At the Full Moon Lodge we were greeting by Carlo, the young handsome guy who’s in charge of the place, and the connection was instant. We stayed up late under the star filled sky and laughed and talked and laughed some more, and just felt so good being in that place – something about it felt so right. So when Carlo mentioned how he was so busy with taking care of the lodge, Boca’s question of “Do you need any help?” came out naturally. So did his answer “Oh, actually I do!”. That’s how our plans of going to Bolivia in just two days changed into plans of coming back to Olleanta for a month and volunteer in Carlo’s lodge in exchange for accommodation and breakfast. Working in a hostel was another thing on our list of “firsts” and “things to do while traveling”, and something we had wanted to do since Rio. We were delighted we’d get to do it here and hence spend more time in this fantastic country (Peru) and region (Sacred Valley), a place that seemed unwilling to let us leave too soon. That worked out just well, as we were very much unwilling to leave soon as well:). And we were happy that with Silviu in Cusco still, all 3 of us will be staying in the Valley for a while longer, then we’d be able to go to Bolivia together after that.
We stayed up late into the night catching up with Giselle and it felt oh so special, out little reunion in her home country after 7 months apart. She was different and we were different, and we could all recognize that about each other, honor and celebrate the changes we had gone through and the beautiful ladies in whose company we were finding ourselves. What a special night indeed!
The next day the group went to Machu Picchu and we went back to Urubamba to pack our things and say goodbye to our Peruvian family (Nico, Paloma, Ramta and Katya. Oh, and Anay, of course). We had told Silviu about the plans and urged him to come back from Cusco to join the trip, which he did immediately and with great excitement. On Saturday morning we were all in the minivan ready for the 10 hour trip to Puno. It felt strange to be going on the same path and doing the same things we had done a bit more than half a year before. It was again fascinating to notice how different our perception was, and how we saw the same places with completely different eyes and understanding. We did not feel like tourists anymore, but more like old friends – not only of the places, but even of the people we were seeing for the first time. And being in the company of both Tahuiro and Giselle, our wise Teachers (Master Oogway and Master Shifu, as we have lovingly come to call them) and by now our family, was simply magic!
The day after we got to Puno we woke up early, had a delicious breakfast and headed to the boat that would take us to Taquile, just as we had done 7 months before. Being on the lake for 4 hours was such a special time for me, as Lake Titikaka still is for me one of the places in the world I feel closest to. On Taquile we had that delicious trucha (trout) again, fished from the highest navigable lake in the world, we reconnected with Elias and his family and connected with the members of the new Sacred Journey group. What a surprise when I realised one of them had been my student for a 3 day camp in Singapore – tiny world indeed, huh?
The group returned to Puno the next day morning and we, Tahuiro, Giselle and her mom stayed on for another day. It was a gorgeous sunny day that we spent by the lake, meditating and doing an ancient Andean exercise hermano taught us for releasing negative emotions, then the three of us and Giselle went into the freezing cold water and asked Yacu Mama (Mother Water in Quechua) to cleanse us of all emotions and beliefs that do not serve us anymore. When we came out of the lake we laid under the sun to dry and we all fell into the deepest and calmest sleep. We ended the day with a beautiful fire ceremony conducted by Giselle, in which Grandfather Fire (Taita Nina in Quechua) did further cleansing and burnt away the things we were ready to release. What a day it had been, and what a privilege! We were beyond grateful for spending this time with such spiritual beings in such a sacred place.
The next day we all returned to Juliaca, where Giselle, her mom and hermano were to catch their flight to Lima and we were to catch a bus back to Cusco – Silviu to continue learning with Howard, and Boca and I to finally fulfill another desire inspired by a dream we both have for the future: opening a lodge of our own back in our own countries. For now we would have our training by volunteering in the Full Moon Lodge in Olleantaytambo, under Carlo’s gentle leadership. Excited? We surely were!!
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