Waves, whales and other tales-Good bye Mirissa

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Mirissa sunset

I am sitting in a guesthouse in Colombo, arrived here after a surprisingly long bus journey ( accident on the highway:() and a hopelessly lost tuk tuk driver.. now I managed to find some food from a nearby bakery and before I have an early night to get ready tomorrow’s long train ride, I have to write about the past week and a half.
After receiving the last blood test results, I started to feel relieved, slowly getting back to normal.. I celebrated my “survival ” with cooking fajitas for the others ( my Mirissa family😊). It was really nice and started a tradition of dinners  which I’m missing already. I never thought I will eat this much Italian food in Sri Lanka ( in case you guys worried, no I don’t miss out on traditional Sri Lankan food, that’s lunch:)…so we went through a series of pastas, pizza and risotto, and on my last night I made an attempt to cook Hungarian food😊❤️🇭🇺yumm

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Pizza selfie!

I was also able to start teaching again, and I had really nice classes, a few of them one to one, and some small group ones. Sometimes we had to face interesting weather conditions ( when you send silent prayers for the rain not to start until you finish savasana🙂) but the roof terrace totally worth the weather gamble. And none of the yogis mind a little refreshing rain… I will miss teaching and practicing there, with the breeze coming from the ocean, monkeys jumping on palm trees, the sound of the prayer, the bread car and our resident bird and KK coming up to check out what’s going on.

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One of KK’s best yoga poses

I think I was very lucky that James( the owner of JJ’s Hostel) was the first person to reply to my email looking for a volunteering position. Mirissa is a beautiful place and the hostel is amazing. A short walk away from the beach, with very comfy beds , nice and friendly vibe and a breakfast to die for ( french toast💛), but most importantly the people who work there make this place as special as it is. The Sri Lankan staff making sure everything goes well . The chef who was always eager to observe what am I doing in the kitchen ( with her understanding of personal space😄) and cooked us delicious lunch. Dhanusha who was always keen to help with anything from finding gemstones for my sister to train bookings and he was always ready to tell me jokes with perfect poker face.

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Dhanusha the star
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The Chef in action( making my french toast)

The other volunteers, Lauren , this Aussie fairy who looked after me when I was ill, Metka and Rok, an awesome surfer couple who are truly one of the best teams I’ve ever seen and my fellow yoga teacher, Alessandra who taught me a beautiful class on my last morning and discovered Secret beach with me.

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And last but not least James, JJ himself, who built this place from literally nothing, really knowing what travellers need ( being one himself) and running the hostel as smoothly as possible. He is a bit of a role model for me, as I’m dreaming about building my yoga place one day( it always starts with a dream😉). Besides his professional skills, he was always ready to respond my weird jokes and watched vampire movies with me when I was going to daily blood tests(yaay).
If you happen to be around Mirissa, definitely check JJs out, and eat a french toast for me 😉
Mirissa was everything I needed for to recover, a beautiful and quiet beach, sun( with occasional pouring rain, making life very exciting) and quirky characters such as Lionel, my personal clothes maker, he has a little shop on the beach and makes beautiful clothes and accessories ( and custom makes stuff as well) . He has his “factory” as he calls it at his home and works very hard with his family.It was nice to have a chat with him time to time, although a bit dangerous as I never left empty handed(🙄). My other personal favourite was the coconut lady, who always gave me the best avocados and fresh king coconut (which I still have to learn how to open properly..), despite her injured leg (she was hit by a tuk tuk) working restlessly ,smiling every day.

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Lionel and his shop
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The coconut lady

I can’t write about my time in Mirissa without mentioning the buses… the cheapest rollercoaster ride ever, with entertainment ( all those Sri Lankan hits 🎶).

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The bus

I believe when J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter she took inspiration from these guys for the Knight Bus. If you don’t have a seat it’s a great test for balance and arm strength.

I was planning to go surfing but it had to wait until the last few days.. JJ’s volunteering crew got together , the pros and the beginners( although Alessandra turned out to be a natural talent) and we went to Weligama.
Well, me and the waves are usually friends, but to be frank it will probably take me longer to master them( a few years maybe😂). I didn’t take it into account that I’m still not strong enough and got frustrated with myself a little bit, although I developed my falling off the board skills up to perfection… I will keep trying though and hopefully one day I’ll stay longer on the board than 3 seconds.

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Looks like a pro..
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..falls like a beginner😂

The waves seemed to be a theme at the end of my stay, I went whale watching with Raja & whales and was lucky(again!) because the weather conditions made it impossible in previous days to go, but on my penultimate day I was on a boat on the way to see the largest mammal on earth. Remember I called the bus roller coaster, well this boat truly was. Being on rough sea like this made me realised ( as it often happens when I travel) how tiny and insignificant we are compare to the powers of Mother nature ( that’s why we should pay more respect to her!) But the crew handled the waves with amazing professionalism, supporting the ones needed help and they even jumped into the ocean to save a girl’s hat when it flew overboard. They had extensive knowledge of the whales and they even took photos of them( as most of us was holding on to the boat for their lives, they just casually walked around). And there they were, with their spouts and shiny back, giant and peaceful.. we saw a few of them, making me feel humble and amazed… And a little proud because there were a few people who stayed on the upper deck ( it’s calmer downstairs)and I was the only one who grew up in a landlocked country ( secret sailor ancestors maybe?).

 


Now I’m on my way to Sigirya, to see other spectacular animals( very close to my heart), and as I’m writing this I feel a bit emotional. Thank you Mirissa, for letting me swim in the ocean( and washed away by it a few times when I left my towel to close to the shore), JJ’s crew to make me feel home and appreciated , KK to spend some of her time with me( and letting me feed her graciously) and the people who joined my class and let me share some of the yoga awesomeness on the roof terrace.
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I hope to see you again one day!

Changes

 

Sri Lankan trains are amazing. They get you where you want to go( although you might have to take that only one at 5am in the morning ), they sell food on them and you can meet interesting people from the sweetest to the weirdos.


You might have to forget about your western comfort zone, personal space and just embrace the sweat. I realised that the Hungarian train rides of my student years and my London travels on the tube in peak time were preparing me for this experience.
I found myself on a 5 am train this morning from Kandy to Weligama as I decided to trade the hill country for the ocean and found a new opportunity to teach yoga. It was kind of a spur of a moment decision, but sometimes the pieces just don’t fit together and you either feel bad about it or change. I ( thanks to some friendly support) decided to change, and took my second train ride on this beautiful island.( the epic one between Ella and Kandy is still awaits).
Now I’m sitting with salty-coconut oily hair in Mirissa, swam in the Indian ocean and felt that completeness that I feel every time when I’m in any kind of water and excited about my classes tomorrow, see who will turn up and how will everything be this time. In Kandy I had some amazing one to one sessions with a fellow yogini, and that inspired me so many ways… but it was time to move on..for both of us.
It’s like when you hold an asana with awareness of breath control and you feel it when it’s time to change.


My week in Kandy was fun, I explored the city a little bit, tried some yummy food and drinks , visited the temples and the botanical gardens

and had some arty chill time at the hostel. Plus I got to spend time with one if the most amazing dogs I’ve ever met(💛).

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Will continue this tomorrow, now it’s time to sleep 😴😴😴
Update:
In the past two days I taught 4 classes, my favourite is the rooftop with the rising Sun in the morning ( if the clouds allow us to see it🙂) and finishing by starlight in the evening. I look forward to classes in the next week and a half, meeting new people, bringing them some yoga magic.

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I will be back😊🙏🏼