In spite of…

Writing seen on a rock during my morning walk along the coast of Puna, Croatia.
Writing seen on a rock during my morning walk along the coast of Puna, Croatia.

She’s amidst swell that’s all white wash, nothing clean, no clear waves or outlines. A flood of dusty grey, the ocean floor barely peaking through.

The sun’s the same, a fleck here and there between the clouds.

Just another day. Another wave passes and she dives deep. It brushes her hair back, bumps her sides, swells around her, encasing and filling in any conclaves then onwards it drifts. And there she is left bare, full of empty holes, stripped and exposed.

The clouds watch on, they feel the same. “We’ve been there.” It seems as though everyone has.

All the pebbles and stones and rocks feel the grace of the washy water as it too, passes them. It kisses their surfaces, brushes their cheeks. It twirls it’s hair around its fingers before sliding away. So that’s why all these pebbles are tinged red, how those pebbles do blush.

Dive deep, deeper still!

Do those stones suffice in filling up those empty holes? Have you tried? You have only but to try.

She stuffed them in leaving no gaps. She pulled her own hair, long enough now, to wrap around her waist. She felt it’s extension, it’s protection. Like this she waltz the shoreline, a ball gown of sand spraying up and around, jewels of shells plentiful. The ball of the year… Did it count if she went alone?

Oh but the clouds were still there, the sun could not attend but how about that wave? Look, There on the horizon, it returns! A new wave, it will run over her skin differently now, running over those pebbles, rushing through and delving within that band of hair.

She is waltzing around anyhow, It laps at her feet, a new take on glass slippers. And they break at the moment the wave swept away- Midnight under a different name.

Not to worry, the spins take those away. Just another day, there is no reason that this one in particular must be enjoyed. How heavy her arms felt outstretched, and yet they held nothing. Was the curse of those uninspiring ideas flowing through her blood? She felt them solidify from within.

Clear water and skies in Croatia.
Clear water and skies in Croatia.

She could learn from these waves, their flow and freedom to flow forever, nothing to attend except the tides. A life she had tried to live once yet in hindsight she wasn’t sure of its effect. It had promised peace, tantalised her with infinity and oasis’ from cluttered minds and senseless thoughts. Instead she had a jolting affair with reality and its brutality, the beauty of a life well lived in spite of.

She hung up the gown but held onto the jewels, Little messengers they whispered in her ear: not because you must, because you can! Don’t go for the sun is out, but because the clouds long for your company.

Wanderlust found in Chamonix

Misty greens from Lac Vert, Chamonix
Misty greens from Lac Vert, Chamonix

The mountains hid in the clouds hanging low, slung comfortably over the green peaks of Chamonix.

We came from Paris, and I was so grateful to have left. The cold air here didn’t feel limiting or uncomfortable but lively… enhancing. It gave energy, the beauty of mountains and waterfalls and cute wooden cottages abound gave desire. Exploring was to be done.

Cable cars rose up and swiftly disappeared into the clouds.
Our plan was to be in one of those cars, to get a view from the top… But the view on offer (of a screen of white) was not exactly what we were after.

“Is there any hiking to do?” We questioned in search of a plan b.

And that’s how we ended up at Lac Vert- green lake.

Reflections off Lac Vert, Chamonix
Reflections off Lac Vert, Chamonix

An hour up the mountain through the clouds, and we arrived at what could only be described as a haunted lake. The opposite side of the lake was covered by clouds, we couldn’t see any other people but we could hear faint whispers drifting in the distance. The water was clear enough it was almost invisible except for the reflections it produced, transforming the rocks poking up into floating islands.

We began to tread around its perimeters, in sloshy mud and wobbly rocks. Socks wet, shoes brown, the lake really was green. A mat of fluorescent green fur laid on the bottom swaying around, showing off. We marvelled.

The reason Lac vert is called Lac Vert (green lake.)
The reason Lac vert is called Lac Vert (green lake.)

 

I had lost this desire to wander whilst in Paris. I had fallen into a constant state of lethargy, I had no interest in my surroundings or the ‘sights’ they offered. To appreciate something so genuinely felt magical.

The clouds were lifting and sun filtered through, a couple appeared across the lake.

The lady, Sylvie, held onto a crystal, a large clear Quartz that she’d had for years.

“Il va prendre un bain-” “It’s going to take a bath.” She tells me and walks into the water, her shoes now wet.

She tells me I have a good aura and give off energy of the sun. After finding out my birthday is on the ‘jour d’Été,’ ‘the day of summer’ she says it all makes sense and gives me a crystal full of the rainbow as a present.

One of the wooden cabins I fell for in Chamonix.
One of the wooden cabins I fell for in Chamonix.

We eat a sandwich at the lake and head home content. The day is finished off in the spa, steam floating away in the cold afternoon. I faced the glacier and Aguille du Midi mountain, both in clear sight, Wanderlust reignited.

Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur:

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View over Bhaktapur from the five stove temple- a temple that survived the earthquake.
Exploring the historical city of Bhaktapur in a day.

“Did he say Bhaktapur?”
“I think so… Quick! Run!”

We ran (literally ran, busses don’t stop over here) to hop on the local bus, hoping it was the right one. The only way to know where busses are going here is listening to the guy hanging out the bus door, he’ll tell the destination over and over very quickly:

“Bhaktapur! Bhaktapur! Bhaktapur!”

So we cram in and all boundaries concerning personal space are broken down. Nepali music is blasting and wind rushes in open windows, through which we excitedly spot monkeys.

I meet a guy who speaks understandable English. “It’s Mother’s Day! I go to see her!” He explains the sights of Bhaktapur and makes sure I know the bus fare so I don’t get ripped off. He also points sights out to me along the way:

“they’re making pasta!” He points to a roof full of racks with pasta hanging up.
“They go to see their mothers!” He points to women holding gifts.
“Bhaktapur city!” We have arrived…

To enter Durbar square we got charged 1500rps; we complained, we decided that it would be worth it and at the end of the day we all agreed it was.

We got lost in the little streets, looking in little stalls, taking in the aromas of street food, wandering around the ruins (Bhaktapur was severely damaged by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, over 200 people in the area died in the disaster.)

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Damage from the 2015 earthquake in Bhaktapur.

Amongst the the ruins and shops, temples are nestled and locals are kind and ready to greet us with smiles and a ‘namaste.’

We step into ‘the peacock shop,’ a cute, dark and dusty little shop selling books and prints amongst other things, made out of handmade paper (which you can see bein made in a workshop out the back.) The cashier was great, telling stories, making jokes and talking with such passion about his culture.

We stop for cheap vegetable momos (dumplings that they sell EVERYWHERE around here) and get ‘King curd’ for dessert.

We search for the cheapest curd and end up at a little place near Durbar square (just before the bus stop) and it costs 40rps! (We had previously seen it priced at 120rps.) entering the store I ask the guy sitting on the front step, “King curd?”

Her grins and replies, “best yogurt in the world is in Bhaktapur.”

So we all are sure we have found the right spot. We head in and sit down in a very, very dark, tiny room. The yogurt arrives in little pottery cups and I’m convinced: this is the best yoghurt in the world.

I had worried that Bhaktapur wouldn’t be worth the visit due to the damage from the earthquake- I was wrong. The ruins are eye openers and the charm of Bhaktapur has a tight grip that the shake of the earthquake didn’t loosen.

We take a bus back to Kathmandu, get lost and end up in a taxi, exhausted but happy.