India tour 10/12/2004 to 31/01/2005
This year we had a great group. Not only great but big as well: 15 participants! Things were not easy this time as most got sick at some point or other and several had stomach trouble for longer time. Still and dispite all the obstacles and challanges on all levels we had a great time and everyone grew a lot. I realise that how ever much preparations we make, it's never enough, and things always get messed up...
|Our group at Paramat Niketan Ashram, Rishikes|
For me this is not so much of a problem as I know that is the reality in India but for those visiting the first time it's hard when trains don't come, hotels that we booked are already full, a 20 hour bus ride becomes a nightmare even though it was really more comfortable than I know any other way of getting there would be...
|Ready to face the Ganges||On the banks of the Ganges|
Also sudden changes in the program (due to security reasons) can be hard to digest. Everyone had looked forward so much for the trekking part in Nepal but Nepal was in the middle of civil unrest... Some wanted to go anyhow, some not, as final in-charge I took the hard decicion not to go and some were very unhappy even though they did understand.
|Kind of wild water...||Pushkar|
Also we couldn't attend the DMS, the big Ananda Marga gathering. An other set back in our program that caused quite some confusion and uncertainty. So many emotions come up that we normally don't have to deal with, it's great for spiritual growth and to gain lifes wisdom but definitely not always pleasant...
|Varanassi has new boat men||Nalini & Chandra Jyoti in some trainstation -|
|Colorful markets in Bodhgaya *||Jiivika, Viniita and ... in Bodgaya +|
We had alternatives though, so instead of Nepal we went to Himachal Pradesh one of the provinces of India that are in the Himalyas. Initially the feeling was that is would be a poor replacement for the Nepal but once we got there and had time to let the new environment sink in, all changed. It was probably the most wonderful part of the trip. And from what I can say, it was in no way less than Nepal. Different, very different but definitely not less. Never before I had walked in 3ft of snow, had hours of snowball fights.
|Hip deep in the sow of Himachalpradesh *||Prayer flags near Rewalsa lake|
Lots of beautiful walks, mountain views, lakes, hotsprings and the experience of almost being snowed in...
Beautiful views, sunsets and skies also near the