Monday, 27 December 2010

The sunset of my journey. Terima kasih!!

My last days couple of days of this fantastic journey here in Bali, in the Ulan Watu area, in a hotel that I could only think in dreams, Mu, which actually got its name as according to a Hindu myth, it was a paradise which disappeared due to unknown causes. I am staying in a beautiful bungalow, next to a cliff with the sea in the horizon.

Today I finished E. Gilbert’s book, it was a good companion for this journey, it was good for me to see myself through her sometimes, and I could see sometimes Bali through her eyes, I even got pissed off with the Balinese when Wayan was not buying the house! I also finished Siddartha, “Om” the perfect and eternal word, the beginning and the end, the reach of purity and wisdom when you search for nothing. 

I also visited the Ulan Watu temple by the cliffs, my last temple! Which we couldn’t enter only see the outside as they were about to start a ceremony. Back in Mu, by the pool, reading my new book on the history of Bali, I skipped to the chapter of the ceremonies; it is such an outstanding culture the Balinese, rituals and ceremonies to clear evil spirits and bring offers and protection to the villages and families for the good spirits… black and white magic. It made me want to just stand up of my seat and go back to Ulan Watu to see one of those forbidden ceremonies for tourists!  However I realized that the only thing I wanted was to have my own ceremony, my own kind of praying, of meditation of goodbye, doing it my way. So, I put on my t-shirt, shorts, my new tennis shoes I bought in Jogja, my ipod and run…. I ran up to a cliff just over a place called Dreamland beach,  where I stood, perplexed, to the view, which was not outstanding, but just realizing I was there, I have fulfilled my dreams, I have accomplished my journey. I had protected myself from the evil and from insanity, I had taken good care of myself, I had really made this journey applying what I learned from the Company, I was doing every step safely, being sharp to maintain myself secure, taking care of my health which involved a lot of fastening!, and of course, this was an environmental trip, what more than self indulging with the marvels of nature!
While I was thinking about this my ipod, chose “Eclipse” for that moment (Pink Floyd again, who else), I sang the song or more, I caressed each of the verses of that song almost like praying.

After a while I decided to go back and for starting running back the chosen song by the bewitched ipod was “Lovers in Japan”, the rhythm just made me run as fast as I could with a big smile in my face, I just wanted to run and run with happiness “dreaming of the Osaka sun”, I jumped, and I remembered that day back on the 29th of August this year when I woke up in Hull, escaped through a window as I was locked in my friend’s house,  and went running wearing my clogs through the Humber Riverside, listening to this song and just celebrating freedom. Today I was celebrating myself, who I am, what I am, the fantastic adventures to come, just loving this moment, just knowing that everything is finally, OK. Maybe demons will come back, but now I have the tools to fight them, my tranquillity and sense of steadiness and silence, are so powerful, that they can and they will take over.

 Back on April the 11th, this year I woke up in Villa de Leyva at Lucia’s house. It was a Sunday, very early, I hadn’t been able to sleep, I was living in hell; I remember I wanted to crawl upstairs to talk to my father as when I was 8 with the Armero tragedy so that he could say magic words to me to heal my unstoppable bleeding wound. Instead I waited until 5:30 am, and went running through the condominium, with my ipod, looking for an answer. I went all the way to Villa de Leyva, talking to myself, to my Mum I even talked to Caro my friend from Psychology who passed away in 1998, and Diego my scout friend who died when he was 25, ghosts of my past, everything was so confusing, my life was in the darkness, so full of misery and tears, my heart was sinking and pleading an answer, I was torn by sadness and delirious dreams that made me desire to leave this planet for good. I just couldn’t see any future. I remember sitting in front of a little lake, and my ipod played “Love is the End” from Keane. I was devastated, just crying and crying,  I just wanted him to come back to me so desperately. And the song, at that time when I heard it was somehow saying “please take it back, don’t let it die because love is the end”.

Today as part of my ritual, as I have been avoiding that song for a long time just to avoid remembering that decadent moment of deep sorrow, I went to the Bingin beach to see the sunset, and I played the song again.  I listened, in a different way to the song: 

“Now is the time of our comfort and plenty these are the days we have been working for”  “nothing can touch us and nothing can harm us now and nothing goes wrong anymore ” (…) “singing a song (…), this is the way I would like to remember you by”, “ it would not come again because love is the end”.

“There is nowhere to go but home”.
One of the things I get most puzzled by is when I am filling up forms at the airports and they ask for my address. I don’t have an address. I don’t have a home. But I do, I am sort of like the snail at the moment, a backpacker, carrying my home, I am my home, home is where I am, where I want to be, where my dreams are, I belong to my dreams. I will build my own and different home now, in a different place, possibly a different city. But first I would go back to my homeland, and have my own special ritual to say goodbye to my past, but with all the support from my family and my friends, even family members and friends that suddenly “raised back from the dead”, people I thought I had lost forever but they rang my doorbell to show me how much they cared and how much support I have. My family, my guardian angels, each of them a loyal protector and advisor, who have suffered and cried with me through this difficult road, they are the healers within me, their love is my daily food.

They have bounced the drum in Mu to inform dinner is ready.

Thank you all for following my blog, I carried all of you in my heart and remembered each one of you through my journey, each of your names was blessed by the holiness of Borobudur. All your words and hugs have given me the comfort for being able to stand up here where I am, “staring straight into the shinning sun”,  and for all that I am thankful for life!

From Ulan Watu, Bali, an embracing hug that crosses many countries and oceans to each one of the readers.

Terima kasih, Selemat Jalan!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Divine diving

I had not dived since last year in Curacao when I got certified as Open Water Diver. I was scared as currents are very strong apparently and I didn't have a "buddy" this time, however, Divine Diving, a Dutch owned company that operates in Labuan Bajo, took me with my very little experience and assigned to me a Dive Master that was taking extreme care!  He was also very churro! So I was very lucky!

We did 2 dives in a place called Selalogan Kenici or something like that. Not very good visibility but the corals I saw, absolutely pristine I hadn't seen in Colombia, Panama, Curacao or Bonaire, where I dived before. The colours where outstanding, corals are the hidden treasures of the sea. It took me a while to equalize at the begginning but after I was so fantiastically relaxed, like never before in my life.

The group that went diving was also really good, some dutch, australians, canadians... it was good to meet and talk to new people.  I am actually going for dinner tonight with them. So I should get ready.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Navidad en el Meosozoico, Selamat Natal para los lectores!

Cuando pienso a que epoca me gustaria viajar en una maquina del tiempo, aparte de ir a mi pasado y preguntarle algunas cosas a mi Mama, pienso en el Mesozoico. Poder ver a esas bestias gigantes que dominaron el planeta varios millones de agnos, mucho, muchisimo mas tiempo que el que llevamos los humanos.

Esa fue la sensacion al ver estos gigantes.

Varanus komodensis, probablemente su ancestro estaba en Australia, un gigante extinto creo que era Stegodon, que quedo atrapado en estas islas y el proceso evolutivo nos trajo estos seres maravillosos, magnificentes!

Primero vi un chiquitin, caminando despacio, armonicamente desplazando las patas como en semicirculo hacia afuera, y detectando con la lengua que es el organo mas sensible que tienen los dragones. Aunque tambien las escamas alrededor de la cabeza son super sensibles, porque no ven muy bien, creo que solo alcanzan a ver 300 m en el horizonte!  Luego el encuentro con otros dos mas grandes y cerca del campamento unos 5 o 6 dragones, echados en sus siesta, hace mucho calor para cualquier movimiento.

Los "rangers" que a uno lo acompagnan tienen una horqueta de madera con la que dicen pdueden dominar al dragon en caso que se acerque. Pero son un poco atrevidos, creo que a veces les cogen confianza y eso ha causado los ataques de los dragones a los rangers....

Iniciamos nuestra busqueda de dragones por la isla de Rinca, caminamos 3 horas y vimos varios dragones, solitarios, dormidos sobre las rocas. Siempre cazan solos, pican o muerden a la victima y esperan un par de semanas a que se muera por la infeccion bacteriana. Vimos los bufalos que se comen y los craneos de los que se han comido, muy tranquilos, como perros San Bernardo, gigantes y bonachones.
Sin embargo, el nombre de dragon no lo sacaron de cualqueir parte, son muy veloces y en un minuto lo pueden morder a uno. Las al menos 10 especies de bacterias como en algun momento describi son las culpables, parecen ser pblaciones de bacterias que crecen muy rapido, dicen que cuando cultivaron las bacterias extraidas de la lengua de un dragon crecieron mas rapido de lo normal en una caja de petri, que la misma bacteria tomada de otra parte.... Dicen los rangers que los dragnones tienen antibioticos que permiten que las bacterias no les hagan dagno a ellos. Podriamos tener ahi un potencial antibiotico super poderoso?

Otra de las maravillas de los dragones es que las hembras son partenogeneticas, pueden poner huevos que desarrollan un zigoto ZZ, que origina un nuevo dragon macho sin fertilizacion!!! Eso es algo muy raro...!!!

Son canibales, incluso las hembras se comen a sus propios hijos.

De todas formas aunque parezcan tenebrosos, son los seres mas increibles! Retroceder en el tiempo para ver esta creacion unica de la naturaleza!  La poblacion endemica mas excentrica que puede existir en el planeta Tierra!

La vida, la evolucion es un maravilloso misterio!  Las formas y la existencia de estos seres, solo me hacen dar las gracias a la naturaleza misma, al Ser supremo, por la vida!


Thursday, 23 December 2010

I feel the Earth move....

Anoche experimente mi primer temblor por estas tierras. 12: 40 pm. Estaba dormida y en mi suegno se movia el mundo y me parecia una experiencia maravillosa, pero cuando cai en cuenta que el tema era serio y no eran temblorsitos como los de Bogota, me pare de un brinco a buscar una columna. Encontre una al lado del bagno, o creo que es una columna no se... temblo dos veces, fue fuerte, definitivamente el mas fuerte que he sentido. Me quede petrificada por unos 5 minutos y llame a la recepcion.  El personaje estaba totalmente dormido y no hablaba ingles, yo le pregunte si era normal, pero todo lo que me dijo fue "I don't know"...

Me quede un rato despierta, mirando el mar a ver si veia una ola gigantesca venir hacia mi, pero no llego, nadie salio del cuarto tampoco. Pude finalmente volverme a dormir con interrupciones pero lo importante es que hoy esta haciendo un sol esplendoroso. A las 8 am inicio la travesia, estare encontrando a los dragones en unas 3 horas! Final countdown!

Arriving to Dragon Land and the irony of trying to escape Christmas

I left Ketut place in the morning, I really from the bottom of my heart want to go back to Ubud some day. Venice, Galapagos and Ubud, those are the places that have made the most wonderful imprint in my memory that I know I want to go back and stay, stay for several months.  I actually met a couple from Massachussets today, they are now retired and are living in Bali, what a fantastic place they chose!

At the airport, I bought a book called "The island of Bali" that I am devouring now. It is a completely ethnographical book from the 1930s, a classic, and I just find the culture so fascinating. I remember my first few lessons with Carlos Alberto my "Fundamentals of Anthropology" teacher in Los Andes, who I worshiped when I was 18.  Ethnnography! Ehtnographical diaries, that seemed such a wonderful dream sitting in the classroom and listening to his delightful words with his own unique style and narrative, to explore completely different cultures La Rama Dorada from Sir James Frazer, without judging them, just wearing the glasses they use to see the world, cultural relativism.  And it is part of what Yoga teaches you, and meditation, not to judge any feeling, not to judge any sound, just observe. 

Merpati Airlines in a small helix plane departed Bali at 10:35.  I cannot describe the feeling of " I am finallly here, I am doing this!"  I was able to see the island of Lombok from the air, and when we started the landing, Komodo appeared in front of me,  a completely untouched island and all the small islands around, white sands, blue ocean, just a complete paradise, I am in the tail of the world.... I am possibly the first of the whole generations and generations of Sanchez and Thorin who has come here, even possibly not many colombians have made it here! When I say that I am from Colombia, everyone is so suprised,  they just look at me and say "far far away...."

So I am here. My smile could have gone around the world as I saw the sign at the airport in the local langague something similar to Selamat Datang Komodo!

So, the absolute irony of all of this, was that I was escaping as far as possible Christmas, and I thought, it is so good, I will not see a single Christmas tree, not a Christmas carol, not anyone would ever even mention Christmas!  they would not know what that is....  Well, the island of Flores, where I am, in Labuan Bajo, has a name in Spanish for a reason.  Christians, and catholics for some reason got here, so most of the people are catholics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE????????????  What an irony, I should write to Alanis Morrissette and tell her my story so that she can add another sentence to her "Ironic" song.

So, I am sitting here listenining to "Feliz, Navidad, Feliz Navidad..." but in Bahasa Indonesia, Silent night, So this is Christmas, and it goes on and on and on....

So I am going to accept it and tonight I am going to do a Christmas tree and a pesebre in my room, I possibly would use my clothes.

Anyway tomorrow I have arranged a boat to take me to Rinca, the best Chrismtas gift I could have given to myself, that I deserve, using Shakira's words "for being such a good girl".

Gracias Nigno Dios!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


Mi amigo Carri me decia que el solo se cansaba de oir lo que yo habia hecho cada dia en Londres, se estragnaba de como podia tener tanta energia! Yo tambien a veces me asombro de como siempre estoy "pushing the limit". Hasta donde puedo llegar?  Creo que la genetica Sanchez es maravillosa, somos incansables, brota energia por cada celula de nuestra piel, y pareciera que no necesitaramos descanso.

Todo este Dragon Project ha sido en ultimas una prueba a los limites, que tan lejos puedo empujar mi valentia y dispar mis miedos, una prueba personal increible, una prueba de resistencia, fisica y mental que por ahora voy pasando con exito.

Sin embargo anoche decidi hacer un cambio,  lower the pace, un poquito al menos. Por eso tome la decision de no embarcarme. El barco me da muy duro por el mareo y bucear para mi todavia es una actividad estresante. Quisiera hacerlo un par de veces pero no estar metida en un barco 4 dias buceando. Asi que cambie mis planes.

Estos dos dias en Bali han sido de mucho aprendizaje y alimentarme de la riqueza espiritual de este lugar. Ayer llovio mucho, pero con mi guia Yoyo nos fuimos hasta Pura Besakih, que es casi una pequegna Lhassa, no se, asi me imagino ese lugar en Nepal. Las estupas aqui son pagodas, que simbolizan tambien los niveles de ascenco hacia el Nirvana.  Fuimos tambien al otro lado de la isla, al Pura Ulun Danu, el templo en el agua al dios Vishnu, templo de postcard, pero tiene de que creerse!

Hoy, como decidi tomarme la vida con mas calma, despues de ver las sonrisas de mi sobrino Martin desde Guatemala y oir a toda mi familia reunida, sali al "museo de aves".  Nunca me han gustado los animales en cautiverio, sin embargo hoy fue maravilloso encontrar las especies de aves que vi.  No puedo creer que existan animales asi en la tierra, nunca me imagine ese tamagno de las aves, esos colores, picos, patas, plumajes de arcoiris! La naturaleza ha creado seres maravillosos, que nosotros observamos en estos lugares, pero ellos nos observan a nosotros.

No es facil tomarle fotos a las aves, y menos encerradas en mallas. Pero aqui va una fotico de esta bella durmiente

Alquile una bicicleta para ir al templo Ganesha, Goa Gayan al Pura Sarawasti, y termine mi maravillosa primera parte de este journey en Bali con 2 horas de Yoga, en un sitio increible, Yoga Barns, que me recomendo Yoyo. Yoyo, no se llama asi, relamente se llama Gnoman que quiere decir 3er hijo. Aqui todas las personas se llaman Wayan (primer hijo), Imade o Gamek (segundo hijo), Gnoman, Ketut (cuarto hijo), si hay un quinto hijo se vuelve a empezar por Wayan.   Yoyo, es su nickname, porque dice que sus emociones suben y bajan como un yoyo.

El libro de Hesse, me ha mostrado respuestas muy importantes en momentos en que el yoyo baja, no se si por los demonios que me acechan en ciertos momentos, o porque es 22 de Diciembre.
Parte de lo que le pasa a Siddartha en el capitulo "by the river", es que con el descanso y con la palabra "Om", perfeccion, espanta un momento tenebroso.

Son las 9:30 pm. Es hora de descansar.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Ubud, Bali : Los colores de los dioses en el paraiso

De nigna siempre sogne con lugares como estos. Tal vez son fantasias creadas a partir de lecturas, de leyendas o mitos, creo que el Jardin Japones de San Francisco abrio una puerta a los 7 agnos cuando estuve para imaginar lugares fantasticos que no sabia donde podria encontrar. Hoy, en Ubud, isla de Bali, encontre un suntuoso paraiso.

Las rocas cobran vida, los dioses y demonios adornados de flores embrujan a los transuntes. Postes hechos en bambu con simbolos de la suerte cuelgan en todas las calles como enormes jirafas vigilando a quien pasa.

Cada hogar de los balineses es un templo. Queda uno estupefacto de ver tanta belleza en la vida diaria de la gente. Estos hogares hechos templos familiares, toda la cultura que he visto en la arquetiectura del pasado, esta viva y latente en este lugar, los dioses estan vivos!

Mi hotel, o casa de huespedes, el hogar de la familia de Ketut, no puede ser mas maravilloso, con Ganesha a la entrada y un templo dorado con colores vivos, rosados, azules, rojos... entre arboles y sonido de agua. Una foto despues de pasar la entrada.

Solo Venecia me habia producido esta sensacion de querer pasar algunos agnos cuando ya mi pelo se vea totalmente gris...

Pasare aqui dos maravillosos dias a los que exprimire hasta caer del cansancio.