Day one – the arrival
Today I arrived in Gambhira, an eco yoga village an hour away from Santa Marta. The getting there was an experience as for a start not knowing what further adventure to come. First of all I contacted them via e-mail beforehand a couple of times without receiving any remply so basically I went there on good faith. I knew I had to take the bus to Bonda and get a mototaxi from there. Me myself and all the bags once again on a motobike – with the difference that this time the guy apprentely didn´t have much time as he drove so fast, too fast I believe. We even passed some other bikes on the road – as far as there as a real road. One some point we followed a tiny path and went upwards into the mountains (on the way back I walked that road and took a bus from the real road up to the highway – a much better, cheaper and saver option in my opinion). Later on he just said we are there and left me before a big sign saying Gambhira. So here I was and I walked towards the entrance first not seeing anyone but passing the first building with its yoga place and temple I got closer to the kitchen tent where I finally saw some signs of life. I arrived around noon so soon it filled up with more people coming back from the voluntary work. Nobody was upset I just showed up, common sense seemed to be it was nice I came so I felt welcomed and happy to stay. After getting a tour we finalized the afternoon with a meditation to mother earth on a sacral place of stones. The energy of the place was wonderful and it was the perfect start for being here, in nature.
For those of you that know me better – you know I have some problems with insects and some of you believe I´m not really a child of nature. But here I´m in the moutains, no mobile network, no internet, no streetlights – just the sound of nature and a mattress with a mosquito net in a cabin. I believe more nature is not possible (I was so wrong but didn´t know that at this moment). Even so I´m grateful I´m here as I felt I had to come. And even more lucky that I´m sharing my hut (there would be space for 5) with a girl who hasn´t any problem with catching a 12 cm long cockroach and put it outside (though outside is relative for a place that hasn´t got windows. And on some point there wasn´t much of a point carrying them out as there are too many…
Worst is that as it is getting dark at six there isn´t much to do on the evening but anyway tomorrow we will get up early.
And I kind of teached my first yoga class giving some instructions to my roommate – so little by little I hopefully get better.
Keeping things positive, the list of dangerous animals in this area is relatively small. Basically I should be careful with some kind of scorpion species – noted.
Day two – beach day
Okay, the first night was terrible. It was just that first night but I felt so alert I almost couldn´t sleep. I heard so many new strange noises so close to my bed I took me ages till I was able to relax.
Apart from that, the second day was quite relaxed as the whole group did an excursion to the beach called Bahia Concha also in the Tayrona National Park but you could go there by car. So 10 of us went within one truck (four on the back bench, four on the back part of the truck. The beach itself wasn´t as nice as the ones I saw before but at least there were almost no people and the water was nice and clear. Sending the day chilling we got pretty tired and as I haven´t slept enough the previous night I went to bed early and slept much better. Which was good as the next day a trip was planned.
Day three – hiking to Goloka
We left around 6h30 as the idea was to visit Goloka, another ashram of the same group – even more in nature. Located in the mountains the only way going there is hiking. No car, no motorcycle. So we got driven first to Minca and had an excellent breakfast there at the house of a friend and with her as a guide the four of us from Gambhira went towards Goloka. The hike was supposed to be easy but resulted to be quite an adventure. We started in Minca and first went on one small path on a mountain with the view to Santa Marta from far away which was pretty nice. From there we went uphill and downhill, the path sometimes getting so small that only one foot fit in front of another. Due to the heavy rain the days before the ways were also muddy and not in its best shape. Worst was that sometimes the way was quite inclined, we had to cross big stones and almost there – we had to cross a river holding the backpacks over our heads which was quite difficult due to the strong current, the water high till the hips. I was glad all of us arrived there savely and in the meantime it was already noon – lunchtime. So we started the day there with a bath in the waterfalls and having some amazing food afterwards. Then the work of the day was almost done as it rained the rest of the day and we couldn´t do much. I did some yoga for us to warm um up and once dark we soon went to bed. Only the kitchen hut had light and some water – the main house were we slept and the bathroom hadn´t neither light nor running water. This is even more wildness than in Gambhira but the place has such a beautiful energy it doesn´t matter. You become part of it, part of the nature. It seems so pure and clear. They have a big garden planting everything from rice to banana to lemongrass. Whereever you are you hear the river so we even slept to its sound and had a good and restfull night. Till 4am which is when the ceremonies begin. Both ashrams are Hare Krishna so they do a temple service chanting and offering some food to Krisha twice a day. Early morning and in the afternoon. Participating in the ceremony isn´t obligatry for the volunteers but it´s still a nice experience singing with them.
Day four and five – saying goodbye
The next day there wasn´t much work to do so we spend the day doing yoga twice and mainly relaxed. We visited some other close-by waterfalls (again hiking one of this adventureous small local path – our guide having a machete with him cleaning the way from bushes where necessary. We saw some spiders but fortunately no snakes.The rest of the day we spend hanging around, it rained again and in the afternoon we went back through another path which also implied crossing a river but was much easier to walk. We arrived back home just on the sunset and this was basically it. On the five I felt it´s time to leave and decided to move on. Enough nature. I couldn´t learn as much as I hoped. This was a great experience with amazing souls I got to know but it wasn´t the place I should spend two weeks, at least not at this moment.