Sharing the wonders of travel & everyday adventures
I could feel the damp seeping through my jacket as I stumbled into the Bazaar Tent and out of the evening storm. Only minutes before, I had left the campsite fortified by extra layers of clothing and ready to face another night of wet but wonderful world music.
The tent was dark. Squinting through rain-speckled glasses, it slowly occurred to me that there was no power, only torchlight illuminating the source of cheerful gypsy music. As I crept closer to the stage, through swaying shapes and across boggy ground, I heard one of the musicians shout, ‘Everyone in a circle for a traditional Romanian dance’. And then, to my wonder, I watched as the crowd systematically arranged itself in the dark and started to move in rhythm, as the storm raged outside. All I could think was, ‘This is life’.
Despite my highest hopes for a sunny Bellingen Global Carnival experience to round off our road trip adventure last week, the skies did not comply, and instead delivered three days of sloshy rain. Nevertheless, the festival (which was seriously under prepared for the wet weather) still managed to serve up some amazing world music and cultural displays, leaving me feel culturally nourished and renewed with the idea that perhaps, a song and a dance could really heal the world.
We arrived on a mildly overcast Friday to set up camp in the festival grounds before the gates opened at 6pm. After a first survey of the festival market stalls, food stands, colourfully flagged gates, circus setups, art installations and themed stages, I started to feel more reassured that we were in for a vibrant weekend of cultural adventures.
My family and I have been going to the Global Carnival for about ten years now, using it as a meeting place between our busy and separate lives across the country. But the Carnival also serves as a soul cleanser; a place where we can dance like crazy people, chant with the Tibetan Monks, eat six meals a day, and feel absolutely free to explore the feeling of relaxation. And while this year the Carnival didn’t present its ideal sunny, dry and thriving self, it was still a lovely reprieve from the routine of everyday life.
Highlights of the festival included: