Moon Course

October 17, 2013

While we were finishing our yoga training all we kept hearing about was the Moon Course across the lake in San Marcos. We wanted to see what all the buzz was about, so we headed over there one afternoon and realized we had already been here the first time we had visited the lake and made a day trip to San Marcos! Hard to not remember a bunch of pyramid houses and people meditating. Ironically that day I had said we should check this place out some time. Fast forward two years and we were back. We took it as a sign and decided to extend our trip for another month and registered for the course.

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We got settled in to our pyramid and prepared for a month of yoga, meditation and metaphysics. Our daily schedule included 7:00 a.m. yoga, 10:30 a.m. metaphysics and 5:30 meditation all of which is held in an incredible pyramid made of wood. We were joined by 18 other awesome peeps from all over the world. San Marcos is such an incredible place for healing and all sorts of spiritual exploration. You can find anything there, massage, sound healing, shaman ceremonies, yoga, chanting circles, astrology and much much more. We even got to spend an afternoon learning acro yoga! I wasn’t strong enough to fly Mike so he worked with the teacher an x circus performer from Russia! )DSCF7439 DSCF7417

Our little pyramid, tucked into the back of the property by the medicinal garden and lime tress!  The idea behind sleeping in a pyramid with a glass top is to help with lucid dreaming and astral travel, a big component of the course. DSCF7418 DSCF7421 DSCF7422 DSCF7441 DSCF7447 DSCF7448 DSCF7450

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Taking pictures wasn’t a high priority while I was studying but I did manage to snap a few of the property and lake. Unfortunately I didn’t get a shot of our awesome crew but I know a few were taken so hopefully they will emerge one day on the net! I would recommend this very affordable and enlightening course to anyone who is soul searching or has questions about their dreams. The teachers and staff at the Pyramids are true healers have changed me forever. Here is the link to the course.

www.laspiramidesdelka.com

Michael and I know we will be returning to the lake one day to continue our studies one day in part two , The Sun Course.

Thank you Las Piramides Del Ka!

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Returning to Atitlan…

September 16, 2013

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To say Michael and I were excited to get back to Lake Atitlan Guatemala would be an understatement. We left the crew in Belize and hoped an over night bus to Guatemala City. The bus ride was a bit sketchy but we just tried to sleep through it ( if you can sleep getting tossed from one side of your seat to the next as you switch back down a mountain!)

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When we arrived to San Pedro La Laguna we realized it was Easter weekend! The entire town was in the process of being decorated to the nines. Fruit and veggies were hanging from every light post and the streets were being covered in colored sand and flower petals for the saturday precession.

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It was incredible how detailed the streets were and the amount of time that the people dedicated to the display was incredible (some staying up all night!) Another really cool part of the weekend, besides the option of watching the hanging of judas reenacted, lol, was all the locals dressed in their traditional village colors and patterns in large numbers. Although they do not like photos, I was able to snap a few shots of their backs, sneeky tourista! We were shocked to watch as soon as the procession walked over the colored streets, that they started sweeping them up. In a little over two hours all that work was gone and the streets were back to normal! For Westerners this may seem a little strange and wasteful but the symbolism behind the tradition that everything is impermanent and will turn to dust in time helps keep the people grounded in the moment and grateful. It reminded me of the beauty of creating for the sake of creation and not materialism. We really enjoyed this way to celebrate Easter even more so than the Canadian feast.DSCF7092 DSCF7098 DSCF7109 DSCF7121 DSCF7144

 

Here’s Mike imitating the famous Indian Nose Mountain. Not a bad profile.  We did a little yoga at the studio near the shore to get ready for our yoga studies. We were eager to check out the farm and meet our fellow yogis. Finca de Yoga here we come!

 

Antigua

November 17, 2011

Nice to see a familiar face

November 16, 2011


After receiving such terrible news it was great to see my dad and his girlfriend Lorraine in San Pedro la laguna. They arrived at the lake to see us hours after we had got the news about Kiwi and the fire. Obviously we did not have the mini vacation we had intended on having, but I was glad to have some family there to support us.

 We distracted ourselves by hiking up a mountain called Indian Nose to get an amazing view of Lake Atitlan. We left our hostel at 4 a.m. to take the bus part way, then hiked the rest of the way to the lookout. The hike wasn’t too bad but the old timers (dad and Lorraine) were still winded. The sunrise was incredible and blinded us when it hit the lake.

Kayaking was another highlight. The four of us rented some antique kayaks and enjoyed the scenery for a few hours one day. The morning is the best time to go out on the lake because it is calm and there is no wind. The water is like glass and you can see the reflections of the volcanoes in it. Michael and I learned the hard way that you do not want to get stuck across the lake in the afternoon when the wind picks up. We had a sink or swim lesson in kayaking our first time out the week before. We had made our way across the lake in the morning, to visit another town called San Marcos. After a short walk around town, we returned to the dock to find white caps across the lake and waves crashing into shore. We were glad to have our life jackets, which we had used as backrests earlier in the day.

We also met some great Canadian friends, Jennifer and Jon Sparks who were just finishing their 12 months around the world. It was like looking into a mirror in time hearing their great stories and knowing we are in store for a similar ride. We hope to visit them in London England were they will be calling home after their trip. They also have a hilarious travel blog called  http://sparksworldtour.blogspot.com/

Terry and Lorraine were eager to get back to Belize to set up their home for the next six months so we had to say goodbye to San Pedro. We decided to travel to Antigua together and put them on a bus from there. Riding on the bed in the Cruiser was probably not the best way to travel but it certainly beats a chicken bus. We spent a day exploring Antigua before their “luxury” bus left for the Belize border. It was hard to say farewell and as I suspected my loneliness and grief came flooding back once they were gone.

Its just the two of us again and we have decided to push on to the Hondurain border. In the near future we would like to get involved in a project to get our mind off things and keep busy. We are looking into volunteer projects with animal conservation, eco living and building. We would love to find a earthship project to work with but no luck yet. For now we are sticking together and trying to stay strong. 

ttyl

N

grieving so far from home

November 15, 2011

No one ever expects to get horrible news when you are on the road. Last week we were devastated to learn that Michael’s parents lost their home and everything they had to a fire. Michael’s mom did everything she could to save her dog Princess and our cat Luna. She tried to find our cat Kiwi but there was no time. She was killed in the fire. The blaze spread so fast that nothing could be saved, not even Idalina’s purse or photos.

We lost our companion and a best friend of 9 years and it is hitting us hard. Grieving such a terrible loss is difficult enough but becomes so much harder without friends and family to hug and console with. I am having a tough time saying goodbye and I know it will take time.

Michael and his brothers lost their childhood home, that was filled with the memories of a lifetime. His parents spent 32 years living there and raising their children, I can’t imagine the loss they are experiencing. We wish we could be home for them right now.

We have been on an emotional roller coaster trying to decide what the right thing to do is. Do we turn back and return home to support our family? Do we continue on even though we do not feel like it?  It’s hard to be in such a beautiful country with people who are having the time of their lives when you are in such a bad place personally. We have checked our self into a luxury suite in Antigua and are taking some time to rest and figure out what our plan is now. Traveling is such an amazing experience but it can easily become meaningless when you lose the things that are really important to you.

Lago de Atitlan

November 3, 2011



I can see why some people call Lago de Atitlan the most beautiful lake in the world. The water is incredibly blue and is surrounded by towering mountains and volcanoes. There is a different view ever morning and night, perfect for a shutter bug. The tropical forest is lush and has countless birds, flowers and plants to look at. I have spotted many of the plants that I have had in my home over the years, growing here in the wild! They look overgrown and prehistoric compared to my punie houseplants! 

 

The ride into San Pedro from Xela was a white knuckle experience. You literally come down the mountain switch backing from left to right, because it is so steep. The road also had chicken buses and trucks with full loads, flying down them. Once you see the lake for the first time, you realize why you’ve embarked on such a crazy journey. 

We are settled into Hotel Peneleu, which only charges Q40 per night. That works out to about 6 bucks for the both of us. Don’t let the hotel bit mislead you, it is more of hostel then hotel. We do however have a private bath and an incredible view of the lake. We purchased a beautiful hand woven hammock at the market the other day, which took five days to complete. It is now hanging outside our door overlooking the lake! Perfecto!  

Michael is addicted to the tacos down the street. They run you about $1.3 for three and are filled with delicious pico de gallo, tomatoes, onions, avacado, cabbage and are served with a wonderful creamy guacamole. We have been there three times and counting. We have also found a street vendor that sells hot rice milk and tostadas. The milk may sound weird, but its amazing. It is kinda like a running, hot rice pudding. For about $.20 you are hooked up. The tostada is a hard shell flat taco, piled high with beans, beats, caggabe, onions, guacamole and hot sauce. For another $.50 you have a complete meal. 

The market is an adventure in its own right. The colors, smells and sights are overwhelming at first. The local people sell their home grown produce, fruit, clothing, handmade goods and everything else under the sun. It is very noisy and people will poke at you, to try and get your attention or literally drag you into their shops. The clothing is the best item here. It is a hippies paradise, as all the clothes are bright and have bold patterns. I will finally get my harim pants that I have been wanting since our last trip to Guatemala, 3 years ago! Mike has is eyes on some traditional mayan pants as well, which are like white boat pants with black and rainbow embroidery. We have to leave most of our money at home when we go shopping or else we will end up with a new wardrobe. 

We have been enjoying the San Pedro so much, we have decided to stay a little longer. The first day here, Michael and I looked at each other and said “we have to stay awhile!” There is so much to do and also so much relaxing to accomplish! We still need to check out the other small towns around the lake and climb San Pedro Volcano for a sunset. More swimming, yoga and kayaking are also on the agenda. My dad, Terry and his girlfriend, Lorraine are on route from Belize, to meet us on the lake for a visit. We may venture to San Marcos and Panajachel across the lake together. 

All is very well in travel land and we are in good mind n spirit. Hope you are living life in the present and shaping your own destinies. xoxox

N

The Little Things…

November 2, 2011

After two and a half months on the road, I would like to share some of ‘little things’ we seem to take for granted back in Canada.

I really miss driving on roads that aren’t life-threatening. So far since we have left the US, we have been subjected to:

-Sketchy shoulderless roads on cliffsides

-People passing on hills/corners is the norm

-Posted speed limits are only a loose guideline

-Dirty cops target and rob tourists with foreign license plates

-Fearing that we are going to be robbed/killed on the secluded roads between towns (though everyone has been great so far)

There are other things like a warm, clean, cozy bed to sleep in at night, sans bedbugs, scorpions, spiders, and giant fly-eating ants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another thing that I really feel like I took for granted in our life back in Canada is being comfortable farting. Not because people are greatly offended by it, but because you almost never know how it’s gonna turn out for your underwear! I find that you have to be conscience of the consistency of your last bowel movement and what you had to eat previous to the occurrence.

It is a bit awkward walking around having people look at you like you’re wearing clothes made of $100 bills or like you’re their next meal ticket.

Back home I really liked going to a bathroom that has toilet paper and a toilet seat. This one is definitely more awkward for Nastaja, but for me, when duty calls, there’s no taking a newspaper and a coffee in there with you.

Most of the time when I ordered a meal from a restaurant back home, I would have a pretty good idea what I was getting myself into. It can definitely go either way here. Forget the language barrier, sometimes the way they describe a meal is very vague, and sometimes make adjustments on ingredients unbeknownst to you.

Highspeed internet is just a catch-phrase, and turns out, a fast internet connection here is a relative term.

Finally, it’s nice to be able to communicate with your auto mechanic, so that they don’t start ripping your wheels and brakes off when all you wanted was for them to top up the oil in your rear differential. It isn’t uncommon for a 10 minute job to turn into 2-3 hours.

At the end of the day, I’m thankful to have taken the opportunity to see some more of the world, and experience and appreciate other cultures. I am writing this post with a smile on my face, and despite this short list of negatives we have faced or deal with daily, I could write a novel about all the great things we have seen and done, and all the great people we have met so far, locals and travelers alike!! I am enjoying my life far more in this atmosphere, than at my job, and wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything.

M

Fotografia de Guatemala

November 1, 2011

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vagabond2011/sets/72157627904528217/

Día de los Muertos

November 1, 2011

Happy Day of the Dead everyone! Today we will party at the cemetery in San Pedro la Laguna. The locals are getting their families tombs decorated with flowers and shrines and making moonshine for the festivities. It is the Latin tradition to make a huge party for all the spirits who will be returning to this realm. The people believe their loved ones can take part in the eating, drinking and laughing on this special day. It is more a happy celebration, a time to remember those who are no longer with us. The  fireworks were already going off at 5 a.m! We hear the party last for two days and the bars stay open all night. Last night was very quiet, as locals do not celebrate Halloween, but instead are resting for the fiesta ahead.

Today is also the big day for kite flying from the roof tops. All the local kids and dads head to their rooftops in the afternoon to fly their families unique kite. It is really beautiful to watch them all flyin above the lake. It is also pretty exciting when someone “kills” another kite by snagging its string and pulling off! Who knew you could become really cool by flying a kite well? lol

Hope you only have a mild hang over, after trick or treating last night. For us the party is just beginning. ttys

 

N