Monday, 28 March 2011

A strange encounter at Wat Xieng Thong

Friday 4th March hot hot hot..............
Lhuang Prabang Laos
Got on my push bike this morning and headed of to explore a beautiful place. The first thing I notice if the hundreds of butterfly's the ones you seen in dreams and books, that you never think real but they are here.
I had long wanted to visit Wat Xieng Thong it really was like walking into paradise, a pristine yet crumbling temple of clover pink, turquoise, white and as always saffron orange. The temple is home to around 40 monks who can be seen all around getting on with their days. I do love that there was a washing line in the middle of their sacred place where all their saffron robes were catching the very small breeze. We had a strange encounter with a very talkative monk shading underneath a bougainvillea tree he was there practising his English so we sat for a good while talking about Buddhism, Laos, and then world language Wayne Rooney and how Liverpool had got on. It was monk Pau's very guilty pleasure. He is not permitted to play or watch it. So he lives out his games through the people from all over the world who visit the temple. The faded temple with it's sun drenched colours only add to its infinite beauty, the room with a 1000 Buddhas, the smell of incense who's smoke plums above the temple and the heady intoxicating smell of the frangipani flowers makes for a giddy environment of sensations. There was hardly anyone there and it felt that the temple was all ours. As we left the temple when we thought we couldn't be anymore inspired, the mighty Mekong river stood before us, and we were quiet with it's beauty.

Stitch miles

As I sat on the plane chasing the night, sewing at 30,000 ft I tried not to think of the thirteen hours ahead of me. For the last two hours I have been travelling over snow capped mountains and following never ending rivers like great serpents devouring the land beneath. It always makes me wonder who is down there? What are they doing and what are they thinking? I prefer journeys across land as you always get that sense of arriving in another land. Where as on a plane you land, and your first impression is of an airport which could be anywhere in the world. I was listening to all the conversations around me one was all about air miles. I don't even know how you would get air miles. I then thought to myself that I had paid for my plane journey solely by stitch miles. I then started to wonder how many stitches I had sewn in the last year to take me on my 6000 miles to Laos and Cambodia. It must be zillions!
I was going to blog whilst I was on my journey but instead decided I was going to write a proper diary in pen on paper with drawings so I did. So for the next few blogs I will tell you some tales of a precious journey to the other side of the world.