Sunday, June 15, 2014

A walk up the hill

Since I've been here at Aranya Bodhi (almost 6 weeks now) I've had people ask about photos of this place, wondering what it looks like, and such. I had my camera down here (the kitchen) yesterday because of the blue flower photos, so I thought I'd take advantage of that and do a photo 'essay' of the walk up the trail to my kuti.

On the upper part of our property, called the 'saddle'. The flags guide visitors down the hill. My kuti is to the left, just opposite the flags.

A look down the hill from the flags. It's a winding road, so you can't see far. This is the road I walk down every morning in the dawn light.

When you drive down the hill, this is the first sign of 'civilization' you encounter. We call it the upper landing. On the left is the yurt that is used for a temple, meditation and other activities. On the right is the kitchen, where I spend much of my time. The road on the left spirals downhill to the lower landing, where all the solar panels, batteries, satellite internet receiver, shower, laundry and many other things are located. Off to the right is parking and a privy.

This trail feeds off the upper landing and goes up to the saddle. It's called the spring trail.

Not far from the landing is this barely discernible trail that leads to a kuti. I would have opted to stay in this one, except that it has a wood stove rather than a gas heater. I love that it's so close to everything, but also very private.

The terrain and scenery varies greatly as the trail winds uphill. And this is uphill, even though it doesn't show that so much in the photo.

This is the the spring that is tapped at the base of this tree. It supplies all our water, in great abundance.

This bridge is not too far above the spring. At the top of the steps, a trail leads to the right to Ratana kuti, which I also like very much. To this point, the trail is a delightful walk through the forest.

This is where it starts to get hard! From Ratana kuti up, it's a grind and these deep steps are only the beginning. Hard for old bodies like mine to manage.

A good bit beyond the steps -- my kuti, at the top of the hill. You can see at the far right where the trail continues and reaches sunlight.

Emerging from the trail, this is the top of the property. The flags are behind me. When this road emerges into sunshine, in the distance, it takes a right turn to head downhill once again and off the property. I play a 'fool the mice' game every day, move my car from this spot to a spot in the distant sunshine. Does it work? Hard to tell, but I haven't seen any more signs of mice in the car, so hopefully they are not in hidden places, either.

This is the view from the nose of my car where it's shown in the above photo. Somewhere off on this sunny spot is where they hope to someday build a permanent structure, with electricity, indoor plumbing, all the comforts of home.

At the other end of the road in its second parking spot. This large field is full of waving grasses and wildflowers.

 From the car looking up the hill to the top, where the ancient stone stupa is. There's a trail leading up there, but it's overgrown and can't really be seen here. The stupa shows as a pointy white object at the top of the meadow, just left of center. Hard to see.

So that's the tour. Hope you enjoyed.

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