Over the last year I have been following the most fascinating travel blog: Sirensblog. Since 2002, Sirensong has been traveling throughout India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, studying classical dance, learning languages (she is proud of the fact that she can "read street signs and argue (successfully) with taxi drivers in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, French and Nepali"), and recording her amazing journeys in her blog. Her photographs are extraordinary -- some of her work has appeared in Trekshare and Lonely Planet as well as other travel websites. Check out the entries from January 8 to January 17, 2006 which covered the Tibetan Kalachakra Ceremony, with his Holiness the Dalai Lama. The photographs are splendid.
Sirensong's blog shares the good, the bad, and the decidely ugly of hard core travel. (Her post on the litany of weird and scary ailments that have plagued her in India is enough to keep even the most intrepid traveler home next to the medicine cabinet.) Reading her blog reminds me constantly of a famous quote by Pavese about not only the tribulations but also the almost mythic nature of travel itself:
"Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off-balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things -- air, sleep, dreams, the sun, the sky -- all things tending toward the eternal or what we imagine of it."
Additionally: for more information on the Kalachakra Ceremony and all things Tibetan, do visit the Norbulinka Insititute.