Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Selamat Pagi! Greetings from Malaysia!

Its been months since my last blog entry - let me briefly fill you in on my route since Lombok....

After trekking, I needed a few days of total rest because every muscle in my body ached and it was difficult to get out of bed, let alone walk. I spent a few days in Sengiggi, a small resort town, lazying on the beach, soaking in the Indonesian ocean and getting the complete beach-side pampering. When I had enough energy to move again, I rode the slow boat back to Bali and organized volunteer work-exchange in a tiny village on the island's west coast, Jembrana district. Similar to "Wwoofing" I stayed with a Balinese family, helping in their shaded garden, harvesting cacao (chocolate bean) and coconut. This placement gave me the opportunity to see the real Bali, attend religious ceremonies and live like the locals, away from any sort of tourism.

After two weeks on the farm, I was hooked up to volunteer and participate at the BaliSpirit Festival in Ubud. This special event consisted of five days yoga, dance and live music amongst like-minded yogis and yoginis, a sort of peaceful utopia, set in the most beautiful of Bali's landscapes.

Following this time of heart-opening and spirit lifting, I decided to extend these blissful feelings and take part in a four-day juice fast at Ubud Sari Health Resort. After my experience and high success at spa Samui detox center in Thailand, I yearned for more!

Once my body was fully cleansed, I flew to Jogyakarta, Java. I only had the chance to spend five days on the island because my Indonesian visa was due to expire. During my short visit, I explored Jogyakarta on motorbike and cycle rickshaw with a friend from England and toured the largest (and most impressive in my opinion) Buddhist temple in SE Asia- called Borobudur.

After exactly two months in Indonesia, I flew to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). This was the easiest and most painless border crossing yet- and free to obtain a visa, which is always a plus! For the past month in Malaysia I've eaten well, sampling multicultural cuisine: Malay, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, Arabian, Indian etc. Soaked up the sun on the most beautiful white sand beaches, explored the thriving underwater environments, and tromped through tea plantations, highlands and ancient rainforests. KL->Cameron Highlands->Perinthian Islands->Taman Negara (national forest)->KL->Melaka

As my dear friend Bridget recently exclaimed, "Asia's captivated our Emily and is not giving her back!!" ...well it's true, for a while longer. I only have two more days in Melaka, Malaysia before embarking on an entirely new journey through India!!! On June 10th I'm scheduled to fly into Mumbai during a HOT Indian summer, where I will re-convene with Liz who will make for a perfect travel buddy!! More clear plans are yet to materialize, but as of now we will take the train North to Delhi, through Udaipar, to meet Suzan (another friend from SF). Then we will search out an ashram in Rishikesh to practice yoga and meditation = truly living the dream:))) Seven months of traveling thus far and still going strong! x