The Eco Yoga Park is a Hare Krishna run, organic farm and yoga retreat two hours from the centre of Buenos Aires. There’s approximately 10 full time Hare Krishnas and at any one time, twenty or so volunteers – I use the ‘volunteer’ term loosely as they charge $15US per day. For this you get accommodation, three pure vegetarian meals a day, two classes of yoga and four and half hours work in the garden, kitchen or house building, each day – being pretty much the only guy there for the last several days I’ve been toiling in the garden and to be fair thoroughly enjoying myself.
Having been here for 10 days now, we’re fully immersed in the whole set-up. Our day starting at 6.20am, which is when we begin our days’ work; the temperature during the afternoon is much too hot to do anything so we crack on before the sun rises. The garden at this time of the morning is a fantastic place to be – the fields are covered in a low lying mist and what with the sounds of the various farm animals and birds singing is a great way to begin the day – apparently the Krishna’s start the day with a couple of hours chanting in the truly, this is from 5am – we’re yet to make that gig!
Maria the Head Gardener / Slave Driver (!) is Bolivian and she’s been working the garden for several years. She tends the garden, well, she gives us ‘volunteers’ our orders each morning – this mostly means either digging, weeding, sowing – in fact anything with an ‘ing on the end, bar loafing!
We crack on for a good hour before breaking for breakfast, generally fresh fruit with bread – the neighbouring farm is a dairy and they sell a litre of fresh yoghurt for $7Peso, it’s the nicest tasting yoghurt I’ve had and more so since we see the cows each day. Following breakfast, we work through till 11:30am at which time the day is yours.
Lunch is at 13:30 though just prior is our first yoga lesson of the day with our next yoga session is 16:30 – the yoga is either carried out by one of the Krishna women or one of the volunteers, and is either hectic or medative.
All in all, it’s quite cool and you quickly settle in to the swing of things, you do tend to read a lot and given the early mornings, lots of sleeping. Generally though, after the fourth or fifth day there’s an exodus from the farm as the town General Rodriguez is approximately half an hour away. The town itself is quite small, it has a couple of banks, two ice-cream shops which have very good internet connection and nearly every afternoon you’ll find half a dozen of us there, catching up with the outside world! There’s a decent pizzeria and having been working hard in the garden, an ice-cold beer!
We leave this Saturday, heading north-west to the capital of Peru, Lima. We’re there for three weeks before leaving for Asia – Vietnam here we come…