Casa De Sirena
When I left to come to South America on my own, I had no idea really where I would go, what I would do and how I would pass my days.
Seems crazy, but I just did not think about it.
I flew into Bogota and had a lot of fun meeting other travellers in hostels, sightseeing, chatting and moving on to the next fascinating place.
I decided I wanted to stay put for a while, so went onto the HelpX website to find somewhere to volunteer. I wanted to learn about living out here, give back and immerse mycellf in one of the villages.
At this point my Spanish was nada and this is important, I could understand Jack shit.
I saw this American woman had moved to this fishing village and set up her dream home, and was looking for volunteers. I messaged her, she facetimed me, and a few weeks later I arrived here.
I was blown away by the house. It is still a work in progress but for me it is like a dream from a kid.
I always dreamt of living on a forest or a raft? Go figure, the nomad has been in my since forever.
I had no idea what I was going to be doing either lol.
There were already 4 others here helping when I arrived. 2 were curing the bamboo and varnishing, 2 were doing something downstairs with wood and seemed to be able to fix things, which I clearly could not be part of, so I got a brush and started curing and varnishing.
I did not bring old clothes, so note to cellf, be a bit more prepared.
Turns out it was so hot that I was in my bikini or swimsuit anyway, so it was all good.
And strangely rewarding.
Sirena is a character of monumental proportions, I just loved her, we hit it off immediately.
The fact that she moved Continent at 50 is so inspiring to me, most of us never move out our town. It is a huge thing to do, especially when you do not know the language, or the culture.
She had seen this place in a dream when she was 21 and has been here for 12 years.
There is another story behind it, but that is hers to tell. It has not been easy, and she ran out of money, but not Spirit and drive.
So the workaway and helpx sites have allowed her to utilise this incredible space to further her dream and give people like me an opportunity to live her for next to nothing.
Mompiche is a step back in time, where literally no one speaks English. The fishing boats go out, but stay in sight of shore, they bring in enough food for today.
There is good surf here too with a large safe beach, and that is the thing that I believe will blow this place up, tourists are finding it, and it will inevitably change, as everywhere does.
My friends have recently been to Costa Rica, beautiful, but full of expats and tourists, everyone speaking English, its a different experience.
I have been going along to help at some English classes which is fun, some of the locals, plus a 70 year old tuc tuc driver who want to communicate with the tourists and understand how valuable that will be for them.
I have even had my own private yoga studio!
I have helped Sirena with a website, blog, some marketing ideas and I suppose refreshed her enthusiasm of the vision for this magnificent Tree House.
She knows everyone and has a friend, the local Tarzan and jungle expert Ramone who will take you on an amazingly education and inspriational tour for only $12.
Her cooking is delicious, breakfast and dinners can be part of the deal, I highly recommend you take this up, you will be fed fresh, delicious and nutritious meals.
I have spent nearly 3 weeks here and already feel a bit sad about leaving.
I 100% recommend coming here if you are open minded, love nature and want to experience this form of Glamping.
I loved it.
Living in a Tree House and Who do you trust?
I have been in Casa de Sirena, this incredible tree house for a few days and settling into life in this awesome little fishing/surf village.
It is rustic and cool, fairly untouched by the outside World, although I doubt that will last when people really discover it.
There is no bank, the nearest one is 2 hours away, you can buy a pair of flip flops (still smarting ove the loss of mine) but thats about it, kit wise.
There are restaurants, cafes and hostels dotted around, a couple of surf shops, fruit juice bars and that's about it.
It is very laid back, you can get ignored for a good half hour when you go in a place, could be annoying if you let it, but there is no rush to make money or create a good impression, which is refreshing in a way.
The other 4 Volunteers have all left so it is just me and Mermaid Sirena.
She was given that name by the locals because she body surfs with one fin, not seen that yet but sounds pretty cool.
She has created this incredible house through a fair amount of adversity and challenge, but she has persevered and her vision gets closer.
She was never destined to have children, so she wants to leave this mansion as a place in the Village for education, inspiration and Community.
She has an amazing vision for this fabulous space.
She was 50 when she decided to opt out the rat race, move to another Continent and live a completely different way of life from the Californian one.
She sees a place where people can come to the Village, learn, have fun, hang out, eat the amazing food, all fresh, organic, all Mother Natures way.
It is a simple, non consumer way to live that steeps you in Nature and a full blown Zen experience.
I so a few light chores here like curing the bamboo, varnishing and general cleaning up. The leaves and dust are daily due to the open plan of the house.
I went for a walk to Playa Negro, that famous black beach that some people were intent on destroying for the monetary value, and thankfully the locals managed to stop them, a big step against the machine, but one they won.
I never took any water so when I was walking back in the intense heat I stopped at a little bar for water. They didnt have any, only beer, so I sat with an ice cold beer and just enjoyed the vista.
There were 3 local guys shooting the breeze, laughing and also drinking beer. They smiled and waved over, and eventually one came over to chat. He had no English, my Spanish is getting better, but my ears arent.
I showed them my Babbel app on my phone, they were intrigued and tried to fill in the missing phrases and got it wrong every time.
This amused me, they don't speak or spell the way this app does, I have no idea what level of education they have.
The young boy was brilliant with me, he talked slowly, knew a few words in English, and listened intently.
He was so tiny behind the bar, but so switched on. Except I had given him 2 columbian coins and he was too polite to say!
Then an old English man appeared, started chatting, came over and joined us, me, Fabrizio and the 11 year old barman.
He told me not to trust them, great people but dont trust them.
That seemed like an oxymoron to me?
I avoid people I dont trust, so how does that work I asked him?
He just kept repeating the same thing, great, great people but dont trust them.
I decided to ignore it.
Are there more thieves here % wise, I have no idea, but I know enough about quantum physics to focus on the good.
There was a young girl (turns out she was 16) breast feeding her baby, standing by the guy who was sitting with the 2 others also enjoying a beer. He completely ignored her, and she just stood, the baby feeding, and I watched.
He had to be the father, boy I could feel for her, just a bit of attention, love, thought?
When the baby falls of her nipple I went over and gestured could I take her for a cuddle. She handed mye the gorgeous little girl and ran to the water for a swim.
The babies uncle Fabrizio managed to communicate to me that the baby always cried unless she was with her mum.
Fabrizio is my new Mompiche friend. He is very cute, super smiley, great surfer and keen to learn English, and it is his brothers child.
He is 18. He seems to have a very happy disposition.
So I walked the baby around for maybe 30-40 mins until she started griping again. The dad was watching me, I have no idea what he was thinking, but he started interacting with the mum, they laughed and clowned around and she seemed happier.
I handed her back, no words were exchanged.
Having little language is interesting, because you are guessing a lot of the time, what they are thinking and communicating.
Then before she left she came to me, held the baby out for a kiss, then she kissed me. I knew what she was saying, she appreciated the time.
It seems like you have gone back a hundred or so years here.
The women do the housework, get pregnant and that is their destiny.
They all have huge televisions, but I have no idea how much education that brings. It is defo a mans World here, the way it is in most places even to this day.
Lucky the Rise of the Divine Feminine is on.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
I decided to make a diversion to my orignial plans, to save me having to go in and out a city I really had no interest in visiting anyway, it was time for the beach. That meant that I was going to end up in a place called Esmeraldas, I reckoned I could get there in daylight, simply because everything you read said, don't go there, its dangerous.
I wake up at 7am desperate to get to the sea, and as I am heading out with my phone to take pics, the owner comes after me and tells me to hide it.
But he was actually looking after me.
Later on I am going to catch my bus to Mompiche, the owner takes his car out and takes me to the bus stop. Another gesture of kindness.
Im standing at the bus stop and this guy rocks up. Starts to chat, my best sentence now is I dont speak Spanish, that is my get out of jail free card. I do understand a bit, but when they speak fast, I am lost.
Then he buys me an ice lolly. Aww how nice as it is very hot. I look at the label horrified. But dont want to offend him, but I can clearly see the list of additives on the packet, arghhhh my cells contract lol.
Not for the first time this trip, I ate non food, willing my body to move it through and let it go.
He managed to explain to me he was one of the people who jump on and off the buses selling things.
He got on the bus that I was on. I then felt obliged to buy the thing he was selling. Fat free, sugar free and something else free wtf! It was a butterfly........
There are a ton of sweetie shops and things here, I saw about 15 stands all in a row in one village all selling exact same sweetie things. All beautifully laid out, I am not sure what the diabetes rate is here, but the additives are bonkers. I watched a guy in a previous hostel eat fluorescent pink yoghurt.
My food fear continues, need to do more tapping.
5 Story Bamboo Mansion
I had been looking into volunteering for a few reasons.
I wanted to stay in one place for a bit longer, I want to learn, give back and live cheaply to ensure I get the maximum time out of my trip.
I applied for a few places and got word back from and American woman who had built her dream bamboo house in a little fishing village on the Coast of Ecuador.
I liked the sound of it, so decided on a whim to go there. I then got other responses from cool places, I had to turn them down for now.
This continent is enormous, you meet so many fascinating people, who tell you their route, but its impossible to do it all in 6 months or so.
So you have to choose.
I decided I needed the beach, and I liked the sound of Sirena when she face timed me to tell me of her plans.
I was on a bus going to Quito with some friends I had met along the way, when I decided just to keep going and get as far as I could to the Coast.
Its so interesting here, you go up and down at altitude and the climate changes accordingly.
It was a long time on the bus, but for some reason its not bothering me at all, I did not expect to bus so much here, but the scenery is spectacular. And there is something about going over the land, you really see the Countryside and feel the distances under you..
I arrived in Mompiche, her directions were, get the bus here and then ask for Sirenas house. Hahaha and thats what I did.
Its a small town, a few cool bars and hostels along the beach and up the one main street. Its a surf town, I had not realised, I thought of my last surf lessons in Oz, the waves were much less scary here.
The tide comes right into the sea front and there are large sandy areas to each side, its uber cool.
I asked someone at a small cafe, and sure enough I got the directions to the biggest bamboo mansion I have ever seen. They told me you can miss it, its huge. It is, all five floors of it.
Sirena was there to welcome me, then we went on to a cocktail and dominoes and it felt like we had known each other for years.
She told me how she had dreamed this house when she was 21. It is totally amazing.
There are no windows or walls really, its like living in a giant tree house, and I have a platform on the 3rd floor where I wake up in the trees to the sounds of the birds and other things I have no idea what.
The house is still a work in progress, but that does not take away from its magnificence.
It may not be everyones cup of tea, its al fresco with Nature, but it is my idea of paradise.
It overlooks the river, and has high trees, some laden with fruit, all around. The dusk time is just jaw dropping, the colours, the noises, always been a favourite time of day for me, it is just wonderful here.
Sirenas longer term vision is that it will get used for Retreats.
Imagine that coiincidence.
How far can I realistically expect to hike?
Tbh I had not really thought much about hiking until I got here.
Sounds mental I know, but I was more transfixed on the beach.
I knew I was going to do Machu Pichu but just had not considered the altitude and my current fitness level and health.
For the last 5 years I have had aches and pains in my body that have curtailed and changed how I felt about fitness.
Everything was more of an effort.
I had attempted the Kintyre way and was stopped by an intense buring in my hips.
Nearly 7 years ago I had hiked for 11 hours up Muhavura an elevation of 4127 metres and much as it was gruelling, I had sharp agonising pains in my knees on the descent, for about the last 2 hours.
Both of these experiences came back to my mind as I looked at the volcanoes here, yearning to be at the top, but remembering that this old body might not make it now.
Nothing to do with my strength and cardio fitness, just body parts complaining, when they never used to.
Oh to be post menopausal, what a joy. Not.
I have been meditating on healing my body, and it is defo way better than it was, but to do a 7-8 hour hike at high altitude, I was not that confident.
Holly found a lake we could do. Around 4-5 hours, and foolishly I thought, well round a lake, it will be pretty flat, hahahaha it wasnt.
A 4-5 hour hike was the perfect "test" for my body, which it passed with flying colours.
Usually it is my lower back that gives me the most gyp, but not now. It is miles better.
The mind is an old bugger though, it was casting up all sorts of stories as to why I should not go, making me doubt mycellf, almost telling me to give up.
I was doing the exact thing that Hale Dwoskin and Dr Joe Dispenza tell you NOT to do.
I was dragging the past and throwing it into a perceived future.
Our trillions of cells regenerate on a moment to moment basis and there is no reason for us not to heal and prosper if we just release the old story and focus on a new one.
This is science, this is proven, we manipulate genetic expression with our thoughts, beliefs, perceptions and emotions.
We are powerful and have unlimited potential, but not if we stick to the old story.
I am focusing on a pain free, well oiled, high frequency body, if I do that often enough, repeat it over and over, guess what happens......
The journey South continues
Next stop Popayan.
I take the bus from Cali and it takes about 3 1/2 hours.
There are big buses and minibuses, not a huge difference in price, and I got accosted pretty much as soon as I arrived at the bus station and was in a minibus before I knew it.
Not knowing the language kind of leaves you at the mercy of whoever is there to bulldoze you along.
I had booked into the Arte Hostel which was walking distance so I hiked my way there.
I met 2 English girls there, which turned out to be an enormous stroke of luck which I was yet to understand.
There was a hill a few hundred metres from the Hostel and we took a beer up to watch sunset.
On the way back we were lured into a local bar by bright coloured lights and good music. We ended up staying there for quite a while as a band came on to entertain us and a bunch of locals gave us shots of the local hooch.
A few days there then on to Ipieles which is the border town.
I left Popayan early in the morning as the bus was 8 hours and I wanted to be tired.
An hour into the journey I realised I had left my UK plug, camera and kindle charger and batter pack charging on the wall.
I knew that Holy, one of the English girls was maybe coming the next day, so I thought I would get her to take it or have it, if we could not meet up.
I got a nice hotel there, got a good rest to face the border crossing which we had heard brutal stories of up to 16 hour queues.
Holly was arriving the next day around lunchtime, so I decided to wait on her and get my things. There are tons of shops and a market so I went out to shop, only to realise that my card no longer worked. Long story short I had to order new pin numbers for my new cards, and they had obviously cancelled my old one.
Holy shit. WTF.
Then I thought about Holly, she would have a UK account, I could charge my laptop when she arrived and transfer the money and she could pull it out, if she was willing.
I messaged her, she was totally cool, said we would work something out.
I remembered that to set up a new recipient they would call you with a code. I had no signal. Ahhh Nicky I thought, she said she would sort it out. Great. TheN Holly arrived and her account is in Spain. Nicky would have to go to a bank to do it.
This was Wednesday and I had 2 more days for the pin numbers to arrive before the weekend would finish that plan and I would have not access to cash until the Monday.
Holly paid my meal, bus, coffees etc and then in Ecuador lent me $50.
A total godsend.
We arrive in Otovalo Ecuador and meet another English girl, who is also happy to help me as putting the money into her account would be easier
Then the pin number arrived and I got cash out, OMG did it feel good.
4 days here in Otovalo and money to pay for it and spend on their famous market.
I seriously do not have enough clothes, I really had not packed for the Mountains, God knows why. No yoga outfit of any description either, so that had to be sorted.
It is an gorgeous little town with an indigenous population in traditional dress.
A lot of the women carry their babies tied on their backs as they did in Uganda, but there are also fancy buggies too.
The people are tiny and fascinating to look at, I would love to take pics of their beautiful faces and clothes but it seems rude.
The market is colourful, wonderful, busy, crazy and I am so tempted to buy for my grandkids and friends kids, but I understand it will all be cheaper in Peru, plus I wont need to cart it around.
Put Otovalo on your route if you are coming this way, there are beautiful hikes too, and it is just fascinating to people watch.
Cali is cool
Cali the World Salsa Capital
I decided to head South and finish the North of Colombia later, before I go to Mexico. My friends have a yacht in Cartagena and hope to be out there in April May, so I am planning to be in that region then.
Your visa only lasts 90 days, so mine will get renewed when I return.
I went to Cali, because it's on the way to Ecuador and Peru.
I had never heard of it, so I asked other travellers what they reckoned.
Prepare to get diverse and opposing opinions.
The girl who led the walking tour in Bogota asked me how many nights I would have here and when I said three she looked at me and said most people only have one.
So I went there with low expectations.
Cali far exceeded my expectations.
There seems to be more money here, gyms, clubs, bars, the river regeneration.
They have planted or left over 300 000 trees in and around the city, and they are protected!.
Their understanding of the land far outweighs ours.
People on mountain bikes, nice motor bikes, cars, clean streets and the usual Starbucks, Dunkin donuts and Subway.
Subway is everywhere.
And phones. Hell yeah, is that not how we measure wealth now, by the phones everyone has.
There is wifi, no worse than Canada and Argyll, everywhere here.
Walking along the river yesterday I noticed, as in the UK everyone is on their phone.
In Bogota there are police, army and security, muzzled dogs and a guards literally on every corner.
You are constantly reminded that you are being protected by these very brave individuals.
Its not like that in Cali. The security firm on the river is private, they wear blue t shirts and blend in with the crowd. There are police here everywhere but it is not nearly as in your face as it is in Bogota. Either way you know they are desparate to keep you safe, to stop crime, and you feel really grateful for that.
And the people here just get on with their lives, hopeful, happy, dancing, singing with a focus only on a prosperous and safe future.
We could do with more of that.
There is also hardly any smell here, unlike some Countries. You see heaps of rubbish on the street, but maybe its the temperature or that fact it is not there for long that it does not matter.
I have to be totally honest here, I am a foody along with being a nutrition twat, and the food scares me..
Tons of carbs, plantain, tatties, fried god knows what, rice, sugar in everything and for a post menopausal granny, this is not good. I have tapped it through and meditated on my blood sugar, as this is actually a real consideration for me.
But I like eating out.
If I buy food and cook in the hostel, it is much more social and healthy, to date only had 4 meals home made.
I much prefet to eat out.
Loads of pop, coke, diluted juice, I think fruit then a ton of granulated sugar.
You get a juice with any meal you order, and you have no idea whats in it.
Maybe a good thing.
Cali is a huge sugar cane providers, but it was the same in Bogota. I think they maybe copy the US with the sugar and everything mentalness.
Street food have bbq's, hot stands and fryers, I had the worst corn on the cob I have ever tasted, actually inedible, I had to throw it away.
Often there is only salt on the table, if that. You get lots of soups and fried chicken, but they usually need salt.
For someone who loves Indian, Mexican and thai food it can be a bit bland.
I know some people say they love SA food, but to date that is defo not my experience.
I have gone to nice places and had salmon or a steak, but you pay what you would at home for it, so not really possible to sustain that if you are away for 9 months.
But there are amazing fruits and veggies to be had at the markets so I have no excuse.
Its the same at home, even although we grow amazing food, we don't always eat it.
I need to cook and chop more.
And I want to speak fluent Spanish.
And dance like these dudes.
Walking tour and Police museum
The Walking Tour
There is a gorgeous girl comes round the hostel everyday to tell travellers about the FREE walking tour. Its not free, but they dont tell you that till you get to the square then other gorgeous girl with a yellow umbrella tells you she recommends a donation of 30 000 pesos about $12 which is a lot of money out here. Clearly nothing if you are on holiday, but if you are long term travelling that could be a days keep.
Me and 2 young American girls from the hostel go along for the 3 hour walking tour.
It was really good fun. They took us to different places to promote the local juices, coca leaves, coffee and chicha(local brew) but it was super interesting learning about their amazing fruits, their health properties and the huge benefits of the coca leaf from a nutrition and healing perspective, how they ferment for alcohol and making great coffee from a barista.
We also learned the story behind some of the incredible grafittis on the walls, more info on the infamous Pablo Escabar and some of the fascinating history which I ofcourse have already forgotten.
She asked us if we had seen Narcos.
She recommended the place we tried the chicha for lunch, so a bunch of us went back there and had a great 3 course lunch for only 800 pesos (about 20p).
A few of us then went for a beer, and what a laugh we had in this crazy little bar place. The cool thing about travelling is hearing others stories and getting to know like minded individuals. An American, English, German, Dutch and Scots. Fun combo.
THE POLICE MUSEUM
The next day some of us met up and we went to the Police museum. This was uber interesting, even for me who is not interested in museums.
It was a policewoman who did the tour, it is an incredibly dangerous job here, she said people hate her but she wants her children to grow up in peace and without landmines and bombs.
She is prepared to put her life on the line for that. Truly humbling.
She also asked us if we had seen Narcos?
She showed us the machine for detecting the mines, the Harley Davidson and other stuff that got confiscated after Pablo was arrested. He was clearly living the dream, holy shit. She talked about the operations, the arrests, the corruption and the hopes for change, she was quite an incredible lady.
She explained how many police have died, the guns the cartel have, how the peace process has divided the Country, how they have to wear a bullet proof vest and which guns will kill them quickest.
Its surreal to think this is how people are living.
But fantastic to see it change.
She was warm and witty, strong and hopeful, my God I think living in peace surely is our greatest gift?
It reminded me of a young guy I met in Malta from Eretreya.
He told his friend, "let's go to Europe, I hear they live in Peace there."
That hit home to me.
Candelaria - Bogotas West End
I get to the hostel after a mild haggle with taxi driver and although its before check in they have a really cool hang out area, inside and out, and you can leave your rucksack in the back.
I went on the roof and was immediately invited to join a couple, one English guy and one American gal. We drank beer together and chatted and I felt very relaxed, it is really beautiful on that roof, with the high mountains in the background.
They left to go on a bike tour and I decided to go for a walk. I was in the Candelaria area, totally by luck, not design, the best place to hang out, tons of cool wee local bars, colourful shops along with cheap and more expensive coffee shops and restaurants.
I wandered around, then heard loud music coming out of a local taverna, and went in for a drink. Then I saw the Rob and Rebecca from the hostel and shouted them in.
There was a table of young guys and gals right beside us. They were drinking a carton of stuff along with their beer, it tasted kind of like sambuca. They handed us some shots over, we bought them beer back and the singing, dancing and silly selfies started.
We were having great fun, language no apparent barrier, until we realised that Rebeccas bag was gone.
Now theft has played a big part in my life recently. My daughter was robbed weekly in her business, my friends came from Canada to mountain bike and had their very precsious mountain bikes stolen on the last day, and now Rebeccas bag was gone.
From right under our noses.
We were in a corner, had put the bags beside us where you would have thought they were 100% safe.
Was it when we were taking pics?
Was it when she was at the tiny wee stinking toilet?
There were 2 cctv cameras pointed on us, they could defo see who had taken it if they worked? The young guys beside us were upset too, the police were called but deep down we knew nothing would happen.
In her bag was 1 card, her phone and her waterproof jacket, it could have been worse.
But we all know our phone is the most precious commodity these days, not because of the value, but its our contact to everything.
Then mental thing was my small osprey back pack was right there too, and because I had not yet bought a padlock, I had everything in there, stupidly thinking it would be safer with me. My iphone, my new camera, my passport and all my cards and cash. Holy shit, that was soooooo close.
We all know material things can be replaced, but theft does way more damage than that. I changes how you feel about people and places. I know how I felt in Argyll, so hurt by how my daughter had been taken advantage of, money stolen from the salon, plus her tip box saving for Disney with the kids, I wanted to leave and never come back.
Then the overwhelming support from the community reminds you that most people are good.
I know when Lesley and Paulas bikes got stolen, they were furious at Scotland. What a betrayal after such an incredible trip, on the last day too. They too then experienced the support when their facebook appeal found the guys who had stolen the bikes, everyone was truly gutted for them, if you are a biker especially, you will understand the value of a bike you have built. But again the police, could not or would not do anything to bring them to justice or get the bikes back.
Same as Rebecca, there were 4 men just sitting watching us, someone knew who it was. We were backed in a corner, it could have been a member of staff? Someone turned a blind eye.
I wonder where that gets you dear Universe?
A fact of getting robbed.
It changes how you feel about a place and the people in it.
You wonder who all is involved and who is staying dumb. You wonder who you can trust and who you cant, and it is not a nice way to live your life.
Coming to Colombia, every single person tells you to be careful and keep safe. The young guys we were with, messaged the next day, apologising, saying how sorry they were, one came up to the hostel to make sure Rebecca was ok. I told them it happens in our village, in our County too, I think it happens in most places.
Its sad you need to be so vigilant, it actually pisses me off. (release)
If people didn't steal we would not need keys, passwords, zipped bags and jackets.
How much easier my life would be.
I know it is not personal, I understand we have been conditioned by our ancestors, childhood and environment, I get that they have their own issues, it's not my drama.
But in the ideal world, I would not have thieves, and evil in general.
In the 5th dimension there will be none of that nonsense :)
Bogota is such an interesting and amazing place, but the warnings of others ring in your ears, be vigilant, don't wander about at night, keep everything on you hidden, they may have knives and guns, its dangerous at night and so on.
I have been releasing on other peoples points of view, its the perfect place to practise, because you keep getting them, over and over.
I felt completely safe and tbh they are tiny, you feel you could outrun or wrestle them if push came to shove.
Then I walked out a restaurant yesterday and left my phone on the table........
When I ran back it was their, they had kept it for me.
Again showing me how many good people there are.
The good massively outweighs the bad.
The Colombian people are trying very hard to change the reputation of their Country.
What an awesome attitude, I am humbled by their spirit.
They have hope, and guts and a stunningly beautiful landscape.
I AM excited to see more.
I left Glasgow at 7am with the red eye down to London.
From getting on the bus in Lochgilphead to Glasgow I could feel mycellf getting excited.
With the stuff that I teach, that excitement means you are following the right path. So bring it!
Brekkie in Gatwich at 9.30am then straight to Barcelona where the fun began.
American entry visa ESTA
Do you have an ESTA the nice lady at the check in asked?
Hmmm my heart starts to sink, nope. But I do have at ETA which is the Canadian equivalent, so I knew roughly what she was talking about. You need to get one online she told me and luckily I had plenty of time, 5 hours, famous last words.
My passport was issued in France when I was living in Malta and I am a UK citizen. So it kept rejecting my details. Another super helpful girl phoned the boss in Madrid, sent pics of what was happening, while I just stood thinking, not for the first time in my life, what an idiot I was. I had booked with a company called Kiwi travel, paid £368 for the 4 flights and it said it looked like no visa was required. Small print issue maybe.
So I stood for 4 hours, then another uber friendly woman said, just lie basically, and put it all through as the UK. Hey presto it went through great relief, but then said pending......godammit....
Now the gate was closing, so they decided to try and put it in their system to see what it said, and PING it came through.
Literally on that last minute. I grabbed the girl and hugged her, they were all laughing and delighted that plan B, which I had not made yet, was not necessary.
I am uber tired by this point and starving. So get mycellf to the gate and as I approached I thought I heard them saying my name in a very strong Spanish accent. WTF I thought. So went over and the guy apologetically told me my name along with 6 others had been randomly chosed for another luggage check and that they would hold the plane up while this happened (American law, Donald fecking Trump) . Just before a 10 hour flight... great.
Not even a second to grab a sandwich so I internally raged about Donald Trump and the US as I was not ever going there, just passing through.
Its not terrorists these eejits will stop its tourists.
This took another hour. Unbelievable. The new American laws are reaching out and affecting people who dont even work there or even want to go there, but have to land on their soil to get where they want to go.
US Borders have just got bigger
AND!!! You must have an exit flight. Fair enough, BUT they include Cuba, the Caribean islands, Mexico and Canada in their exit flight catchment. That means if you are going to any of these Countries via the US, you must have an exit flight.
They have extended their area right out, the staff at the airport have to follow the laws but you could tell how pissed off they were too as another couple going to Mexico with no exit flight were not allowed on either. I mean seriously. Assholes.
I made way wearily back to the gate and here are the 3 women that helped me, they all shouted at the same time "Lilia, what has happened" and I explained I was randomly chosen, they all hugged me and apologised and wished me a great trip. And that made up for all the hassle.
I flew Norweigan airways. You never quite know what you will get when you dont read the small print, just book the cheapest price. So I was pleasantly surprised. Had a small screen in front, but the shittest pile of movies and docs I have ever seen, totally unwatchable, and I tried but got bored half way through. But I smiled when I realised you could go on and order some snacks, remember I was starving, run a tab on your tablet, order whatever you wanted and they brought it to you. That was handy. Not the kind of food I wanted, but got some salad and cashew along with my cheese toasty. I missed the meal thing, I could have pre ordered, but again the small print. A 10 hour flight has to be broken up with good movies and food in my opinion.
But it was comfy enough and I slept a good 6 hours, so happy days. Buenos dias.
I practised my spanish on my new babbel app, that is a lot of fun.
I was so looking forward to getting into Fort Lauderdale and getting and good meal and a glass of wine. Oh oh, what a disappointment that airport is. One tiny wee coffee shop that did not even have any sit in. A fairly basic chicken caesar and I bedded down for the night on a bench, which was actually fine.
I woke around 4am and got through security, towards what I had hoped would be a good brekkers, not to be but eventually I got on my flight to Bogota.
I arrived in airport and looked round for a taxi or shuttle, to be met with a wee guy offering me a cab. I knew what this meant, rip off, but Im tired and hot now, so I thought fuck it.
We negotiate in the most ludicrous way, and came to some agreement I think. I only had 50 million pound notes, so you can imagine. He drives like a real loony, kind of like Malta, busy roads, tooting the horn with nothing to be gained. I mentally think about my insurance. The bus lanes have an actual small concrete division, which it could be easy to hit, anyway Im here to tell the tale..
Hostel Botanica was a welcome site, and it was one of my great decisions. I am not sure what tactic I used to pick it, but it worked.
I sat down with a beer and viewed the incredible mountains on one side, and the city stretched on on the other, boy did it feel good.
The adventure has begun.
A fab venue on the Southside of Glasgow is about to materialise
One of the most amazing things about organising the Goddess Gathering, is the fantastic women who have come towards me.
One of them is this shining, pro active Goddess, Vicky Kakos, the creator of
"The Wee Retreat".
The concept is that we can have "wee" Retreats every day instead of thinking that we need to leave the Country etc in order to fulfill our spiritual, health and happiness needs.
Vicky has taken on the Goddess collaboration and got some of us together last week, to get to know each other, share ideas and do a bit of a brainstorming.
We all felt the energy, bounced ideas off each other and decided to meet on a regular basis.
We understand the huge importance of support, like minds, collaboration and cooperation, plus it is just fun.
Vicky then shared her great news.
She has faced her fears and put out a call to create a "Wee Retreat" venue in the South side of Glasgow. There is always a lot going on in the West End, Vickys mission is to bring this amazing facility to the South side.
The venue is available and she has created a crowdfunding campaign to buy this venue which will be a focal point for therapists, therapies, workshops, courses and any kind of Wee Retreat that you can think of.
As we have this shift in consciousness it is essential for us to meditate, educate and liberate ourcellves through learning and being with other like minded souls.
This venue will help this tremendously.
We need to recreate communities, support, collaborate and cooperate with each other.
The shift is on.
This will help us to make the transition so much more playful and rewarding along with being much less stressful.
Creating a community on the Southside of Glasgow is an idea worth sharing.
Please go here and listen to her video and see if you can help in any way.
Its nearly 12 months since I first met Sabrina.
She moved into my home and went on the Gerson protocol to try and heal her disease. Diagnosis stage 4 ovarian cancer.
She had been through 2 rounds of chemo, radiation and 2 operations along with weeks in the local asylum due to a reaction to steroids.
This culminated on her being on 2 anti depressants, 1 anti psychotic and a tranquilizer when she arrived to stay with me.
You can never come off this medication she was told.
6 weeks later she was off all meds.
Not something we recommend to everyone, but she felt she could and she did.
She listened to her intuition.
During this time she learned a lot about her body, mind and soul and started to feel better than she had for years.
Her candida level was through the roof and she got that under control in weeks too.
In January she went to the Budwig Centre in Spain and changed her protocol.
She loved the medical staff there, they were super supportive and said she was presenting more like a stage 1 than a stage 4.
On her return from there the "swing" of hope between "you can heal" and "you cannot heal" really started.
Yes you can.
No you cannot.
Holistic versus Allopathic, as if it is a competition.
2 diametrically opposing points of view, both delivered with equal certainty.
You can heal.
You are dying.
I teach all my client to come out of victim mode and stand in their power.
To take full responsibility for their choices so that blame is not part of your dialogue, thought field or emotional response, because it is completely unhelpful.
Unfortunately, even today, our choices can be limited and made for us due to our financial situation and the fear of being broke in the future due to not being able to work or contribute.
So why go to a place where they insist on telling you to accept you are dying, even when you have categorically told them not too?
Why go to a place that quite literally terrifies the living daylights out of you?
Her belly was swelling and retaining fluid which caused her intense discomfort and pain.
To get it drained in a private hospital was over 1 thousand euros. In the NHS hospital it is free, which sadly, is a huge determining factor for most of us.
The allopathic opinion is that she is terminal, ie no hope of a cure.
The holistic opinion is that she can heal, but she has to follow the protocol. This is not as easy as it seems.
Who do you believe?
For the last 9 months it has been an emotional roller coaster.
On a daily basis I have tried to keep her spirits up, release the fear of the allopathic opinion and the force of their might and apparent desire to be right.
Its a huge wave that overwhelms and brings her under, and I have thought often, is she strong enough to believe her way out of their heavy oppression?
I have an innate fury at the fear in our current system having watched loved ones die in it for years.
I don't blame the Doctors and nurses, but know that Big Pharma, one of the richest companies in the world does not always have our best interests at heart.
And our reluctance to open our eyes to the latest, cutting edge science which clearly teaches us about epigenetics and the incredible power of belief to change our chemistry, biology and electro magnetic body.
The power of our mind is completely ignored in Western medicine and is actually used against us, telling us we are powerless, when nothing could be further from the truth.
I know, like many others that we can heal ourcellves.
Not everyone will heal, for now we are still trying to unravel why some do and some do not.
We cannot measure as yet, someones innate faith and compliance to the programme in terms of beliefs, perceptions, limitations, subconscious traumas, inherited or created, and the force of their intentions.
And this is where it all starts and ends.
Its not a belief it's a knowing, Kelly Turners brilliant book "Radical Remissions".clears that up with no doubt.
Healing is a potential in the Field, a possibility for all of us, no matter what the so called experts say.
Documented cases of people who were sent home to die and chose not to.
Why is this not being brought into our hospitals?
What about the power of others beliefs can stop you from healing and can actually kill you.
That may sound dramatic, but we know it to be.
Taking away all hope kills.
Lack of support kills.
It is totally mental and we will be appalled at how we aquiesced, giving away our power, in the future.
Sabrina has been verbally abused by well meaning medics and continuously bullied to "face reality" that she is dying and cannot heal herself.
Even if that was true, which it is not, I still question the morale ethics of pushing this one sided, outdated, untrue version of reality down someones throat, especially when you have specifically asked them not to.
Treat the fluid in the belly she asked, but please do not tell me I am dying.
This was totally ignored, and even writing this makes me fume, I have to release and accept this system the way it is.
Dr Bruce Lipton & Dr Joe Dispenza to name only 2 of the most advanced scientists on the Planet have proven categorically that our beliefs, words, perceptions, emotions and actions impact our health.
That we manipulate genetic expression with all of the above. That we are "above" the genes, epigenetics. That we are electro magnetic beings as well and chemical and biological beings.
That we can literally "tune in" to different data streams via the brain waves and heart coherence, to an unseen intelligence that knows how our cells should be arranged.
That healings can take place in real time when the internal and external enviroments are aligned.
This is a game changer.
Yet we are still telling people they are going to die. Destroying their hope.
But the big question here is, are people dying because the Doctors and telling them they are going to?
The nocebo effect. Hexing. Black Magic?
Does anyone on this Planet have the right to tell you when they believe you are going to die? Is this playing God in the most hideous way?
When science clearly tells us that our beliefs create our biology.
There maybe no drug to heal the cancer, but there are plenty of other ways you can enhance and enrich your health and happiness and most of them are not available on the NHS.
Just for today can we allow love to flow no matter what we think we see in a test or scan.
Do we need to use fear to force our ideas and beliefs on others, that might decimate their lives and that of their families and friends?
None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, not one single one of us.
What does success mean in terms of healing?
An extra day? Week? Year? Decade?
Who gets to decide?
Should we be giving treatments that cause suffering when they are non curative, and should patients and staff be fully educated on all the new science and different protocols that people who have defied the odds used?
This closed system needs to be opened up, we need to share all the possible treatments and give people every possible chance to learn about their bodies and lives.
We need to break free of the stranglehold and business that keeps us stuck in the past.
Sorry I digress, Sabrina.
I flew over to visit her beginning of July. Her dad picked me up at the airport so we went straight there.
She started a plant based treatment 2 weeks before and had been sleeping a lot.
She was lying on the sofa and was clearly very fatigued. I sat with her, did some hands on healing, then left her sleeping while her dad and I went for a swim.
When I returned 3 days later it was more of the same, she was totally out of it, and struggled to stay awake even for a few minutes to talk to me.
She was thin, but that is not always a bad thing, she had no appetite, but was getting constantly nagged to eat, which was doing her head in.
Again I just did some hands on healing,and wondered if there was any way she was ever going to come back from this.
But for some reason I just felt everything was ok, I prayed, released and asked for clear guidance on being the best help I could be for her higher good.
I felt so much for her dad, he is amazingly positive but of course was having black thoughts of what might be.
The day before I left I went back over not expecting anything, just wanting to sit with her, pray and ask and listen and see.
She looked completely different. She had not taken the oil that morning, so was not in that coma like state. She was alert and pleased to see me, like she just truly realised that I was there.
She has a drain in her belly that she can use herself, this saves her going back to hospital and into the fear. This is common with ovarian cancer. She was still draining a lot of fluid off, but even when her belly went down she was still getting beaten by the pain.
To her the pain was a definite sign of dying, and no matter how much we released on that belief, she was still holding on to it.
I opened a short book that my friend Brenda Campbell a cancer survivor has written and given to me to take over. I read it to her and we laughed as she agreed with everything on the list that she was trying to control.
Part of healing for a lot of us is letting go of wanting control.
Then we went to the beach, me Sab and her dad.
Sab and I hung out in the Med, one of our fave things to do.
We chatted and ruminated, she talked about dying and getting her will sorted, she had been in so much pain and was so fed up of being in bed that the best way out seem to be death.
I was still not so sure, but had to visit that possibility that she seemed hell bent on.
In the sun and sea she relaxed and said she felt better than she had for weeks.
I treasured that time wondering if I would see her again.
Just for today, everything was perfect, for me at least.
She seemed to have given up all hope and was accepting what the doctors had told her would happen. They had given her 2 months.
That was about 4 months ago.
I left, still with a strong feeling she could do it, and releasing all my fear around the story.
We have an ongoing joke about her being a big baby when things, and the body does not go her way. When she plays the victim. And when she rises back up I call her Sabrina Latina, this is the feisty, strong, determined, funny girl that I know.
I know both, we all have these sides, but it makes me sad when she is sad, so I try to bring out Latina, the courageous rule breaker and survivor.
She has already outlived her prognosis by miles. She has already succeeded in so many ways, she is a much wiser and emotionally intelligent, self aware person now, she has worked on herself relentlessly, going through a mammoth set of ups and downs, a story that is beyond incredible and God know where it will take us.
She was much brighter when I left, and then a bit sad after.
But she seemed to turn a bit of an attitude and perception corner.
My friend Ilenya who is an access consciousness expert had also done some intense work with her, asking her to choose what she truly wanted, life or death.
Then there was the plant based oil, helping her to sleep, calming her mind, assisting in pain control, then there was the sun and the sea.
What if any or all of these things helped her?
I messaged her on tuesday the way I do every morning asking how she was and the first word came back, "great"!. My heart sang, she had not felt like that for months.
She had her hair cut short and dyed purple. She had organised to rent a mobility scooter as she does not have enough energy for the heat and crowds.
She had the hospis nurses over and they had given her great advice and a day out which was a brilliant distraction.
Her cousins were coming from Oz and it was her precious feast.
She is like a different person.
Her mindset, perceptions, attitude has totally changed.
She has dipped down occasionally, but we catch a hold of it and I make her laugh by getting her tapping on being a big baby.
The pain is still present, seems to be worse at sunrise and sunset, but she is dealing with it now and not making a black story up about it.
There has only been 200mls of fluid from her belly in over 2 weeks, this is indeed a miracle.
But most importantly of all she is happier, she has dreams and she has hope.
Just for today.
That's all any of us can wish for.
Then the pain got worse again, bringing in more panic.
A trip to Gozo, total change of enviroment and she is back on it.
Then the pain comes back, the mind kicks in again and the rollercoaster continues, but she is handling the mind way better now and knows what she has to do.
Please send all your love and prayers her way.
On the 3rd of November we will be gathering with hundreds of other women on the banks of Loch Fyne to celebrate the rise of the Divine Feminine.
The Dalai Lama has said that the change will come through Western women.
We are poised, we are ready, we are strong and we are committed to our brothers, sisters, children and grandchildren and to our Sacred Planet Earth.
Each human has male and female energy inside. Yin and Yang.
Both equally valuable and essential for balance and harmony.
We are out of balance. The male energy has been dominating.
We have been ruled by our heads and have forgotten our hearts.
But we are awakening.
Women are rising, you have seen it all over the World when Donald Trump became President of the US.
We are off our seats, we will be silent no longer, we will stand in our Power and we will be heard.
The Rise is on.
At a local level this means we move from competition to collaboration.
We work as communities for the greater good of all.
We support, love, respect and honour each other.
Instead of bitching, complaining, judging and competing.
This is destroying our health, happiness and our Mother Earth.
Time for change.
Time for Action.
Each individual has a huge responsibility for their own energy, their truth, their vibration.
It starts within each one of us.
We cannot shout for love when we do not love ourcellves and others.
There is work to be done.
We have a weekend of incredible speakers, workshops, seminars, Music, dance, Arts and crafts for you.
Something for everyone Goddess out there, regardless of budget.
In room 1 there will be speakers and your all inclusive early bird ticket of £99 allows you into all events. In rooms 2 & 3 you need to book, as numbers are limited.
First come first served.
On saturday afternoon we have 4 speakers who have healed or are healing cancer. They will be available to talk to privately after the seminar. If you know anyone with cancer, please let them know about this event. Its called Reconnect.
On sunday we have a free afternoon, come over on the Ferry and join in and learn, booking essential.
On friday night we have a dance performance and opening ceremony.
We will meditate early in the mornings, chant and do some yoga before the day begins.
This is a huge networking opportunity that can ripple out into your homes and communities.
If you feel alone with your views of the World, maybe you have been waiting for an event like this?
To continue our spiritual growth and expansion it is essential to hang out with others on the path.
It is very exciting and huge fun.
We would love you to come and stay for the entire weekend, we have been given incredible deals on the accommodation, book here to take advantage of the dinner bnb plus use of Spa www.portavadie.com/
It is a spectacular place, you are guaranteed to fall in love with.
Early bird all inclusive tickets can be bought here
Please read the programme carefully and if you want to join in any of the events in rooms 2 or 3 then book via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Love truly is all we need.
Lets start the revolution.
What is the body doing, who and what do you believe?