Bolivia ep.2: Cochabamba & the Janajpacha Community + Copacabana

It’s been a little more than a month since my last post, and I have crossed many borders since then, to ultimately end up in the last country of my South-American adventure, Colombia, before advancing to Central America.

I spent Christmas, my Birthday and New Year’s Eve in a recluse peace-haven called Janajpacha deep down in Bolivia, on the outskirts of Cochabamba. I was semi-apprehending spending this trilogy of events, that I’m used to celebrating with family & close friends, with total strangers! But it was a great experience, seeing through some of the most important festivities of the year with travellers from more than 11 different nations, brought together in the heart of latin america. For Christmas, each nation cooked a speciality from their home country, which made it brilliantly folkloric, and made for a unique sensory experience, which wrapped up with a mystery gift exchange.

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Janajpacha is an Ecovillage-cum-Shamanic Ashram between the Andes and the Amazon  and is the most chilled out and spiritually awakening places I’ve ever been to. No drugs or alcohol allowed, and meat is off the menu, the community is vegetarian. The leitmotiv was “Todo es vida” which translates to “Everything Is Life”, which is also a Ricky Martin song, but let’s not talk about that.

In the 2-weeks I stayed there my days consisted of rising up nice and early (5:45am) in order to be on time for meditation at 6:00am, and heading off for breakfast on the sound of the bell at 7:00am, before starting a morning shift of volunteer work. We had all our afternoons off, leaving us plenty of time to read, walk around the community gardens, or hang out with fellow volunteers.

I learnt a whole lot about vegetarian diets, and how to diversify ones daily intakes, in order to divert away from the proverbial “Meat and Two Veg” that most of us were brought up on. Roots, leaves, flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables in a myriad of tones spanning across the whole color scale made for beautifully balanced meals, to make your taste-buds dance in a waltz of flavours.

My digestive system also thoroughly appreciated the new-found consideration It had been granted, and thanked me in many ways, that I needn’t describe here.

It was so enjoyable to have 2-weeks of just reflecting back on what I had done up until then, and contemplating my next moves, while floating in the “now”. A truly enriching experience that I would be willing to renew anytime!

+ a few pics from Copacabana:

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