From Cusco to Amazonia
Before I thought about separating the Amazonia and Ayahuasca experience.
But somehow they are intertwined hence I can’t omit one from another. I always wanted to travel to Amazonia and stay there for a few days. When I was 19 I traveled the Philipinnes and met Otman – one of the most inspiring people during my travels. He told me back then about Ayahuasca and since then I always felt like I wanted to try it.
Ayahuasca is a brew made out of Banisteriopsis caapi vine, which is in the amazonia, and other ingredients. Traditionally, shamans and indigenous people use the brew as a spiritual medicine in ceremonies. It is also called ‘vine of the soul’ because the indigenous believe that souls inhabit the vines. I don’t regret for one second that I did this rite with the shaman in Amazonia.
First of all, after my Salkantay Trek we took a flight from Cusco to Iquitos. This is the cheapest way to get there. Anything else will cost you time and more money believe me. Save your energy for different things. In Iquitos you can easily get from the airport a tuk tuk to town for 5 or 6 Soles.
On the first day we search immediately for a company to do a tour with. Also the sticky air of Iquitos was not very welcoming. On the next day we would spend 4 days deep in the jungle sleeping in a lodge surrounded by water. No chance to escape. Seriously.
4 Days & 3 Nights in Amazonia
So what did I do for 4 days in Amazonia? Basically, you will have a boat tour in the morning, afternoon and evening, sometimes even a night tour. The first 2 days I was so excited to see all the wildlife- the last 2 days I still was but my butt hurt so bad sitting all the time in this little tiny wooden boat.
The experience got even better because at night I was stabbed by the coil spring of my antique bed. I tried not to shower the first 2 days but gave up on my third day. Let’s say you will cherish an abundance of stuff once you return back to civilization. But the food they cooked was just incredibly delicious.
In 4 days I have seen more wildlife than in the last year of my travels. We saw different monkeys, birds, spiders, sloths, caimans, pink and grey dolphins and so much more.
Don’t forget your binoculars like we did and enjoy the ride. In average we sat 8-10 hours per day in the boat watching wildlife. I am not going to lie, it is just astonishing to see all the life out there.
But for someone who is very active, it was literally a pain in the ass to sit 10 hours on this little boat. My favourite leisure activity was fishing for piranhas. You are more or less trapped there and if you are not the strongest swimmer, there is no way to escape. We had a chance to swim in the Amazonia River around our water lodge. But I asked myself many times where our defecations will be flushed away.
Anyone want to swim? – Not me. Two Dutch girls did and they got skin rashes.
Ayahuasca on the last Night
I did the ayahuasca ritual on my last night in Amazonia. Therefore the shaman traveled all the way from his little indigenous tribe to my lodge which took him 1 1/2 days. Nowadays, people try to have a spiritual experience or a health treatment to get rid of their addictions through Ayahuasca. Some people even stay for weeks and months in Amazonia to do this special treatment.
I decided for myself to take Ayahuasca for the spiritual aspect. Before you start the ceremony, you should abstain from sex, eat bland food (no salt, no sugar, no oil), not smoke nor drink alcohol for at least a month. All the conditions except for eating no sugar was easy for me. I did it and felt clean before I even started to drink it.
The last night of my stay in Amazonia he came at 9 pm. We took the boat and rowed deeper into the jungle to stay in a small lodge. Just two mattresses, some chairs and a toilet were in this lodge.
After putting a protection spell on me and saying a blessing in Quechua I started to drink the brew. Boyang (my friend) and our Amazonia guide came with me as both friends and spectators.
I felt pretty bad for them, because after drinking the brew I was gone for 4 hours. For an outsider looking in must be pretty boring. I drink and lie down for the next few hours. Not talking, not moving. Nothing.
I was in a fluster before he started the ceremony. My heart was beating fast. Which is of course normal as a mechanism to protect us? I drink, lie down, and for 30 minutes I felt nothing.
Usually – reading many reports ahead and talking to others- people tend to vomit after drinking the brew. It was not the best taste on Earth, but I could deal with it. I didn’t feel bad, hence I didn’t vomit. After half an hour I told the shaman to give me the second portion because I didn’t feel anything. Even when I drank the second cup, I didn’t vomit. The shaman told me later that I must have a very strong body. Only two words: Thanks Salkantay!
The Secret Of The Universe
Before you usually start the ceremony, you should ask yourself what you want to know through Ayahuasca. I asked to get to know one secret of this universe. I don’t want to write here a novel what I experienced. But I promise you, it was the most spiritual experience of my life.
I see colours I never saw before. I was transplanted to another world and left my body. It was truly an out of body experience while my soul in a shape of a blue light or energy was traveling to this other universe where I met my ‘master’. If you want to know more about it, you need to contact me or I would prefer to tell you the story in person. I am still speechless about this experience and it felt like I was the heartbeat of the jungle. The noises were intense and my body was connected to all parts of the jungle with its vine, flora and fauna. I would do it again the next chance I get.
The beautiful thing about this mind-blowing experience was that I was still controlling my body.
My guide and the shaman asked me every hour if I was fine. I was more than fine, I had one of the best experiences of my life. Everytime they called my name, I got back to my body and was fully conscious to respond to them. As soon as I finished answering, I traveled back to this other dimension.
Allegedly the shaman was singing and talking for 4 hours. Dancing around, but I didn’t notice it since I was gone from Planet Earth.
After midnight they took me back to the boat and we tried to row back to the main lodge. I will never forget how bright the moon was on that night. And how clear the sky was with all the stars, while howler monkeys howled and the whole jungle was breathing along with me in and out.
I got the worst hangover the next day. I woke up at 12 pm and was totally out of energy and couldn’t move much. By the way, ayahuasca cleanses the body too. I had diarrhea but I got the impression my body was more than clean the next day.
Sometimes, it still feels like a dream what I experienced. But I am sure one day and by any chance I would do it again. With Amazonia and Iquitos we headed back to Lima and had to say goodbye to Peru.
Peru was a delight in every way. It still conserves most of its traditions and the Peruvian cuisine is one of the best around the world. The nature is so beautiful with endless treks and hikes. Perfect for someone who loves outdoor activities like me. Undoubtedly, Peru is blessed with a peerless history and some of Latin America’s most soulful people.