Last days in India and Bangkok

Trip Start Oct 10, 2007
Trip End May 31, 2008

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

     I could have stayed in Mysore for a couple more months, at least until monsoon season. There was inspiration ,accompanied by distraction, coming from many directions the farm having most of my attention.  I was all healed up and back at yoga. My desicion to leave was based on Ryan's more limited time schedule and how swell we travel together.
    The organic farm is owned by Haresh, the same guy who owns the yogashala mandala. Located about 55 kms outside of  Mysore it is on one of the most beautiful plots of land around. There are plans of cottages, a yogashala and talk of much more but for now there is a primitive kitchen and one very rustic cottage. Some of the crops are bananas, pomegranite, papaya, beetlent, mango, lots of flowers, bamboo and a couple troughs of worms raised for their "castings" also known as poop. The bathroom of the cottage had no roof and I endured a very cold shower with a bush my size and a huge pointsetta. I stayed alone in the cottage making a bug free sanctuary with my mosquito net and set up the tent on the second trip. I was on the edge of protected forest, part of the tiger project, in wild elephant country. The only thing keeping them from trampling the fruits and veggies is a 10 ft solar powered electric fence. These were the quietest nights of my whole India trip. In comparison the driver who took us to the airport in Bangalore was on his horn for 95 percent of the three hour white knuckle adventure. You only get tense if you have your eyes are open thinking you have some control. 
    All of the nights at the farm, a couple lunches and a big Indian named Rajeendra as my personal guide were traded for my opinions. After showing pictures of my work and discussing potential for the future of the farm we came up with the idea of teaching a handfull of villagers how to build furniture out of a local resource. For the locals when the limited farm work is finished the only way to make money is to travel to a city. I was out to see what there was to work with. I found out through some research that a flowering bush called lantana is being used as an alternative to cane and bamboo style furniture. So I had to ride around the countryside looking for accessable lantana as I saw wild elephants and played in the water with my flyfishing pole. This was the first time I rode a 100cc motorcyles with three grown men aboard. So India.
    Bangkok is about the opposite of India. How can a three hour plane ride takes you to a world so completely different? Our friend Elle whom we met in Mysore lives in Bangkok and was invaluble to us getting around and searching hard for bikes to buy.  Frustrating at times and not successful in the end. The nice motorcycles are more expensive than they are in the states. Nothing like the $3 a day for a bike in India. But hot showers, different food, smiling happy people and some cleanliness was welcoming.
  After a week in Bangkok a Greek couple who traveled with us on bikes to Ooty, India happened to come through town. . The next day we all got out of the city and headed by train, 14 hrs with no sleepers available, to Chiang Mai. Yes, northern Thailand is allright with me. Great food, and lots of wilderness to be explored.
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