Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Mini Break

World Championships, Road Cycling.
30 Sept - 3 Oct 2010
in Geelong, Victoria.
View from our seating on trackside.
The first four days of my mini break was spent with my man and some friends watching the road cycling world championships. Our purpose for being there was to cheer on Cadel Evans. We weren't let down in anyway, as Cadel waged war on the track right up to the last lap. His 2nd to last lap was worth every effort we made to be there - it was awesome. Sadly though, things changed in the last lap. Over the weekend we saw under 23 elite men's race won by Michael Mathews, Aussie. The Elite Women's won by Giorgia Bronzini, Italy, and the Men's elite won by Norweigan, Thor Hushovd, followed in third by Aussie, Allan Davis. Cadel came in 17th.

It was beautiful weather, the atmosphere was electric at times, and the company was fantastic. Tour de France 2011 here we come!
So my next move was too say farewell to my man as he headed back to work, and I went to the beautiful region of Daylesford, Victoria for my 5 days in a vegan yoga retreat. I wasn't actually on a yoga retreat, but that's what the centre provides. I was actually WWOOFing. That is, I worked for my food and board. It's called the Willing Workers on Organic Farms scheme. I worked for four hours a day on what ever task I was given, and I had the rest of the day to myself for my mini break. Of course the work I was given wasn't too onerous and in fact very relaxing for me. I had to dust and wash down the front verandah of the centre - quite meditative.

Each day started with a walk in the village, followed by self serve breakfast - anything you wanted, as long as it was vegan (that is, no animal products like cheese, milk, eggs, honey). I then worked on my chores, frequently interrupted by others offering tea, toast, fruit salad, or fruit smoothies... my afternoons were spent, walking, reading, or at the famous mineral spa pools where one day I had the full on clay treatment and massage! One day I went to my first every yoga class and managed to most of it without tripping myself up.

In the evenings I found myself enjoying the company of other volunteers. We had all come for our different reasons, so we had much to learn from each other. I took the opportunity to learn some vegan recipes and talking about the choices we make each day about the food we put into our bodies. I soon found myself being challenged to think in more depth about food, animal products, the concept of a 'balanced diet' and my own well being. I've challenged myself to try and eat 2 days a week vegetarian (I'm not quite ready to do vegan and give up my cheese).

Here are some shots from around town... making the mini break all the more relaxing.


Chat Noir said...

The more I read about Daylesford, the better it sounds. Looks like it will HAVE to be the destination for my own mini-break some time in the not too distant future. Sounds like you have returned refreshed.

Karen said...

Looks and sounds like a great break T! I'm with you on the vegan thing - I could very easily go back to being vegetarian but vegan would be far too hard I think!