As I sit on the bus travelling through the lush fields of KZN returning from the 5-day retreat swimming with the wild dolphins of Mozambique, and with plenty of time to reflect on the retreat, I am more than aware of my deep gratitude regarding life and all it has to offer while writing this newsletter.
I am again writing about a subject that is not only close to my heart but also one which inspires me to keep on working with animals and raising awareness regarding animals and nature in general.
We met at King Shaka airport in Durban, early on Friday and headed off on our trip. As always we all have one common interest….dolphins. Somehow the activity seems to attract various interesting persons and personalities. The common thread, a love of animals/nature/the ocean and a need for me time -A time of rest, reflection and relaxation. We got all three and so much more.
Our accommodation at O Lar Do Ouro was as per usual an absolute pleasure – accommodation simple, clean and welcoming. One of the return retreaties said that she felt as if she was coming home. I can’t find words to better describe arrival and staying at the lodge other than “home from home” -the owners and staff always welcoming, warm and hospitable. No request being too much or carried out with anything but a smile and the staff are exactly the same, happy and willing to accommodate all our requests. The 3-course breakfasts and dinners were nothing short of magnificent and no dietary needs unmet. All the food served was fresh and tasty – real home cooked food served with pride and clearly cooked with love.
Then to the focal point of the retreat….swimming with Dolphins. As per usual Dolphin Encountours remains my company of choice. Angie Gullan the dolphin lady of Ponta, ever ready to guide, teach and support her clients. We were taken through our snorkel practice with dive master Mat - his sense of humour always leaving us with a laugh.
Due to poor weather conditions we were unable to launch on day one but this allowed time for other activities like yoga and meditation. Most people were unfamiliar with Kundalini Yoga so the sets chosen by me were simple but each in its own way good exercise together with healing on all levels - Mind, Body and Soul all being stimulated by practising this ancient form of yoga. Each day we practised some yoga and meditation.
On day two when the weather had cleared, we were blessed to have amazing conscious interaction with the dolphins. A large pod of dolphins choosing to interact with us for what seemed like hours. In fact, I find that time hardly exists when in the ocean with our finned friends. The experience left my clients and me with a combination of emotions ranging from sheer bliss to absolute humility - the latter always being my own emotion. These magnificent beings not only allowing us to be in their own space but also choosing to swim back, again and again, to share their special magical energy and healing with us earthlings. Whilst on the boat we were entertained by Flying fish (not in a bottle) shooting through the air. Such a delight to the eye and when one of the little fish landed in the boat it was met with many a ladies squeal. I remain eternally grateful for the dolphins for their trust and willingness to engage with us.
One of the other encounters came with a magic of its own. Our skilled skipper Mitchell dropped us off in front of a pod of dolphins. We lay on the surface of the ocean and looked down into the water as 40 plus dolphins silently moved through the ocean beneath us. What an amazing sight and one never to be forgotten.
Over and above snorkelling and swimming with the dolphins, some us of experienced a lesson of scuba in a swimming pool with a local company called Gozo Azul - Thank you Tobi for your patience while practising in the pool and assistance while in the vast ocean.
For the two of us who decided to continue the scuba adventure in the ocean, we were blessed to see the most magnificent marine life - shoals of fish in colours that only the imagination can comprehend, little sea creatures living at the bottom of our oceans, getting on with life in their own way. A magic that few humans get to experience.
Back on terra firma we enjoyed rides to the village centre and beach on quad bikes provided by the lodge. Since the lodge is a little way from the beach, hopping onto a quad bike makes life easier and so much fun.
In our spare time we shopped at the local stalls and enjoyed massages on the beach and at the lodge – ending our day with drives to enjoy magnificent view point’s whilst enjoying a sunset drink, followed by a dinner delight.
There was also plenty of time to relax and enjoy much-needed rest. As we boarded the plane to head back home I felt deep gratitude for all that we experienced. I wish to extend my thanks to all my guests. Thank you for being such fun and for embracing the adventure and experience with openness and trust.
I will be offering my next not to be missed retreat to Ponta from the 10th to the 15th of August (almost fully booked) and again in October from the 12th to the 17th.
Book with Debbie: firstname.lastname@example.org