Imagine a city with a post apocaliptic appearance, constructed of superb colonial architecture, aged by the centuries and the lack of maintenance, the roots of old trees tempting to make their way through the asphalt, nature forcing to regain its rights. You have it ? Okay, to this setting you have now, add more people than you've ever seen in your life. A little more.
Yes, welcome to Mumbai. It's here, in this city where everything is at its maximum, that we land in India.
Obviously, it will be impossible to make you understand how mythical and mystical is this country, as well as sharing the completness of our experience. You can't really speak about India, it's an experience you have to live. And even though I gave you every single details, what this country offers is so personal and introspective that you will not find yourself into it. Entering India felt like it takes you, drops you on the floor, two slapps in the face, "forget your landmarks and get away with it". Ok then, so let's go.
Three months now we are travelling. A little rest will be usefull. We decid to spend 10 days on the west coast of India, in the region of Goa. It is a very special state, the richest, the most touristic and one of the biggest party-culture pplace in the world. But not any kind of party. The region has created its own music, the Goa-trance. An electronic music that makes you travel trough unconscious. In first place, complicated to feel and get into it, on principle and even in practice. But gradually, with some time, we get it, we understand it, we connect to it. To party in Goa is to share an experience with people from all over the world, any horizon, and it's beautiful.
We met there several beautiful souls who told us about Hampi, and more particularly about an event that takes place there, the rainbow gathering.
The rainbow gathering is an annual gathering of people coming to share and live together for a month their main interests, peace and love. Yes, you know who I'm talking about, hippies. Sounds good so why not, let's try the experience.
Every year the gathering takes place in different countries. Luckily for us, this time it's in India, just a few hundred kilometers away from us.
Hop in the bus over the night and we wake up are in a totally illogical and surreal place. Everywhere, as far as the eye can see, rocks of several tens of tons lie in balance on stones a few centimeters in diameter, all surrounded by ruins of millennial temples. How did this happen ? How was this unreal place born? The answer of locals: monkeys did that. The official explanation ? There isn't any. An enigma.
Anyway, back to our topic, or rather, our hippies. Out of town, the gathering started a few days ago. Immediately when we arrive, the reception is unimaginable. Everyone welcomes us home, cuddles and smiles unrestrainedly. Is it a too much, fake ? Yeah, a little bit. But not a fake to fool. A fake we would love to see everywhere. And this fake turns into true after just a few days. We understand that, sharing love and releasing happiness create an atmosphere of peace and safety and it brings beautiful things.
Unfortunately we have to leave quite quick, but fortunately for a beautiful reason. Our mommys arrive in Delhi! What a pleasure to see them at the airport. And while we speak of love.. What a purer and unconditional love than the love of a mother for her child, whatever his age. It feels good.
Three weeks in Rajashtan and Kerala begins, with great courage and resignation to accept all the complexity of this country.
We shared a wonderfull time with the blood familly, after the rainbow familly. When they left, we separated a few days, Romain left for South India and Benoit for Sri Lanka with Andréanne coming to visit him. A beautiful moment for each of us, a little holiday away from each other, and a happy reunion.
We make the decision, for multiple reasons, to get in a yoga retreat for a month. Here we are on our way to Nepal where the training will take place.
First stop in Pushkar, to celebrate the holi festival. You must have already seen these pictures with colored powder everywhere, runs (color run) and other kinds of events are derived of this indian culture nowaday. It's beautiful, but in reality, it's all an experience! The crowd is so massive that it is impossible to move by your own. You choose when you get in this crowd, but the crowd choose when you can escape. And better to go bare-chested because the gathering of Indian men by thousands will eventually tear off your t-shirt anyway. A crazy energy, hard to hold, but a beautiful and intense celebration.
Last stop, Rishikesh, the world capital of yoga. You can find more than 400 schools and training centers for all kind of yoga. It is one of the first city crossed by the Ganga, this sacred river for the Hindus. Because of this, the water is crystal clear compared to the rest of the river polluated of trash all over the country and it's one of the only places where, as a foreigner, you can safely swimm.
Ah, besides this, Ganga is also the hindi word for river.
Well, now it is time to pedal to the country of birth of the first buddha, Nepal, here we are!
Oh, a last thing, in India, you think you'll come to discover a country, but what you discover above all is about yourself.