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Friday 8 Dec
Melbourne, Australia

The end of a journey of self discovery

What better way to usher in a bittersweet homecoming than with some decadent self-indulgence at the much anticipated exhuberant Ishka christmas party. Familiar faces, familiar voices, familiar kisses.It was a night of extravaganza, an eclectic mix of vibrant characters that personifies a truly ethnic and diverse Ishka that others would envy.

It is so good to be back home. I inhaled the spirit of St kilda, the sea, the salt, the sand and the gardens. My first stop was cafe 96. Ahhh..the sweet smell of coffee brewing was a seductive elixir to my exhausted spirit after a long night. I savoured every drop of spiritually uplifting coffee.

Pondering over my feelings, why bittersweet one may ask? Missing the usual welcome from a loved one, loneliness gnaws at my heart. The festive period draws closer but once again without family here, the season becomes unbearable as everyone around celebrates. I reminisce about joyful festive times with my family.

A week of nomadic vagabonding on couches and beds of kind friends and I am finally back in my room, quite reluctant to end this gypsylike wandering lifestyle.I could quite happily continue living out of my backpack. Like a stillborn foetus, I lay in my bed wishing i was back on the road. I crave to climb another mountain. Feeling disillusioned and melancholic, I contemplate running away, from what i am not sure of and to where I don't know. Perhaps, it is a side effect of travel. The familiar faces I will soon see will repress these thoughts i hope. Maybe it is a time for meditation to purge the voices in my head. This is the moment of convergence as i delve on the experiences and the people that have touched me .

This week, the hypnotic rhythm of the djembe captivated me again as i felt its masculine skin on my fingers. The glittering sea calls out to me, I can't wait to inhale the scent of salt when i next ride past on my bicycle. The majestic sun, I can't wait to worship.

For now, priorities beckon as i reluctantly attempt to pick up where i left off. Time to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. Anyone up for tapas, flamingo and spanish doughnuts on Saturday at my favourite tapas joint or a rendezvous on the glorious beach? Perhaps a movie at Nova? : )

Highlights of my trip
1. Diving at Koh Tao...and seeing a moray eel, seahorses and clown fish.
3. Climbing the challenging cliffs at Krabi and Chiang Mai.
2. Crossing the burmese/thai border and begging the burmese authorities unsuccessfully to not take my passport.
3.Arriving in amazing Myanmar and hunting for blackmarket burmese kyat.
4. Seeing a manual ferris wheel in Mandalay, Myanmar.
4. Staying in sagaing, myanmar where there were no tourists.
5. Boat breaking down on the way to Inwa, Myanmar and boatman towing boat with rope between teeth while swimming.
6. The enchanting chant of young monks at the monastries.
7.Discovering nine mountain village near Inle lake in Myanmar while on a long walk. Chewing on sugarcane during the walk and talking using gestures to the very thrilled tribes people.
8. Watching the magical sunset and the full moon rising over the stupa in Bagan, Myanmar.
9. Doing a trek and meeting mountain tribal people from Inle to Kalaw, Myanmar.
9. Crossing the thai-lao border via train and experiencing the amazing change in scenery.
10. Cycling to the villages in Luang Prabang and having shots of Lao whisky with a Lao women in the middle of the afternoon when cycling.
11. Chancing upon a brick factory.
12. Speaking to students attending english classes at a monastery at Luang Prabang, Lao and Odomxai, Lao.
13. Peeing at the roadside in Lao and being spotted by a loatian man on one occasion.
14. Crossing the Chinese-Lao border through horrendous dirt tracks across mountains.
15. Being interrogated by the officials at the chinese border, Mohan.
16. Having to choose the food physically in the kitchen at every chinese restaurant in Mengla and Jinghong because menus were in mandarin.
17. Chinese toilets with no doors and a metre high partitions and almost passing out from the horrible stench.
18. Cycling across padi fields while trying to find the Mekong river in Jinghong, China.

Thank you bloggers for keeping up with my adventures! More to come when i hit the road next!Laugh

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