February 2, 2011 – Panchakarma Day 5 – Vamana – Pleasant Day Out, Photos and Observations –Tourists are Slowly Coming Back
I will write a separate post about this treatment for those who are new to panchakarma, with a full explanation.
But for now I’ll just write about my wonderful day spent out from 9:30 in the morning when I went to the clinic, until after 4 when I returned to my room. I finally got around to taking photographs again, being out and about for the first time since I began panchakarma. But I am energized and feeling “light” and “full of light”. After the treatment I walked down to Ram jhula to a lovely restaurant in the Sanskriti Spa -photos of this, and the rest of this lovely day on the facebook link as usual:
From there I went across the bridge and walked the 2 or so kilometers back to Laksman Jhula area, where I finally got down onto the ghats close to enjoy Ma Ganga from close up, and although it is still too cold for me to take my dip in the river, I was able to get down to the water, dip in my hands and wet my head. Sitting along the Ganga is something which never fails to amaze me. There is an energy here which cannot be described, but must be felt, and it brings with it so much calm and joy, it is impossible to express the feeling in words. But you can see some of the pictures, as well as the changing colors of the river as the season changes. You can see some lovely photos on on facebook.
From there I went to Buddha Café for lunch. The fact that I can eat rice pulao this year makes it much easier for me as that is available everywhere and I don’t have to worry about being in a special place for lunch as I had been in the past years. While waiting I worked on my needlepoint which is really coming along well and bringing me great pleasure and satisfaction.
Tourists are slowly coming back but much less than in previous years I have been here. This has been sadly confirmed by local merchants and restaurants. I’m sure the new visa restrictions are part of the problem and perhaps the world economy as well. I don’t really know. Prices HERE are also much higher and it no longer is the really cheap vacation place it used to be. I see that there seems to be a subtle change in the TYPE of tourists who are arriving as well. No longer exclusively backpacker country, many people are regular middle class folk on their 2-3 week yearly holiday, traveling here for a short period of time just for a holiday. Either on the beaches of Goa, or just relaxing in lovely towns like Rishikesh. They take a little more expensive guesthouse rooms, spend money on more expensive shopping items, are well dressed, use taxis, etc. These are not the people who come with minimum amounts of money to spend over a 6 month or longer period. The difference is very much felt.
I’ve even begun to hear Hebrew being shouted in the streets for the first time since I arrived, and today, it was not young Israeli backpackers, but two middle age women shouting to each other from one shop to another! Hopefully however, this is a good sign that the crowds will soon be back.
Up until now, even though certain restaurants are always full (hangouts basically), most have been completely empty every time I come in. And the hangouts are always full with “seekers”. Those who spend months here each year with an agenda. Here to be with a certain baba, swamiji or guru. And I am happy others are arriving as I find the conversations with these people, or even just hearing them between themselves, to be tedious and tiring and even annoying at times. I prefer eating alone then having to endure their chatter. (Not very tolerant of me, but what to do?).
So I will end here and hopefully get to write up the full post about the procedure called Vamana – perhaps not until tomorrow.