15th Oct 2013
This Friday I am flying out to Calcutta with the main purpose of heading north to Munger, Bihar to the Bihar school of yoga, home of Satyananda Yoga.
I will be attending the World Yoga Convention and the celebration of 50 years of Satyananda Yoga. Thankfully, I am not alone ! I will be travelling with fellow yogis and much loved friends on this .. now daunting journey (leaving the little ones (and the big one) behind for 2 weeks).
Before these little ones arrived, myself and Kevin travelled for 3 years. Part of this journey brought us to India. That is where the yogic journey was reignited for me after a lapse of some years since my first class with Chetan in the Galway School of Yoga .. sometime way back … in 1992-ish 🙂
Here are some of the images from our trip in 1998.
16th Oct 2013
Ok, so a Cyclone has hit the east coast of India mainly across the state of Orissa, south of West Bengal and Bihar. Apparently they have had the tail end of it at Munger and there has been plenty of rain. But things looking up, and drying off, so fingers crossed we will be lucky with the weather. Just received some bits to bring over to Hope for the wound clinic there that Mary Nolan from Kilrush has given me. Hoping to meet with Ann-Marie Murray who is out there volunteering with Hope.
Here are some more images of our 1998 visit. The elegant sculptures of Khajaraho were incredible … check out those curves. And there is Kevin with his luggage locked to the bed, having a sleep on one of the overnight trains.
Tarbert – Thu, Oct 17th
Travelled to Tarbert, courtesy of my sister. Standing on deck, alone with my backpack, feeling like the real traveller already.. Goodbye to Kevin and kids this morning, Trying not to think about being away from them, too much. Lovely journey with Dani to Dublin where another sister collected me and minded me for the evening.
Dublin – Fri, Oct 18th
Awake @ 6am. Nervous and sick with anxiety. Pack and unpack with OCD style fervour. After being dropped off at airport, meet up with some of the other yogis, my travelling companions for the next couple of weeks.
37 mins to touch down in Dubai. Great flight with Emirates. What luxury. In flight entertainment and food all the way. All the yogi crew getting giddy, some wondering what we are doing travelling all this way, other so excited about the atmosphere of India that awaits us.
Dubai to Kolkata on a less fancy plane. Bollywood entertainment all the way. Restless and hot. Airport was a pleasant surprise. Well organised. Pre-paid taxis making it very easy to get to our hotels.
Kolkata – Sat, Oct 19th
As soon as we leave the airport and for the next 2 weeks the resounding sound of BEEEEP fills the air. An assault on the the senses; colours, heat, dust , taxis, buses, rickshaws. Bursting with food for all the senses!!! Chaos on the roads. Buildings interesting but look like they may tumble down. People everywhere. Life is lived on the streets here.
Checked into hotel. Emptied our bags and after freshening up we exlpored Sudder st. Found the Fairlawn hotel and chilled. Fairlawn was an old English style hotel from Colonial times, a little rundown now.
Met at Sunflower hotel with rest of yogi group to practice our kirtan. Ate in backpacker place called the Blue Sky Cafe.
Dhal, Jalfrezi, Pakoras, Pilau rice, naan and lemon soda. Delicious
Kolkata – Sun, Oct 20th
4am Mosque calling and Kolkata dogs howling. First beep at 4:30am. Intersting hotel. “3 bed” means a double bed and a mattress on the floor.
Fine for us, cleanish, central and staff couldn’t be more helpful.
Annmarie from Kilkee and working with Hope Foundation here in Kolkata, meets us in the lobby and is to bring us on a tour of the city taking in the Hope projects. 9 of us head out for the day.
Visit young girls home, greeted with “auntie, auntie”, colourful happy little girls cared for by attentive staff “mothers”. They proudly showed us around their home explaining their various projects. After a luxurious coffee in a comfortable ‘ac’ cafe, we continue on to the older girls home where some very confident young teenage girls are having an afternoon off and are allowed watch some ‘Tollywood’ movies. Beautiful and smart and not unlike our own teenagers in their conversation and demeanour. This place works on building self esteem, confidence and off course education. The private Hope hospital was funded by Weightwatchers Cork and is an impressive clean, human focused hospital. Real lives, even more vulnerable because they have nothing. Hard to imagine where they would be if Hope hadn’t taken them in.
First torrential downpour as we made our way back to find a taxi. Had to shelter under the eaves of a little shop … All 9 for us. Owner wouldn’t accept payment for helping us, so ended up with bags of very sweet biscuits 🙂
Kolkata – Mon Oct 21st
Set out for the Bihar School of Yoga in Munger this evening. Make our way to Howrah train station. Pretty overwhelming as we walked onto the platform with 2 packed trains arriving at the same time and spilling out onto the platform. A bit intimidated by some guys who were pretty intrusive in their attempts to video our every move. They ended up fighting amongst themselves for a finish as we slipped out of sight to a more public area while we waited for our overnight train,