Hello my dear readers, I am finally catching up with writing and sharing my latest stories with you. It's been long I know. I've chosen to go to Bali for my visa run as I wanted to serve a Vipassana course there and the date fitted me well. Well as we Dhamma people know, if you take care for Dhamma, Dhamma will take care for you. No, I am not relying on it, it just happens naturally. So I have registered for the course, but few days before my flight, they emailed me that course is full for service and sitting equally, but I got a contact of Sara W. who is the driving force for Vipassana on Bali. She was kind enough to recommend me a nice guesthouse (WWW.serenityecoguesthouse.com) owned by an old student. There is a meditation room and number of yoga classes, swimming pool and it's 5 mins. from beach. I enjoyed this place a lot more because I was not feeling very well, so most of the time I stayed in, did yoga or just relaxed and enjoyed solitude. Sara came to meet me, introduced me to a nice girl who was volunteering there at the time and we had great fun. Sara usually manages the courses and after some chatting, she got an idea! She didn't sit a course for a while and was happy to swap with me and sit which meant I got a place! This was a great news, I was happy. We sat one day course with Balinese old students and teacher Anna and I moved to Ubud by the evening for few days before the course start. Ubud is a nice place packed with good shopping opportunities for good quality and beautiful Balinese goods, eco products and food. Ubud is a bit cooler then coast and full of expats, this really changes the market and many aspects of this place are very westernised - especially healthy food options. Hmm, still not for me, I must have got a pretty bad so called Bali Belly, which normally takes a day and I had it for a week. I had to get ready for the course and regain strength and health so I went for acupuncture to a local Chinese doctor. His needles hurt, I can tell you, but that is supposed to be a good thing. I wasn't much better after day and half so I got some activated carbon and an appointment with Australian Chinese medicine specialist. By the time I got there, the carbon worked and I was feeling better so his magic only strengthened me and I was cured. Anyway after this week my guts were so clean that the food was coming out totally unprocessed... I believe that everything happens for a reason and this might have been a good thing for my body after all, as there is a suspicion that I had mild dengue fewer before in Tioman as Dale and other sailors had it confirmed by doctors and I had the symptoms, so who knows maybe this was the final reaction to it.
OK, enough of illness! :-) Landih ashram lies in mountain area close to volcano Gungung Angung which I originally wanted to hike to so at least we ha a pretty good look at it. It's beautiful and scarcely visible (10 days is long enough to catch a good glimpse). This whole area is pretty cold, humid and foggy which makes it even colder, everything gets damp and moldish unless the sun is out for few hours and you take your stuff outside to dry. The ashram is more of a place for rent then a monastery, but nice and totally in nature. We had a great team of 6 servers and lots of fun. We left the ashram together and 4 of us spent one more day exploring Bali on scooters and foot. It was pleasure to meet you all my Dhamma sisters and brothers! Everything just fell in place very nicely.
At this moment, I am on ferry back to Tioman where the boat is getting ready for Saturday take of. And we shall scream out loud "atravestiamo" and appear in Kuching on Kalimantan island 5 days later and after some 600 nautical miles of sail! Wish us a good wind!
Pictures from Bali.