I got to spend the weekend with Ana Lucia Pastor, a talented young Peruvian woman, who became a yoga instructor in Bali two years ago and whose house in Tortugas beach was inspired by the Balinese vibes.
Vanilla and Chocolate – Czech and Peruvian Yogini Meet Up
Peru is not at all big about yoga; in Lima and in Sacred Valley you do find studios and instructors but elsewhere rarely. Thus it was a great blessing to me when I encountered Ana Lucia, who is not only a really good yogini and teacher, but who is also skilled in handcrafts (knotting, decoupage, etc.) and interior design and is currently concluding the last touches on the interior design work in her beautiful house at Tortugas beach which she is going to rent out.
Coming to her house was such a pleasure indeed. I could not stop admiring all the decorations (most of them created by her) and enjoyed so much the kind of food I usually eat when in Europe: lots of fruits and veggies, artisanal jams, high-quality, wholesome pastries and other bakery products, teas of various types (in Peru, you generally get just camomile, anise and cinnamon – if you are lucky). You would not believe it but good marmalades and jams as well as good quality bakery products are so hard to find here… there are no bakery shops, all you find is just street stalls with sweet and sugary pastries such as alfajores, picarones or turrones – not that I would not like those.
I enjoy Peruvian street food in general, yes, I even tried mollejitas (chicken gizzard) and anticuchos (beef hearts – but other variations are possible too). But if I can follow my usual European diet, which does not include much meat but instead a lot of seeds, cheese and other foodstuffs mentioned above, I am truly happy.
I appreciate spending time in someone else´s house because you see how local people actually live, what makes them tick, what is common or uncommon for their homes. That´s why I really appreciated Ana Lucia´s invitation. We shared some amazing yoga sessions and tandem sessions and I am excited about attending her yoga classes in Nuevo Chimbote, where she has her studio and regular lessons. While we were practising together, some of our friends made a comment that Lucia and I are like vanilla (blond me) and chocolate (brunet Lucia). It made me remember my Czech friend Dana with whom we used to be very connected and who is a beautiful dark-haired and dark-eyed woman. Even though our complexions might seem different, Lucia and I have a lot in common as human beings, as women. Again, the soul connection we have made me understand that no matter what, we are ONE, one planet, one world, one matter, one love. Though surely, there are differences in this unity that spring out of our varied personal backgrounds and national cultures…
Should you wish to rent Ana Lucia´s house in the near future, before it becomes over-booked with Airbnb requests (Lucia has not yet created the profile account), you can contact her via Instagram (analuciapastor) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kayaking with a Peruvian
My boss and friend Juan Carlos arranged a kayak ride for us during the weekend. Even though he is an amazingly fit and sporty person, I realized that – at least his – Peruvian idea of kayaking is very different to that of Czechs like me – also fit and sporty. I was paddling for life, trying to fight the small sea waves and distance in breathtaking speed in order to see as much as possible around the bay area in the hour and a half we had for the aquatic sport. My boss was sitting behind me, often just relaxing and looking around, wanting to enjoy simply being out on the sea, in the middle of the lagoon, rocked and lullabied by the friendly waves.
My generally easy and free-spirited mind surprised me when I started shouting out instructions of teaching how to paddle properly. My boss, though, is a relaxed and mature person; he just smiled, helped when needed, sometimes calmly responded “I can´t hear you” and otherwise followed his chilled out mode of simply enjoying the situation no matter what. I truly wish I could have that stoic approach sometimes…
There are many stunning, unpeopled, literally deserted, un-explored beaches around the area of Tortugas. I was lucky enough to get to meet Ana Lucia´s older brother Mako, a pure golden light walking this earth, a loveable personality and enlightened spirit who is humbly unaware of his own spiritual maturity and deeply rooted kindness, who – together with his beautiful Belorussian girlfriend Tania – took me and Juan Carlos to the beach called Piños.
To get there, we had to take the car and then walk over a not high dune. Crossing the dune was like discovering a horizon of a different planet. The world before the dune seemed quiet, hot with scorching sun which made the surrounding desert-like looking landscape shiver in the heat. The world behind the dune was filled with blasts of wind and their howling and the landscape was dominated by the turquoise waters of wild open ocean which mercilessly brought ashore huge chunks of trees, dead marine animals and hundreds of big shells.
Nobody except for me was swimming in the wild waters… The ocean was freezing, with temperature probably around max. 16 degrees Celsius, probably less. I, however, enjoyed my moment of connection, and decided to go back to this area another time, ready to trek over the higher dunes and volcanic hills around in order to discover other beaches which were not even given names and are abandoned in their pristine beauty, yet waiting for the first sirena to reach their wet sands and sing a song of life…
On Tortugas beach these weeks, be it early morning or late night, you might encounter Richard, a Peruvian man, and his friends: a very young Chilean woman, rather a girl still, of stunning physical flexibility which she shows during her street art dance and gymnastics performances, and Juan David, a calm, young Peruvian man, perhaps still a boy, with serene eyes of hay colour, a shy smile and a quiet talk, who creates beautiful jewellery.
They are always on the beach, no sunscreen on, few clothing on, cooking fish and seafood the ocean gives them on a small bonfire, sleeping in their tiny tent or right outside under the starry sky with pebbled bed of naturaleza made up for themselves… they recycle waste and other things they find on the beaches to make dreamcatchers, and carve totems out of the wood the ocean washes up ashore. They sell their products for little money, to make the buyers happy, to share art, craft, beauty.
They are the real adventurer guys, the Thoreau-like representatives of voluntary simplicity (or voluntary poverty if you wish), believers in freedom and the existence of souls…
Indeed, if one day soon (as you never know where these people get blown with the next blast of wind) you take a stroll along the main beach, stop and talk to these people whose dream catching is not about living a high-standard comfortable life, neither travelling the world as a flashpacker, nor being a well-established, successful and admired part of the system of status symbols and fame… they might change your approach to life in a significant way…