Here at Hero & Leander we are USA mad. There is something so compelling about America and we are continually drawn back but if we could only visit one state for the rest of our lives it would most definitely be Arizona. So when we heard that the nomadic sensation that is Restival will travel to Arizona this September it was like a dream come true. Following the incredible success of Restival in the Moroccan Sahara last November, Restival Arizona is working closely with noted artists, sweat lodge leaders, and community leaders of the Navajo Tribe to create a one-off opportunity to experience their ancient culture, heritage and wisdom.
For those of you unfamiliar with Restival, it is a cultural fusion of a retreat and a festival all bundled into one spectacular experience. A key aim of every Restival is to highlight ancient – sometimes forgotten – cultures and traditions, and to enable people to connect with nature and the land. Restival’s camps are small and intimate affairs, so the experiences are exclusive. Restival founder Caroline Jones says, “Restival is designed for those who want to dance, drum, write, rest, practice yoga, listen to ancient stories, create art, connect with the earth and experience indigenous cultures, learning their ways without WiFi and switch off from the ‘always on’ culture. Guests stay in an eco-lux camp on unspoilt landscapes, so they leave with a greater understanding of what it is to embrace rest, with a new layer of creativity and a new set of friends.” Here at Hero & Leander we think the idea is brilliant, simple, but brilliant- the best ideas often are.
Now you are a little more clued up on what Restival is all about let’s get back to the latest Restival Arizona experience. The setting for Restival Arizona sits within the four Sacred Mountains that define Dinetah, the traditional Navajo homeland. This gateway looks out over a vast panorama that includes the Navajo Nation and Hopi mesas, as well as its nearby neighbour, the famous art installation – the Roden Crater. Rise and shine in a Navajo Tipi to the changing colours of the Painted Desert to the east; then watch the sun set behind the Sacred Mountain of the west, Dook’oo’sliid, also known as the San Francisco peaks. We are not sure what your idea of romance is, but for us, this completely sums it up.
Offering more than just an amazing travel experience, Restival is filled with specially curated workshops and fun activities. Unplug, unwind and restore your physical and mental equilibrium in a truly incredible setting. Above all else, embrace a rare opportunity to reimagine the world from a fresh and fascinating perspective with the Navajo.
Restival’s daily workshops always include yoga and meditation, gong baths and body treatments, but in Arizona, Navajo elders will lead traditional ceremonies such as sweat lodges and Cacao celebrations in an original Hogan – a traditional Navajo dwelling with a unique design; think mud shaped igloo. Other highlights of the trip include:
Song Bird Grandmother – A medicine woman will lead life workshops. Her healing ceremony will open your perspective on the world and reconnect you to nature
Mask Making with Zarco Guerrero – Zarco lives within the Navajo Nation and makes masks for many indigenous tribes around the world. Zarco will run creative workshops and help guests create their own masks as a keepsake
Navajo Astronomy and Storytelling – Evening tribal campfires will be brought to life by elders who’ll tell tales of the Navajo wisdom and their connection to nature. The Benally family will lead dances and songs for the celebration of the full moon and harvest with traditional Navajo music. Zarco Guerrero and his wife Carmen’s journey through the indigenous Americas music will also be performed in the evenings.
Enjoy day long juices and beers at sunset, snuggle under warm blankets around the campfire, dine on delicious, healthy and organic produce, then sleep deeply in comfy beds in tipis or beautifully decorated bell tents.
Restival founder Caroline Jones says, “We’re honoured to have the opportunity to bring Restival to Arizona this September. We pride ourselves on offering extraordinary experiences in exceptional locations, shaped by the culture and traditions of indigenous tribes, far from the glare of modern technology. At Restival Arizona there’s the chance to immerse yourself in nature, live with and off the land and breathe fresh air under pristine skies, within the Painted Desert of Arizona.”
Restival gatherings are intimate, so two run back to back. The five-day events will take place from 8 – 13 September and then from 16 – 21 September 2016. Tickets are now on sale now and start from £1,200 per person for five nights (this includes a limited 20% early bird booking discount). Tickets include five nights’ accommodation on an all-inclusive, Tipi-sharing basis (excluding flights, some additional and bespoke experiences, and alcoholic drinks which are extra).
For more information and enquiries, visit www.restivalglobal.com and register online. Restival will also visit a new location in the Sahara later this year, from 10-15 and then 18-23 November.