Eat, pray, love….well actually, more eating than praying!
Arriving at the right ferry terminal was an absolute fluke for Karen and I. With the late change in date for the retreat caused by the proposed ferry strike, Karen and I had missed the latest email about the change in terminal! Despite this we managed to be scratching our heads at the very right moment when our wonderful yogi, Craig Smith, appeared from a ticket office doorway. A sign for a smooth seven days ahead!
It was wonderful to re-connect with a few people I’d met and shared a villa with at Craig’s Bali Pemuteran retreat five years ago. We were all waiting anxiously on the ferry for the final retreaters, Dave and Julia, to arrive. They’d left from Milan that day so it was one of those ‘will they make it’ experiences, which thankfully they did.
While it was a long trip of six hours, we were blessed with a smooth crossing to our destination the beautiful Amorgos Island in the Cycladic group in the Aegean Sea. We’d had to stay in a little place along the beach of Aegali because of our early arrival to Amorgos resulting from the strike. We’d settled into our rooms at 2am so we were all just elated when we woke to find our breakfast area just metres from the sea!
We sat looking at the sea and our lovely accommodation perched on the hill above it. We knew from below we were in for a treat!
Seven days of absolute bliss at Aegialis Hotel and Spa.
While the accommodation was absolutely beautiful we also had to remember we were there for yoga! The daily program included early morning yoga and meditation, mid morning meditation and application of yogic philosophy and finished with afternoon yoga, pranayama breathing and chanting. I’d chosen to attend all sessions enjoying every bit of them and growing my knowledge of self and future possibilities.
We had a four and a half hour break through the day from lunch, which we put to good use. We did a five hour hike from the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa (oldest in Greece) to the port town of Aegali on mine and Ken’s birthday (made very special by our mat buddies and yogi) and Karen, Tracy, Bron and I had hired a car for a day giving us an opportunity to go further afield and to get a taste of the little villages in the nearby hills – sleepy and whisper quiet; delightful. Of course there was time didn’t in the steam room and saltwater float pool!
Amorgos is known for its natural beauty. Hence you find people exploring the trails of the hills, which are covered in herbs such as thyme and sage. The island prides itself on distilling its herbs for sale – waste not want not! With that in mind we visited the herb distillery in the nearby Lagkada village – of course couldn’t leave without a few purchases.
A final dip in the sea before our last supper complete with Greek music and joining in for the Greek dancing. Of course Zorba turned up!
Not only had I got to be blissed out for seven days, I’d found a new friend and Nia. My room mate for the week, Bron, was a kiwi now living in Scotland who instructs Nia (healing dance movement). We had gotten on like a house on fire and I knew I now had a reason to visit Scotland!
It was hard to let go of this wonderful place but I knew I’d see these beautiful people again on their mats and I had five nights in Santorini with Deb, Jeff, Marie and Al to look forward to! With the possibility of a reunion with fellow mat buddies Tracey and Bron…bonus!