A Travellerspoint blog

JAN 8 - 14 BARBERYN - THE LITTLE EXTRAS

Filling In The Day

sunny 30 °C

A VISIT TO THE HERB KITCHEN
I want to see what they are making me drink every meal, so we get to explore the herb kitchen. Each day we get a series of Ayurvedic pills and powders and potions to allow us to do feats one could only imagine. The herbalist shows us the ingredients they use -walls of them- and how they measure them into exotic recipes. After all is said and done they still taste like boiled roots. Our herb concoctions are made fresh daily as is the oils they pour over us. The fresh oils made from a base of coconut or neem oil have a most exotic fragrance. I am getting spoiled.
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THE HERB GIRLS. THE POTS

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THE HERBALIST. THE HERBS

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MY CONCOCTION WOULD YOU DRINK IT?

WORKSHOPS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Each day there is a choice of workshops, outings, or entertainment to liven the day. Workshops in Sri Lankan dance, evening entertainment including drumming and dance, fire dance, Meditative music on harmonium and drum, or accomplished pianists playing anything from jazz to popular pieces.
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LEARNING THE MOVES

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DRUM AND DANCE

FOOD
The food is amazing. We have a personal advisor to explain what all the foods are we are eating and letting us know which are right for our constitution and what to avoid. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style, dinner served in the best restaurant tradition with small artistic portions to tide us over till the morn.
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MY PERSONAL GUIDE. LUNCH

YOGA
There is daily yoga beginning at 6:am. The first hour is spent doing pranayama breathing moving from meditative breathing to kabalabati and alternate nostril breathing. Then an hour of asanas - sun salutations, leg lifts, back ends, shoulder stands to prepare us for the day. This is life here at Barberyn. We may not want to leave.

Posted by RDILL 09:07 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

JAN 8 - 14 BARBERYN REEF AYURVEDA RESORT

Is This a Holiday or What?

sunny 28 °C

BARBERYN REEF AYURVEDA RESORT
One of the most respected Ayurvedic healing centres in Sri Lanka-a beautiful complex with room for 90 or so guests. It was one of the first resorts on the East Coast of Sri Lanka and is still owned and operated by the same family dedicated to providing the most wholesome experience possible in the Ayurvedic tradition. There's a large partly saltwater pool, a great yoga hall, superb vegetarian food. We are here for week. Rob came cause it had one of the best yoga programs in Sri Lanka and some massage thrown in. Mani came cause she couldn't stay away. Rob is a bit worried we might both get spoiled. No cooking, no dishes, no laundry. Every wish take care of. Neither is quite prepared for what lies ahead.

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OUR ROOM AND POOL

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OUR VIEW

How to describe a typical day. 6 am to 8 am yoga. Breakfast. The first day we have a consultation with an Ayurvedic Doctor. She records our medical history, checks our blood pressure and pulses, and the look of our tongue. Soon she has developed a treatment plan for each of us and we go directly into our first treatment. It takes all morning and is to be repeated for the next 7 days.

THE TREATMENT PLAN
STAGE ONE: AYURVEDIC MASSAGE: Two practitioners work side by side pouring oil over my body and massage it deeply into my skin. Some days they add herbal powder to the oil to give a consistency of oily sandpaper. Unlike anything I've experienced before, the oil is freshly made and has the smell and consistency of thick sesame oil. It is poured on and powerful yet gentle hands delve into every muscle. Those tight shoulders never felt so good. They kneed, and stroke, and press deeply. They massage my scalp. They pound the back and legs with hot herb sacks. After 45 minutes I feel like royal jelly. On to stage two.
STAGE TWO: THE STEAM ROOM: I lay on a bench face down over a hole with a heater below that sends herbal steam into my nostrils cleansing the nadi's. 15 minutes later I am directed to the next stage.
STAGE THREE: HERBAL PACKS: Lying on an outdoor reclining wood slat bed, a number of herbal packs are positioned over my body, the eyes covered with cucumbers and the face with gauze. A sheet covers the body and we lay in squishy warm suspension for 30 minutes while the herbs absorb into the body.
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ROBBIE FROM OUTER SPACE

STAGE FOUR: THE TEA BATH: Shown to the bath house, we shower to remove the excess oil and powders and herbal slime and then lie in a tub filled with 3 inches of warm tea water while an attendant pours the water over every inch of your body, massaging the senses. The water stimulates and relaxes and sensuously awakens and refreshes the spirit. Out one comes, dries oneself and is fitted in a cloth wrapped around the hips and led to the last station.
STAGE FIVE: ACUPUNCTURE: Lying on a bed in a room the acupuncturist soon comes and skillfully positions 8 plus needles that stimulate points on the head, chest, arms, belly, legs. Thirty minutes later the energy is pulsing through the points.

That's it. Two hours every day of treatment and then 3 more hours letting the oils and herbs absorb into the body before washing everything down with soap and water. The rest of the day is ours to enjoy or relax with. Lunch, usually one special excursion or activity each day. Yoga or tai chi again from 4 to 6. Dinner often accompanied by traditional dance and drumming, flute music, or the like. Often we are ready for bed by 9 pm ready for a 5:30 am rise the next day.

Posted by RDILL 08:40 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged ayurveda Comments (1)

JAN 7 - SHANGHAI EN ROUTE

We just happen to run into Don and Kathy

overcast 15 °C
View Sri Lanka Maldives 2016 on RDILL's travel map.

SHANGHAI
Our flight leaves at midnight and gets into Shanghai at 5 am. Our onward connection leaves at 2 pm (9 hours later) so we decide to clear customs and go exploring but we don't have any idea where or how. Rob has downloaded an Internet article on what to do in Shanghai in a day, and brother Don and Kathy have arrived earlier and are overnighting, but it is a bit early to contact them and once we leave the airport we have no internet. Our one clue is they discussed going to the TianZiFang market area so we decide to head for it. Not much is open at 5am but we get a map of the city and change some money. Rob wants to try out the Maglev - a high speed train that takes you to the edge of the city at speeds up to 450 km per hour. We reach 384 km per hour and what would take an hour by the subway system takes 8 minutes. We now have to decide how to manage the subway system. Fortunately there is an English translation and we head for Tianzifang - the upscale shopping area in the back alleys of the original French quarters. No problemo if you don't mind being squashed like sardines on the subway and at every stop more commuters crowd into a car that was filled long ago. We are there by 8 am and walk the streets for an hour or two, interacting with the locals and eating from little stands along the road. Mani of course finds a couple of wool and fabric shops that she decides to explore. We really haven't found what we are looking for but as we head back towards the subway station we come across a little alley with the sign Tian Zi Fang and we begin to explore the labyrinth of shops. Most don't open till 10 so we are a little early but as we turn a corner to head back to the subway there are Don and Kathy window shopping. They are the only non Chinese we have seen since leaving the airport. We are not in a tourist destination. We do some more exploring, walking the streets, watching the groups doing tai chi or kite flying in the parks. We then catch the subway system back to the airport arriving by noon and continue to check in for the flight to Colombo
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A NEW FRIEND

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LOTS OF COLOUR - A KNITTERS DREAM

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TIAN ZI FANG

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KITE FLYING - TAI CHI

COLOMBO
It's high time Rob got here. His grade 6 socials teacher asked students to select a country to study and do a report to the class on, and Rob chose Sri Lanka. Captivated by the exotic people and animals and plants and colour, he spent weeks cutting out pictures and putting together his first major school report. We are travelling by China East Air and as a budget airline it is more comfortable than expected especially the first leg which had first rate movies and lots of leg room. We reach Colombo at 7 pm and a driver is waiting to take us two hours south to our destination in Beruwala. After almost two days of travelling we reach the hotel and are greeted with fruit smoothies, taken to our room and in a couple minutes dinner is brought to our room. It makes the travel all worthwhile. It is not long before we slumber to the sound of the sea lapping at the shore in front of us.

Posted by RDILL 08:19 Archived in China Tagged shanghai Comments (0)

SHANGHAI EN ROUTE

We just happen to run into Don and Kathy

overcast 15 °C
View Sri Lanka Maldives 2016 on RDILL's travel map.

SHANGHAI
Our flight leaves at midnight and gets into Shanghai at 5 am. Our onward connection leaves at 2 pm (9 hours later) so we decide to clear customs and go exploring but we don't have any idea where or how. Rob has downloaded an Internet article on what to do in Shanghai in a day, and brother Don and Kathy have arrived earlier and are overnighting, but it is a bit early to contact them and once we leave the airport we have no internet. Our one clue is they discussed going to the TianZiFang market area so we decide to head for it. Not much is open at 5am but we get a map of the city and change some money. Rob wants to try out the Maglev - a high speed train that takes you to the edge of the city at speeds up to 450 km per hour. We reach 384 km per hour and what would take an hour by the subway system takes 8 minutes. We now have to decide how to manage the subway system. Fortunately there is an English translation and we head for Tianzifang - the upscale shopping area in the back alleys of the original French quarters. No problemo if you don't mind being squashed like sardines on the subway and at every stop more commuters crowd into a car that was filled long ago. We are there by 8 am and walk the streets for an hour or two, interacting with the locals and eating from little stands along the road. Mani of course finds a couple of wool and fabric shops that she decides to explore. We really haven't found what we are looking for but as we head back towards the subway station we come across a little alley with the sign Tian Zi Fang and we begin to explore the labyrinth of shops. Most don't open till 10 so we are a little early but as we turn a corner to head back to the subway there are Don and Kathy window shopping. They are the only non Chinese we have seen since leaving the airport. We are not in a tourist destination. We do some more exploring, walking the streets, watching the groups doing tai chi or kite flying in the parks. We then catch the subway system back to the airport arriving by noon and continue to check in for the flight to Colombo
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TIAN ZI FANG
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KITE FLYING - TAI CHI

COLOMBO
It's high time Rob got here. His grade 6 socials teacher asked students to select a country to study and do a report to the class on, and Rob chose Sri Lanka. Captivated by the exotic people and animals and plants and colour, he spent weeks cutting out pictures and putting together his first major school report. We are travelling by China East Air and as a budget airline it is more comfortable than expected especially the first leg which had first rate movies and lots of leg room. We reach Colombo at 7 pm and a driver is waiting to take us two hours south to our destination in Beruwala. After almost two days of travelling we reach the hotel and are greeted with fruit smoothies, taken to our room and in a couple minutes dinner is brought to our room. It makes the travel all worthwhile. It is not long before we slumber to the sound of the sea lapping at the shore in front of us.

Posted by RDILL 08:19 Archived in China Tagged shanghai Comments (1)

PACKING

Its not as easy as it seems

sunny 3 °C

Aaaaah. So many e mails to respond to and last minute work stuff to get done. I'll be glad when I'm off

Posted by RDILL 11:55 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

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