Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Arts and the Amazon: A Creative Adventure in Peru

March 9th, 2017 by
Peru travels weaving
When traveling to Peru, there are several ways to experience the Amazon, and whether you travel by boat or stay in a jungle lodge, all are wonderful adventures. But if you want to enjoy a trip that also unlocks your creative potential, we suggest letting Mark Wangberg and Connie Grauds of the Living Amazon Peru Project lead you in a hands-on art journey of interaction with local people and natural materials of the Amazon. The Jungle Spirit Fine artist and art teacher Mark Wangberg and Connie Grauds believe eco-immersion in the jungle will free the artist within you, even if a traveler has never before lifted a paintbrush or tried weaving a basket. “How could all this wonderful nature energy not ramp up the desire to create your own art?” Mark says. The Amazon pulsates with birds, butterflies, monkeys, and innumerable species of trees and plants. All are blended together in a cacophony of high energy and diversity that Connie calls “jungle spirit.” “The Amazon is the greatest expression of life on Earth,” says Connie, a pharmacist by training and an author, healer, spiritual mentor, and Peruvian trip leader by avocation. Connie has been traveling in the Amazon basin for 23 […]

A Sky Burial in Tibet

February 24th, 2017 by
Dingri Women Tibet
The body, carried by the Tibetans up the hill from the monastery, is wrapped in white cloth and tightly tied.  I follow this bundle, walking with my two companions in the crisp, clear, early morning air. We walk up along the kora, or pilgrimage path, which is lined with prayer flags, to the funeral site.  The top of the hill is not far; but at an altitude of more than 15,000 feet, we pace ourselves, breathing deeply.  Each of us wonders about the ceremony we will witness, a rite whose viewing is usually forbidden to tourists who travel to Tibet. The family in whose footsteps we are presently walking, however, has invited us. A Reason for a Tibet Ritual I have heard of sky burial. It’s a necessity in this very high land, where there is insufficient wood for cremation and burial is impossible in earth frozen for most of the year.  This monastery, Drigung, is one of the two most auspicious sites in Tibet for future reincarnation.  To the Tibetans, a rainbow to Sitavana in India, near Bodhgaya, binds the monastery with a rainbow  to the site where Buddha attained enlightenment.  Sitavana is the most famous of the eight […]

Life and Death in Nepal: A Sherpa Funeral

November 18th, 2016 by
Travel to Nepal
A bit of life…and death…a Sherpa funeral…three days of a happening! We arrive to be fed tea or local brews – chang or rakshi – in a tented waiting area. Lakpa, our host, is sitting, talking, and laughing with us. To my surprise, he tells me it is his father who died–so typical in this country where life and death are one. A German lady arrives with her Sherpa escort. The lady is building a Sherpa Cultural Center in a monastery above the village. She appears to know it all, yet she has brought her camera equipment. I couldn’t. I am not here to stare but to learn and pay my respects. After tea and chang, we go inside the house. I sit a bit with Alice, a client and new friend, listening to the chanting of orange-clad monks, smelling the incense, and feeling the vibrations of their voices in my stomach, the familiarity of the sound. How can this now be so familiar, this strange Sherpa world? I remember laughing rudely in my first concert of chanting Gyuto monks in America. Now the chants here in the mountains are comfortable, peaceful. Rituals and Rites Lakpa explains what is happening […]

5 Must-Haves When Traveling to Cuba

February 15th, 2016 by
Cuba's Famous Vintage Cars
Traveling to Cuba Having just successfully completed Myths and Mountains’ first group trip to Cuba, I have a short list of five things to pack for your adventure to one of the most popular destinations in the world today. 1. Lots Of Cash Cash is king when you travel to Cuba. That’s because you can’t use your debit or credit cards for everyday purchases like meals or drinks. You’ll also need cash to buy tickets to the Buena Vista Social Club and rides in one of the thousands of colorful classic American cars that roam the streets of Havana. Your best bet is to bring a minimum of about $100 a day for essentials beyond your hotel and breakfast. You can exchange US dollars to CUCs (pronounced “cooks”) at your hotel. ($100 bills are accepted.) In February 2016, the current exchange rate is .87 CUCs = $1 US dollar. Some tour guides prefer tips in US dollars, but others, such as local experts who take you to museums, and bus drivers, may prefer CUCs.  Don’t hesitate to ask what is preferred. 2. All Your Toiletries… And Extras To Give Away Bring all the toiletries you may need with you. Finding […]

Traveling to Laos: The Little Country With Big Surprises

January 28th, 2016 by
Traveling to Laos: Khong Phapeng Falls
TRAVELING TO LAOS Whether on a package tour or a customized tour, travel to Laos, a tiny country about the size of Utah, offers more magical moments than most visitors expect. It’s one of the least visited of Southeast Asian countries, yet it possesses a most unusual confluence of culture, history and geography. With 70 percent of the country still forested and with the largest waterfalls in Asia, Laos offers adventures of all kinds–refined cultural and textile tours, archeological and religious trips, zip lining adventures through jungle treetops and cave exploring by kayak. You can visit hill tribe people on the back of an elephant or trek from one village to another through the forest. 6 NOT-TO-MISS SIGHTS OF LAOS Along your adventurous way through Laos, there are at least six sights you don’t want to miss.   The two-centuries-old Pak Ou Caves are a sacred pilgrimage site for the Lao people. Ancient cave paintings adorn the walls and thousands of wood or gold-covered statues of the Buddha rest on shelves throughout the caves. The Plain of Jars in central Laos is a landscape of undulating hills dotted with enormous stone jars. The jars are a kind of “Stonehenge” to […]

Imagining Everest: The Adventure Trip of a Lifetime

February 17th, 2014 by
traveling to everest
“We had seen a whole mountain range, little by little, the lesser to the greater until, incredibly higher in the sky than imagination had ventured to dream, the top of Everest itself appeared.” — George Mallory Psychologists say that one of the things that separate us from apes in the jungle is our uniquely human ability to imagine being somewhere else. Wherever that “somewhere else” is in your mind’s eye, you probably regularly feed your imagination on traveler’s tales, movies, and photos. From time to time you may even eat the food of the land you long to visit–for Nepal, think momos and dal ghat. Now, though, you can boost the quality of your imagination with the fantasy-inducing equivalent of jet fuel–a computerized zoom in, zoom out, pan-able landscape panorama of Sagarmatha “Head of the Sky.” To get a sense of Everest-size scale, click here and look closely at the panorama by famed photographer and mountaineer David Breashears. Zoom in beneath the second green box from the left until the prayer flags come into view. To almost feel how big those mountains are, slowly zoom-out until the blue and yellow tents and huts of the trekkers and climbers at basecamp […]