Ethiopia (14 Days)
Sep
16
to Sep 29

Ethiopia (14 Days)

St George lalibela 1.jpg

An exotic journey through the Cradle of Civilization

Ethiopia is the country known by many as the Cradle of Civilization. It is a country with the richest stories about the origins of man. The 3.2 Million year old skeleton of Lucy, and the 4.4 Million year old remains of Ardi are both from Ethiopia. As well as the relatively newer stories about the first modern humans emerging from this part of the world about 200,000 years ago and spreading into Europe and across the rest of the world. All of these stories and the ones that cover the last 2,000-3,000 years make Ethiopia filled with rich explorations of man’s evolution, belief systems, as well as life itself and consciousness.

Our tour in Ethiopia, will take us on a journey through time as well as the grey areas between fact and mythology and the cross roads of many major religions. We will see how this country is connected with the Queen of Sheba, King Solomon of Israel, and their son Menelik 1st, who brought the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia in 950 BCE.  We will visit some of the amazing rock-hewn Christian churches of Tigray, some with histories dating back to the 3rd and 5th century CE, and the incredible monolithic churches of Lalibela that were carved out of living mother rock, and an ancient pagan temple that predates all of these. 

This country is also filled with plenty of natural beauty; we will see hippos, crocodiles and zebras as we explore the sacredness of the Lake Tana and the origins of the Blue Nile River.  Even the ancient Egyptians, classified Ethiopia (“Punt”) as the “land of beauty and plenty”. Egypt’s Queen Hepshutsut at multiple times sent legions of boats and merchants to trade for the riches of frankincense, myrrh and exotic animals. Still today, in the markets, we will see huge bags filled with these incenses that were once worth more then gold. We will journey deep into the Simian Mountains to see Gelada Baboons, Walia Ibex and if we are lucky some Caracals.

 The beauty of Ethiopia will be all around you on this journey, whether you are looking at the centuries old wall and ceiling paintings, or marveling at ancient buildings carved out of solid rock, or tasting healing honey from the sacred bees that live inside a temple, or listening to groups of monks chanting in ancient G’eez, or making your own coffee pot from river clay, or cooking enjerra over an open fire.

The experiences we will have on this tour are all designed to help us explore who we are and to help us grow. Ethiopia may be the Cradle of Civilization, however I see it as the Cradle of Consciousness, this is the country where the energy of the universe created a quantum leap in humanity’s history, as if a true fingerprint of God energy was left here.

One thing I know is that this country needs to be seen and experienced, to be believed. Join us on this amazing journey into the Cradle of Humanity.

Love- Malcolm, Loretta and Scott 

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*BOOKINGS CLOSED* Mongolia (14 Days)
May
27
to Jun 9

*BOOKINGS CLOSED* Mongolia (14 Days)

A Journey into the mysterious wildernesses of the Mighty Genghis Khan.

Mongolia, what can we say when Marco Polo summed it up really well in 1324, "I did not tell half of what I saw, for no one would have believed me". 

In the 1200’s, Mongolia was the home of the greatest Empire on the planet and across all of recorded history still ranks as the 2nd largest empire that ever existed. It stretched from as far west as Egypt across to Korea and from far into Russia down deep into China.

It is a land steeped in not only in rich history but also in a unique permutation of Shamanism, Buddhism and Tengrism. On this tour we are going to explore the depths of all of these, and see how this incredible crossover creates an exciting experience of learning how we can incorporated a variety of belief systems into our own world and have them fully functional within our life.

Monks, Nuns & Hot Springs

Buddhism in Mongolia (starting in the 1500’s) was relatively recent in comparison to Tibet, India and Nepal. Yet Buddhism became the major religion with the assistance of the Chinese Ming Dynasty, so much of what we will explore in the way of Monasteries and temples here will be the Chinese version of Gelug Buddhism.

As we spend time in these monasteries (some dating back into the 1600’s) with the monks, nuns and Lamas we will uncover a very unique cross over of where Buddhism was added on top the Mongolian’s earlier connections to their Shamanistic and Tengrist traditions, rather then what we see in other parts of the Buddhist world where the religion usurped or was totally separate to Toher beliefs.

Whether we are exploring the Tuvkhun Monastery at the feet of Orkhon falls, the hot springs at Khangay or spending time with the monks at the 400 year old Zaya Gegeen Monastery at the White Lake, we will also be experiencing and connecting with the unique customs of these people and learn how they live and exist in harmony with their environs.

Living with the Nomadic Mongols

The Mongols from the beginning of history are nomadic people, and they still exist in many ways the same today, numerous houses in the cities are Yurts, and the people in the outer regions could pack up and move across valleys and over mountains within a few days.

On this tour we will truly exist in nomadic fashion spending time with the locals, sharing their food and hospitality, staying in Yurt camps and Gers, we will travel on horses and in 4x4s across rocky terrain. 

A Mystic Journey of Ancient Shamanism

And as we get closer to the Blue Pearl of Mongolia, the stunning Khuvsgal lake, we will be able to go deeper into the shamanistic practices of the people at the Southern foothills of the Altai Mountains, and learn what the origins of all their beliefs are based on, Tengrism, the central Asian belief system that every animal, every plant, every aspect of life has a god energy, that the sky and earth are living energies, and to be alive is to know and connect to the god energy of everything around you, and live as one in the very flow of nature itself.

Love,

Malcolm, Loretta and Scott

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Myanmar (14 days)
Oct
15
to Oct 28

Myanmar (14 days)

A striking Journey in the Land of Golden Pagodas and unspoiled beauty.

Myanmar is a country rich not only in precious stones such as jade and gems, but rich in its ancient and the relatively untouched cultures of what was at one time the very epicenter of the largest empire in south east Asia.

Myanmar, formally known as Burma, has a history dating back some 400,000 years, of which cave paintings from before 6,000BCE displaying the life and times of the hunter-gatherers well before any thoughts of the modern world issues that cause issues as this relatively untouched country grows to meet modern world standards.

Floating Villages & Tattooed Faces

All though Myanmar is primarily Buddhist in religion, our journey crosses many different ethnicities ranging from the Bamar people living in the incredible valleys of the Irrawaddy River, through the Intha and Shan peoples of Inle Lake that live in floating houses and row their boats using their legs, to the edges of the Bay of Bengal and the tattooed faces of the Chin people.

Each unique and amazing in their own ways, each living in harmony with the distinctive environment that has shaped their lifestyle and belief systems, each filled with different sorts of wisdom from which we can learn about our own world from a very different point of view.

The Rainbow Tapestry of Life

Our journey will take us into many Buddhist monasteries and temples. There are countless numbers of temples in Myanmar, as an example there are over 700 in the city of Bagan alone, many are centuries old and most are tipped in gold. And some of these monasteries house nearly 2,000 monks and nuns, learning the sutras and living the day-to-day life same as the monks of an era long gone in the modern world.

Myanmar truly is the “Land of the Golden Pagoda”.We will have time in these monasteries to meditate and explore, to talk with the Lamas, and share in the chanting sessions, to see Buddhist artwork of the ancient Asian worlds, as well as unique woodcarvings and books made of marble. Even temples made of glass radiating the blue of the sky, the orange of the sun and the rainbow colors of prayer banners flapping in the wind.

We will explore the revered caves at Pindaya filled with over 8000 statues of Buddha and connect to the energy of this inner sanctum of one of the most sacred places in the Buddhist kingdom, and learn about the myths and legends that surround this area.

Mythological Beasts

Myanmar is more than just its amazing Buddhism and unique cultures still existing from a time long gone, it has the archeological remains of a powerful trading city of Mrauk-U. This city and these people are steeped in mythology and mystery, with stories of the people being born by the union of a female monkey and a beautiful peacock that gave birth to a mighty prince. And this prince led them across many thousands of years to where Mrauk-U became the center of trade between the jungles of South Asia to countries as faraway as Portugal and Holland.

Join us as we explore the depth of culture, story and beliefs of this incredible ancient kingdom that has for so long been lost in the past.

Love, 

Malcolm, Loretta and Scott

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Bhutan (14 Days)
Sep
24
to Oct 7

Bhutan (14 Days)

The Land of Happiness

Bhutan may be one of the smallest countries on the planet yet it is incredibly rich with unique cultural diversity, stunning Himalayan scenery, and a profound depth of people living life with a strong connection to the flow and harmony of nature.

Your journey with this mystical land begins even as you arrive as your plane twists between tall mountains, which at one point a Monastery appears seemingly meters from it’s wingtip. Landing in a narrow valley on one of the most spectacular airstrips in the world where only 10 pilots are licensed to land. 

Lamas, Nuns, and Monks

Our tour in Bhutan will take us thru the impressive peaks surrounded by jagged cliffs onto the sacred plains of Bumthang to visit a range of incredible Buddhist monasteries. You will spend time with the Lamas, nuns, and monks of these great temples which date back as far as the 13th century. Across these weeks you will discover the beauty of the Drukpa, Vajrayana and Nyingmapa schools of Buddhism with the teachings of Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava).

Throughout our tour we will be following the energy of Guru Rimpoche (in Bhutan he is venerated as a ‘second Buddha’), and his journey of spreading the lessons of compassion, love and inner strength of mind, body and spirit.

Padmasambhava

You will have the chance to hike up to one of the iconic Monasteries in the Buddhist world nestled high on a mountain ledge, Tiger’s Nest. Here we can connect to the energy of Padmasambhava and his pilgrimage on the back of the flying tigress (Yeshe Tsogyal) to Bhutan in the 8th century. And then we descend deep into the cave where Padmasambhava meditated and where his tigress hibernated.

In many of the monasteries we will be able to meditate, feel the energy of the morning chants, share yak butter tea with the monks, and experience how the temple’s energies are connected directly to the heart of the mountain.

We will explore the natural beauty of this country with over 72% of the country retaining its natural unspoiled form. You will be able to connect with this pristine nature in its raw form in the land where Animism is still widely practiced in day-to-day life, and meditate with the powers of Mother Nature at her best. 

Locals, Farms & Villages

We also get the chance to spend time with the local people in the homes, their farms, and in their villages. Their lifestyle is rich with the wisdom of living in harmony and balance with nature is normal. Your food is based on what is in season, and everything is grown without chemicals of any fashion, a country of true organic existence.

Bhutan is an amazing experience virtually untouched by the modern world and only opened up to tourism in recent years, and still restricted to very limited numbers.Join us as we explore animals such as the mythological Takin, countless prayer flags, peoples that worship gods of the mountain peaks and watery subterranean caves with conch shells and Buddhist bells vibrating with life and love. 

Love,  

Malcolm, Loretta and Scott

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Machu Picchu with San Pedro (11 days)
Jul
9
to Jul 19

Machu Picchu with San Pedro (11 days)

From the Sacred Valley to Sacred Mountains with Sacred Temples and Sacred Fountains.

The Incan empire is as famous as a piece of history can be, rich in culture, rich in spirituality, rich in astronomy, rich in archeology, rich in beliefs and rich in mystery.

Our tour starts in the very center of the Incan Empire, Qosqo (Cusco), the navel of their world. Built at the heights of the empire in the effigy of the sacred puma, it was the axis point of the four directions of the kingdom, joining the peoples of the desert, jungle, ocean, and mountains as one.

Working with the Apu's, (Mountain Spirits)

On this journey you will be surrounded by the mighty Andes Mountains, Ausangate, Salcantay, Callangate, Qullqi Cruz, Hatunriti, Hatunama and Yayamari; each revered as a Mountain God, an Apu, connecting the Incan culture solidly with the spirits of the Earth.

We will explore the ancient cities of the Inca; Saqsaywaman, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Machu Picchu; as well as many of their sacred sites, Quenko, Tambo Machay, Wayna Piccu, Maras and Moray.

Connecting to a Power Center of the World

Whether meditating at the ancient places of power, or being awestruck by the magnificent stonework, or laying your own blessings in the astonishing temples, or walking the mind-blowing Inca trails we will connect with this and the other Pre-Columbian cultures that had been such powerful forces in this part of the world for over 2000 years.  We will enjoy ample time and space as we journey deep into the ancient cosmology that made this culture great.