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Heading out to Shakti: 1st Stop Palm Springs
Several years ago, at the Wanderlust festival in VT, Shakti was introduced to me. After talking at length to a woman who was fundraising to raise water standards in third world countries, we talked about her art work at Burning Man and how much I loved to sing - especially kirtan. She immediately said I needed to go to Bhakti Festival in Joshua Tree, CA. It was the Mecca for kirtan! I wasn't familiar with it at the time, but asked her some questions and felt like it would be the right experience for me. Ok, I will I replied! But I had no idea how or when.
That was 6 years ago. This spring I committed to help out at the Shakti festival - Shakti's sister festival in Joshua Tree CA. They were looking for volunteer help, and with my extensive volunteer experience, I knew I could be of service. So, I applied, and let it go. Not thinking of whether or not I would be asked to help, I went about my usual business and plans.
Leaving yoga at Open Doors one night with my friend Sue, I checked my email and saw that I was asked to come and help with vendor relations at Shatkti....and that was it! Booked my flight immediately (and as crazy as it may seem got a roundtrip nonstop flight from BOS to LAX for $200)! That was further confirmation I was on the right path ; )
Now the question was do a glamp it or camp it? Air BnBs are always a safe bet, but I really wanted to be immersed in all of it. Leaving the grounds at night didn’t appeal to me. I love the idea of being out in the wilderness, so bought a tent at Walmart ($25) and packed it in my suitcase. In retrospect, there is a Walmart a few miles down the street in Joshua Tree where I could have saved myself some room in the suitcase. But who knew?
When I arrived LAX, I took the shuttle to the car rental place (it is about a 15 min ride). I rented a car and drove from LAX down to Palm Springs. Knowing I would want a good night’s sleep before sleep in a tent for a week, I found a nice motel and checked myself in. It was pretty late by the time I got there, but hunger overtook me, so I headed a mile into town for a delicious Mexican dinner at Las Casuelas Original - complete with Margarita! I sat outside at a beautifully tiled table. The waitstaff & the passersby were all so kind and cordial. It felt so welcoming to hear "good evening" as someone passed by enjoying thier night. Humanity is present.
The quietness of the canyon captivated me. The air was so very still and the heat a natural extension of the environment. Although a desert, Palm Springs was aglow with flowering cacti, palm trees and the myriad of stars above. I woke up early and headed out for a walk.
I love heading out early in the moring when I travel, becuase the towns & people are just waking up. The stores are still closed and there are fewer people out and about. In this case, the sun wasn't at its highest so it was less hot as well! My morning walk ended up being a 6 mile RT walk down the street. Everywhere I looked there was somthing I wanted to photograph. A tree, a hummingbird, a super cool interior design store, a museum. Let's face it, CA is pretty sweet! At the end of the Street (Palm Canyon Drive) I stopped at a Rite Aid, to buy 2 huge Glacier Isle PH balanced waters. I crushed one in a few seconds and enjoyed the other one of the return walk home. At a cross walk, a local came up to talk with me. He warned me to wait for the crossing signal as so many cars & trucks speed around the corners. Furthermore the Palm Springs police are known to ticket pedestrians for not observing the traffic laws. That's when I knew, I am not in Boston anymore.....
Hi I am Susan, the founder & lead designer of Devotional Beads. A yogi, reiki practitioner, entrepreneur and traveler, I seek out treasures from near and far.
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