Travelogue April 2014

April’s big news was for me a trip to the United Kingdom, the second half of which was the more prosaic, it being a visit to London to lecture, first on Ayurveda to students of that discipline at the Middlesex University, then on Vastu, an event that appropriately transpired at Covent Garden’s bonny Swiss Church:

which is conveniently located not far from the magnificent Masonic Temple:

Said event was organized by Natasha Ahmad, who also graciously taught us the basics of Raga Bhairavi. Masha’Allah!

Before London, a walk in the wilds of Wales, in the excellent company of a brace of reliable traveling companions, Satya Moses & Lee Carter, whom readers may recall accompanied me into the forest of Western Brazil in 2012. Lee & Satya are on a seven-month European walkabout (with a few-week India detour), being documented here:

They and I reached the UK on the same day, they from Barcelona, I from Texas; and the next day we drove from Oxford to Caernarvon. After a restful night at the Totters Hostel

we and our backpacks proceeded by bus to Llanfairfechan (practicing its pronunciation all the while) and, after a pint, headed at a measured pace up the hills, via a herd of photogenic Welsh ponies, toward Llyn Ogwen, a destination which we did not quite reach before nightfall terminated our forward progress. This being Easter weekend there was no room in any nearby inn, hostel or bunkhouse, but we happily did find a place to pitch our tents. Next morning off toward Pen-y-Pass, which we discovered had not yet opened for the season; so we turned our steps instead toward Llyn Gwynant and its well-appointed campsite:

Up early the next morning, we proceeded directly up the Watkin Path to the top of Mount Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa, in Welsh), braving 80 km/hr winds and abundant scree that we might enjoy a drink at the excellent newly-reconstructed visitor’s center on the summit; at the end of our descent, dinner at the campsite’s mobile pizza oven. Next morning, a bus to Tremadog, and a day later, immersion into the warm, wonderful hospitality of the Gritten family of Penrhyndeudraeth. Should you ever require ecological advice in that corner of Wales, Dr. Rod Gritten is your man:

On the morrow I bid Satya & Lee farewell, and took the train back south. As in Brazil, I greatly enjoyed our time together; and not to give them the ‘big head’ or anything, but they are IMO indeed fine young men.