sven's friend Budi (Boo-dee), his wife and his brother who whisked us off from Denpasar Airport to the breathtaking mountain, country side of Ubud. Staring out the window with a wicked grin on my face, my eyes were met with every possible art-form. From the beauty Gaia herself created, to wood carvings, spectacular ornately carved doors, sculptures, paintings, jewellery, and everything in between! The scenery of the city melted away into houses and family compounds on what I, at the time, had thought were small back roads. And later found out were just regular roads (they're all really tiny roads).
As we crept closer to Ubud, the scenery finally converged into massive of amounts of green, beautiful ornate entrances to houses, temples, and what seems like infinite rice paddies in every direction, trimmed with jungle.

Our first week here has been amazing! Ripping around on a motorcycle! Which was only $120 bucks for the month! So stoked on that =) Meeting so many amazing people, and seeing this unreal beauty everywhere, that is so integrated into the culture itself. So far we've seen the Bali Bird Park (where I totally ran around picking up feathers of the ground everywhere! And sneaking my hand into habitats grabbing some good ones that caught my eye!) and reptile Park, coming face to face with the dreaded Komodo Dragon (o-my-good-goddesss we saw a DRAGON!!!!! =D!!!)
Met Alex Grey at an amazing party a couple houses down from ours, taken a silver smithing course and made a wicked lotus star ruby ring! Yesterday we went to Lake Batur, a crater lake under neath Mt. batur (a Volcano!!! =) However it was like 2 bucks just to ride around in the area and the pollution and smog was so thick we could barely see the mountain itself. So we opted out waiting for a day of heavy rain to go up again in hopes of a clearer sky and epic photos.
However on the way down back to Ubud we stumbled upon on a agricultural property set up for tourist to see how Cocoa, Coffee, Vanilla, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon and many other spices are grown! We had an amazing time there and sat under a little roof on the terraced hillside trying all there different coffees and teas. Including the incredibly rare Luwuk Coffee; which are coffee berries that are eaten by a civet (super amazing mongoose or weasel like creature that picks and eat the best coffee berries) and passes them through its system. So people wander through the forest picking up civet poop and then roast the coffee beans. It had an interesting earthy flavour ( i wonder why..... =-S) and tasted a lot less acidic than regular coffee.

Isaac and Kaery flew in last night and have joined the crew at our brilliant Palace! And i think today we'll head of to the beach and a long awaited swim in the ocean!

Hope everyone is doing brilliantly where ever you are! So much love friends! And Thanks for reading! <3