Bloggin’ From the Explorers Path
Still in the process of being updated (as of April 6, 2006):
Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 4:16 am - Antalya, Turkey
I was in a bit of a hurry when I wrote yesterday’s update. We were in the Internet cafe for a short time and I just wanted to get some info out...
It is now after four in the morning and I am awake and wanted to add more about our experience thus far.
Not mentioned yet;
I arrived on NYC the night before Christian, Dr. Rosen and I were to take off for Turkey - I arrived at my good friend (and once roommate in NYC) Craig and Erika’s apartment after 1 am and was able to meet Reily (there 5 month old baby). Christian was there with our friends Philip and Meagan - I met Philip and Meagan at Burning Man in 2005, and have from the first moment have absolutely resonated with the amazing people that they are. We all chatted and had fun till after 4 am! I thoroughly enjoyed this as the start of a wonderful trip - I love Craig and Erika dearly and as they have been with us before at a Total Solar Eclipse in Hungary - it was nice to share this time with them. Their baby carries the wonderful energy I would have expected that the two of them would have!!! created!!!
You already know from yesterday’s posting that we were experiencing some difficulties...;
It was turning into a bit of a roller coaster ride for Christian and me. When we were unable to get on the Istanbul flight - our perspective was beginning to turn less than positive...Would we be able to get another flight? Would we make it to Soulclipse for my first presentation? Would we make the eclipse at all? And at what cost?
We greeted this as a test - Christian was quick to remind me that we are creating all of this...I had been handing out my gifts of bright metallic carabiners (key rings) that say my website: www.DreamTheBiggestDREAM.com, with the statement below: Create Reality NOW!
What were we creating? This experience was to be a magical adventure - I was forgetting to enjoy each moment that makes up the entire experience.
We rose to the occasion and infused fun where frustration was beginning to take hold.
We made our way back down to the Delta ticketing line and found to very sweet agents to assist us. We debated on going to Frankfurt or Brussels to then find a flight to Turkey. For logistical reasons and because Christian and I had never been to Belgium, we chose Brussels. We would need to spend a night there after we arrived and had tickets the following day to end up in Antalya - our jumping off point for the eclipse festival. It was working out! We even ended up with Business Class seats on the flight to Brussels!! On the plane, before the door closed - I was able to e-mail the rental car company in Antalya to get a message to Dr. Rosen! It was all happening perfectly.
Christian and I proceeded to enjoy our pampered experience for the next 7 hours. Great food - extremely comfortable seats - nice flight attendants - and even a chocolate/caramel sundae with whipped cream and nuts!!!
Boy - did we know how to Create Reality NOW!
...but Reality was about ready to take a turn on us...
We landed in Brussels at 10 am and decided that we had time to go to the gate for the flight to Istanbul and maybe get on a day early instead of staying the night in Brussels - could possibly get to Antalya just hours late as opposed to a day late. We found the gate and asked to wait listed on the oversold flight. We were told that there was no way we would be able to get on and that we had no reservations for the next day, although we had tickets in our hands. We went to the Turkish Airways ticket counter to get it figured out.
We had a “challenging” interaction with the Turkish Airways agent. There was no reservation in their system - and all the flights were oversold and there was not a likely chance foe us to get to Turkey in-time for the eclipse. What was happening? We were referred to a Delta agent in the Brussels airport since we had purchased the Turkish Airways ticket from Delta - they were responsible.
The Delta agent saw that in NYC the agents had “forced” a confirmation to get us the tickets - not a common practice, yet possible to do...
We followed-up on some other leads of flights and found one seat available on a charter direct from Brussels to Antalya, arriving at 1 am. At this point we knew that our bags were still in NYC and that they would have to meet up with us in Antalya anyway...so getting direct to Antalya was the best idea. Christian and I discussed it and it was decided that I would purchase the ticket and at least one of us would get there to help Dr. Rosen with all the other details. Christian would then have a couple of different charter flights as options for stand-by tickets or would us the Frankfurt-Istanbul-Antalya flight as a guaranteed backup.
We had 4 hours to spare and decided to go into Brussels and run around a bit as tourists. As we were in the process of locking up our carry on bags, Christian and I met two very nice Japanese girls at the luggage lockers. For as long as I have know Christian, he has had a knack for attracting very nice Japanese girls...They also had 4 hours and were most interested in finding the “Chocolate Market” in Brussels - Belgium Chocolates are famous the world over! The roller coaster was again on the upside and we were riding high!
We took the train into Brussels and proceeded to be typical tourists in this wonderful city. We found some great chocolate shops and then settled into a nice outdoor cafe in the center square of Brussels surrounded by buildings from the 1600’s. The Japanese girls spoke of the Belgium specialty of mussels - so we ate plenty of them and enjoyed being in this historic environment in such good company - and although quite tired - very satisfied with how everything was going.
More chocolate - more coffee - and the Japanese girls had one of the world renowned waffles...Back to the airport to continue the adventure.
We said “Sayanara” to our new friends and made our way to the ticket counters. Christian and I were now very careful about what we said to each other as we know that these words have the power to create. We knew we would meet later that evening in Antalya - even though at that point the feedback from the charter options was slim to no chance. I went to the gate to get on my flight. I had an extra hour before my flight and made my way to the first class lounge inside with gate are with a card I have that allows me access in 450 airports worldwide...I was going to continue this experience the right way! I had access to a clean restroom, food bottled, bottled water and a power outlet to charge my computer and iPod. Life was All Good. I left for my gate and as I got near I saw Christian - he could not be in this area without a ticket on one of the charter flights - I was thrilled! He had an amazing story of synchronicities that ended with him getting a highly discounted ticket on a direct flight to Antalya (that was arriving 30 minutes before my own!).
We met in the airport in Antalya and made our way to the hotel we knew our friends Augustus and Heidi were to be staying at and that Dr. Rosen should be staying. We had no idea what to expect. We were just pleased to be at our destination - even without our luggage!
We arrived at the hotel and were impressed with how nice it was. There was one room left - a suite with two beds, lots of room and a jacuzzi tub!!! Those of you that know me well, know I have a thing for all things water...We were given a nicely discounted rate. Dr. Rosen was in as Dr. “Roach” - but we were assured that he was out for the evening (it was 2 am). I asked where he went and we were told that he took his car - GREAT - he had our car!!!
The suite was awesome as the property was full of character - stone walls and a bit of old world charm. Christina showered and went to bed and I “jacuzzed” for over an hour and was thrilled to finally lay-flat for the first time in well over 32 hours! We slept for just under 7 hours and called Dr. Rosen who had only arrived back from his evening out just 4 hours before, but was more than willing to meet us in the restaurant for breakfast. When we arrived, the man at the desk could not find Augustus or Heidi’s name on the registrar - no real surprise, as he was less than helpful for anything other that our suite...We went to the desk before breakfast and were told that they had checked out earlier in the morning...we knew that out of all the people in our experience - Gus and Heidi would show up when the time was right - their plan is to go off and do the eclipse from a mountaintop in this region and then head home - it would not surprise me if we see them!
Dr. “Roach” shared his travel adventure with us over breakfast - his stories no less exciting than ours and even at times, a bit more over the top - but that is for him to share if he choses!!!
We spent the day cruising around with Christian driving in Antalya - this is a city where red means GO and green means GO - at least to Christian and most all other drivers. We are only still here because our bags are not yet...
7 pm - We decided to take a “nap” after an early dinner...Christian called the baggage contact in Brussels and found a bit disturbing information that our bags have been making the rounds and got to Istanbul, but for some reason were now on their way to Brussels and that they would then be put on a direct flight to Antalya - NYC to Milan to Istanbul to Brussels to Antalya - these are definitely “our” bags!
They are to arrive later today (Tuesday) and we will make our way to the festival. I have my first of two presentations today at 2 pm - bags or not we will be there!!!
I do not know” when we will be back to an Internet connection - the “for sure” day is April 2nd, from our hotel with in-room high-speed internet access in Istanbul for three nights...I have a feeling I will be online prior also!
Tuesday, April 4, 2006 - 6:56 am - Istanbul, Turkey
We arrived in Istanbul on Sunday from our eclipse experience. I can hardly believe it has been a week since I wrote for this site. It is interesting that at some point being immersed in the experience takes over and sharing it becomes secondary. I will be writing more today and adding photos. But, because we leave Turkey for the US tomorrow - I want to be fully present for the rest of our experience here and will polish off this project on the 21 hours of travel coming up!
Tuesday, April 4, 2006 - 4:39 pm - Istanbul, Turkey
With less than 4 hours sleep last night...I am surprised I am even functioning right now!
Wednesday, April 5, 2006 - Istanbul, Turkey to NYC to Atlanta to Phoenix
We spent the last two days exploring Istanbul. My knowledge of Istanbul was sparse prior to this trip. We took two main tours of the city. The first was on Monday to the largest of Istanbul’s mosques and to the the Topkapi Palace. Istanbul has a rich history. With over 2500 mosques and five loudspeaker calls to prayer that echo throughout the city, I could not help but be touched by the religious nature of the culture.
The architecture is incredibly pleasing to me - the domes, arches, intricate tile, stone and marble work - captured my eye as I photographed non-stop! We saw the world’s third largest diamond - a 86 carat pear shaped stone surrounded by three rows of brilliant cut smaller diamonds. A truly beautiful sight even if you are not much into precious stones. In the same viewing area of the Palace we saw many other items adorned with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, opals and other shiny precious and semi-precious stones. I have seen other collections from cultures around the world, but this one certainly holds its own. The grounds of the Palace with trees dating back over 500 years was not difficult to imagine in its Day - with Sultans and their families and the court strolling these beautiful paths and looking out along the coast. Daily meals for 6000 and 11,000 on the holidays - the Palace area must have been vibrant and active.
Our tours were in English but to a multicultural group...we were Americans, with Germans, Russians, French, Thai, Philippine, Saudis and who knows what nationalities I have not distinguish...
Our entire trip has been this way...the two Japanese girls in Brussels, the charter to Antalya and all the Belgium friends I made, and then, of course, Soulclipse - put on by the Indigo Kids from Israel in Turkey and then all the different nationalities - We shared our experience most closely with new friends that live in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Turkey, the Netherlands, Israel, Ethiopia, Korea, France, Germany, Belgium, England, Japan and many other areas - even the US. I did not see one confrontation between people - I was always accepted and welcomed wherever I strolled in the National Park that was our home for the week. People shared what they had and welcomed the opportunity to meet new friends and to share stories of or lives and our cultures.
Certainly our countries of origin should take notice of how this works - of how all of us, as humans, just want to connect - beyond the politics that are driven by greed and stemming from deeply rooted fears.
The Missing Days;
We arrived at Soulclipse on Tuesday the 28th around 1 pm - We drove the hour or so from Antalya with no problems. We met a woman, Alex, from London, at our hotel and gave her a ride. Got our wristbands and the lineup about 15 minutes from the actual site - so far, so good. We were still without our luggage - but were told that they were arriving in Antalya on the 4 pm flight from Istanbul. I needed to get out to the festival to present Dream the Biggest DREAM at 2 pm. When we arrived at the site, we were blown away by the absolute beauty of this area. We drove into the area with the river along side of us. The location is in a national park - a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains - We were pleased to know that we would be experiencing the total solar eclipse in this environment in just over 24 hours. We were also surprised by the amount of mud. Apparently it had rained quite a bit, in the last two days - let’s see, these were the days we stayed in a suite in Antalya waiting for our bags to arrive...another example of everything working out for us - even though at the time it did not look that way.
We went immediately to find the workshop area, as it was approaching the time of my first presentation. The Healing / Workshop area was on the other side of the valley. We made our way over - through mud and past puddles. Everyone looked friendly albeit like they had been through quite a bit of mud and water in the past couple of days. Smiles and the sounds of many different languages greeted us along the way. We found the Chill-Out area first. This was a music stage with a large tented area near the banks of the river. We met some very friendly people from Dubai - very synchronistic in that Christian is on his way there in the next few weeks. I left Dr. Rosen and Christian there and went over to the Workshop area. It really is interesting because I had been corresponding with Matthew of the Indigo Kids for several months and yet still not know what to expect. What I found was an open area covered with shading type material. No walls - muddy ground - and no schedule or anything...It took just a few seconds for me to decide that I would let go of my presentation for today and focus on getting settled and my presentation in three days. I caught up with Dr. Rosen, Christian and our friends from Dubai - Amer, Christine and Gary. We learned that the main stage had completely collapsed the day before - thank goodness no one was hurt - but it seemed to have had an impact on energy of the event. There were predictions that it would be rebuilt in the next couple of days and until then, the second stage would serve up all the music. They showed us their campsite and explained why they had chosen it - there was room for us - so we gladly accepted an invitation to join them. The site was strategically positioned between the two stages - little did we realize at the time how perfect that would serve us!
Dr. Rosen moved most of his gear from the car to the site and started to get setup. At this time Christian and I decided to go to the Antalya airport to get our bags. The Dubai clan did inform us that they were also setup at an all-inclusive resort in Belek - about 50 minutes from the event and that the drive was easy and they were happy to have their camping gear setup, onsite and the availability of comfortable beds, clean bathrooms, good food (all you can eat) and just general luxuries. That was all that they needed to explain - we decided to get ourselves set the same way!
Christian and I made it to the airport and with what could be considered very little difficulty (particularly based on our recent travels) we retrieved 3 of 4 bags. The lost bag was the tent that Christian borrowed from Philip and Meagan. In all honesty - if we would have been able to chose a bag to lose, that would have been the one...just a tent - we still had my tent and all the rest of our items...
We went back toward the festival, but first stopped off at the resort that our friends told us of - Magic Life Water World - the name itself so synchronistic with our energy!!!
There was a guarded gate to enter and they did not understand why we were just showing up with no reservation or anything. At the reception we were given a rate for a suite just a bit higher that our friend’s rate - but it seemed very fair to us. We got into the room and left behind items we would not need right away and used the facilities including the shower that may have had the strongest water pressure I have ever experienced. We would come to realize that this decision was perfect for us!!!
Christian and I decided that as long as we were there and it was dinner time and the resort was all-inclusive, we should eat. The restaurant, named MAGIC - was a fabulous buffet (Dr. Rosen pronounces boo-fey). We had a great meal - enjoyed the relaxed time - and had one of those conversations that good friends do not get to have nearly enough! From the first time I met Christian, 12 years ago as we all made our way to a mountaintop in northern Chile, I knew that this was a person that I could learn much from and we would be connected for the rest of our lives. I have been proven correct over and over and over during these years. Several years ago I realized that if Christian and I were somewhere together - watch out - this was going to be another pinnacle event in our lives. And they always are!!!
We got back to Soulclipse after 8 pm - met up with everyone and setup our gear - nothing like being settled. The eclipse was to be the following day at 2 pm and we would be ready for a big first night at the festival. The music was raging and we were looking forward to exploring. While we were away, Dr. Rosen and our friends met up with Walter from the Netherlands, a friend of Christian’s that I met at Burning Man last year. It was great to see him and later in the evening catch up with our other friend from Amsterdam, Roger. They were both at Burning Man and so it seemed we all picked up right where we left off 6 months ago.
The evening was all about bounding around and meeting people and checking out the stages. I made it into my sleeping bag at around 4 of 5 in the morning - Needed to get some sleep, after all, the eclipse would be there before we knew it!
I had a difficult time sleeping - the excitement of the impending event was tremendous. Also Christian and I had been planning everything around the NASA 2006 Eclipse Book and did not realize that the times quoted for our area, were stated as “Universal Time” - So we believed that the “first contact” of the eclipse would be around 10 am - in actuality it would be closer to 12 noon. By 8 am - I was up and raring to be active. The entire valley was covered in a magical fog.
April 6, 12:26 am - Phoenix, Arizona USA
[ I have just arrived at a Phoenix hotel - 22 hours of travel today!
April 6, 8:14 am - Phoenix, Arizona USA
Well needed sleep last night - still find it interesting that no matter how tired I am -
The morning of eclipse day at the festival was definitely filled with the air of excitement. We realized at 10 am that we were off two hours on when we thought the eclipse was to begin...this gave us some extra time to eat, and just generally settle in to being at Soulclipse. We made our way over to the main Info Point and got our eclipse glasses. While there we ran into Roger and had a meal together. The food vending at the festival was very good - I was never in want for anything and met some really good people at the different vendors booths. In particular a group of Israelis that were making some really good sandwiches - I would spend several hours with them at a later day, sharing stories and perspectives on the life and how it all works. I am traveling with 400 carabiner key rings that have;
engraved on them. I am freely giving these away at every available opportunity. Not trading them - not asking for anything in return - Just a GIFT! The response has been great. People love to receive a gift with no strings attached - and let’s face it, the message really resonates with people. I have given them to flight attendants, luggage handlers, restaurant workers, festival attendees - to the people that the fabric of my life is being created from in the moments. This is the message that I carry and my heart and soul are filled by the positive response and energy I receive back.
It was getting hot at our site while Christian, Dr. Rosen and I were waiting for the first contact of the moon and sun that signals the beginning of the eclipse process - I decided to take a little rest in our tent and relax a bit...I woke up to the sound of yelling people - the first contact was occurring! I jumped up out of the tent and pt my eclipse shades on, sure enough, a little piece of the sun was being obscured by the moon. This is the beginning of the just over 2 ½ hour process - from first contact to fourth contact. Totality occurs from second contact to third contact. Totality for this eclipse, for us, based on our location, will be 3 ½ minutes.
Shortly after I woke up, Christian arrived and said that they were all setup at what was currently considered the main stage (as the real main stage was still collapsed). Part of me wanted to few the eclipse form the comfort of our camping area - I knew that there would be thousands of people out of dancing and all over the place at the main area...But I also realized that a big part of the experience for me is about the people you are with, so I opted to join everyone. The DJ Hallucinogen (Simon Posford), from London, was spinning at the main area. I knew Simon from my brother David, who lived in London for many years. Hallucinogen is one of the forefront forces in the PsyTrance music scene and a personal favorite of mine.
People were dancing and smiling and overall, just whirling spheres of anticipatory energy. The buildup to an eclipse is pure excitement - whether you have seen one before or not - and that’s without an amazing event like Soulclipse enveloping it!!!
Watching the procession of the moon covering up the sun with my eclipse goggles (actual welding goggles that I also used for the Hungary (Solipse) eclipse in 1999) was like nothing else. This was to be my fifth eclipse - and the impact of each of the others on my life has been monumental - It had taken so much planning, energy and focus to get to this moment - it was all more than worth it - tears were beginning to well up in my eyes - I look at Dr. Rosen, this will be his first, he has no real idea what he is in for...I look at Christian - we have been “here” before, he knows what to expect and his energy, which is always contagious, is even more so. Our eyes meet and our mutual smiles say it all. There is an underlying gratitude that exists in our friendship that is difficult to put into words - but it is the experiences at this level, that have cemented that for this lifetime.
As the totality of this eclipse gets closer, more people are starting to congregate, the energy level keeps rising...people just keep flowing into this area - Hallucinogen’s music is the perfect compliment to this moment - I am not a good judge of numbers - maybe 5,000 - I am not sure - my attention is focussed on the impending totality. At second and third contact, a visual effect called the “diamond ring” is created - just before the sun is completely covered, or on the other side, before it starts to come back into visibility, a bright light is visible
This is the moment when you are able to look at the eclipse with your naked eye and for this eclipse that would be safe for the next 3 ½ minutes. An emotional moment - the crowd goes wild at this point - the music had stopped sometime before this- we are all in absolute awe at the wonder of this natural phenomenon. The skies are dark - it is colder, but you do not notice this yet...the corona is brilliant - I have never seen a photo that could capture it the way it really looks - I remember why I am here and why this is such a meaningful experience for me - there is a primordial aspect to all of this that transcends our daily lives and, while being somewhat unexplainable, connects me to something greater - the Universal Force of all that is...There are tears in my eyes - I am in a moment of intense appreciation for who I am, what my life is about, and all that is.
I look for Christian and Dr. Rosen - they are right near me - we pose for a photo together in the “shadow” -
(below - is the actual diamond ring from this eclipse at third contact)
After this, it is no longer safe to look directly at the sun - the music starts up - people are embracing, dancing, screaming - the physical energy release at this point is primal and tribal at its core. I kick it up a notch and allow my energy to release what no longer serves me as I become one with the amazingly powerful energy that this group consciousness is creating - right here and now. This lasts for an unknown amount of time - as we have just watched day turn into night and back - time seems to become less “real” - it is all about feeling and the music and people. In front of the stage as I am dancing a person hugs me and puts glitter on my face - I do not realize till later that it was slathered on my sweating face as opposed to the sprinkles I thought I received.
I carry this look for the next 14 hours, until we make our way back to Magic Life (how appropriate), at 6 am the following morning to get cleaned up and get some sleep.
More to come...