India: Glorious Gokarna

November 16th, 2011 · Lisa · Travel · Comments

My journey across this spectacular sub-continent continues. After my second demo in Bangalore, we grabbed our bags and jumped into a taxi. The traffic, as always, added the element of adrenaline to the trip. We reached the gate just in time and started boarding a few minutes later.

Things I love about Indian airports:
1. They sell dosas from 5 am to 5 pm.
2. Woman go through a separate security line (it was fast and gentle).
3. They aren’t very busy. Only people flying within 2 hours are allowed to enter which keeps the crowds to a minimum.

The flight to Goa was short and smooth. We landed, found our car, a quick meal, a fruit stand and settled in for the three hour drive to Gokarna. It was late and pitch black so I missed the amazing vista views but I tried to imagine them as our taxi twisted and turned around the rolling hills.

Just before 11pm we reached heaven: SwaSara. A small, holistic healing resort, focused on eco responsibility, yoga and ayurveda.

I quickly settled into my villa. I love the open air bathroom, hot shower (for the first time since I landed), personal herb garden and enclosed bedroom. The design gives you the opportunity to be outside enjoying the breeze and the sunshine and still have the peace and quiet you desire after a busy couple of weeks touring around India. I really wish my house looked exactly like this villa – with a little kitchen on the side. I know some of the guests were surprised that the bathroom was not enclosed but I’ve enjoyed a game of peek-a-boo with a couple of tiny frogs and geckos.

I’ve been savouring every peaceful moment of my stay with lots of yoga classes, hikes in the hills (overlooking Om beach and Gokarna), and leisurely laps in the pool.

Here you can observe the images of India at a more relaxed pace. I’ve been wandering through the ancient city of Gokarna covered in garlands of mango leaves, visiting Hindu temples, observing the rituals in the holy water and wandering small hiking trails followed by a tiny herd of cows.
At SwaSara, the staff have been amazingly attentive. Regardless of the menu options I’ve been served everything I’ve asked for. I’ve enjoyed sampling the traditional Indian cuisine (prepared here without frying and little refined ingredients), and loading up on large salads and fresh fruit. Raw foods are a bit difficult to find when eating out in India so I’m feeling grateful to have enjoyed four days of amazing meals here.

But don’t worry, I haven’t been relaxing all the time. I also presented a talk on the healing power of plants and three raw food demos to the hotel chefs and guests.

Plus, I’ve been doing interviews for articles like this one (including a picture of me holding a whole lot of broccoli) that just came out in the Hindu Press.

If you’d like to see more photos from my demos in Bangalore, please check out the lovely post by Veganosaurus. I can’t believe the amazing images she captured in a dark restaurant. What a superstar! I’ve really enjoyed meeting vegans living in India. I’m inspired by their work and their passion for spreading this message with compassion and joy.

I’m leaving in a few hours for a 12 hour overnight train to Mumbai. It is going to be hard to hand in my key.

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