(For anyone wanting to read about the effects of ayahuasca, you should read my first experience with it here.)
This post is long overdue. I didn’t keep a journal while I was there which makes it hard for me to write about it especially now being that it was over two months ago. I did however film a few videos that I’m not too keen on sharing (a big reason for procrastinating this post).
I remember the first day of my trip very clearly. Getting off the plane and arriving in Ecuador. I arrived late and had to stay in Cuenca all by myself the first night.
My first trip to do ayahuasca, I was sweating bullets. I had to down a few beers before getting on the plane and even on the plane, I couldn’t escape the anxiety. I didn’t have a panic attack thank god – but the anxiety was very severe. That flight I taken to Columbia was the last time I felt deep inescapable fear without it crossing over in to a panic attack.
This time around was the complete opposite. My parents knew where I was going, so I didn’t have to worry about anyone ratting on me (yes someone actually threatened me with that!), and I did ayahuasca before, I knew the shamans, knew the people – I was relieved to go and escape life for a while. This was at a time when I massaged 8 hours a day, six days a week. I was too worn out to be scared of anything at that point.
My arrival to Ecuador played out like a fairytale. I taken a taxi to my hostel and enjoyed a quiet nights sleep before waking up early the next day having to take another taxi back to the airport.
“We’re going to the airport too. We can drive you.”
Said a seemingly nice couple enjoying their continental breakfast.
“That would be wonderful!” I proclaimed goofily.
This is what idiots do abroad – accept invitations by complete strangers. And yes, I AM an idiot abroad. They seemed nice enough though.
Before I go any further, here’s a video of when I first arrived in my hostel. I don’t recommend that you actually watch these video’s, but since I didn’t keep a journal, they’re pretty much all that I have of my trip.
I found my box of soup and it didn’t bursted like I thought it would. I was so tired that I stopped filming and started eating my soup and crackers while watching The Simpsons in spanish.
So anyways, there I was getting a free ride back to the airport.
“Where you headed?” Asked one of my new companions.
“I need to find a shuttle bus to take me to [I forgot the name of the town I was going to].”
“I’m from there! What will you be doing?”
“A spiritual retreat.”
“I’m actually going to Peru today for that exact same thing! I’ll make sure you find your shuttle before we leave you.”
When we arrived at the airport, my companion started speaking in spanish to an airport guy – not a whole lot of people spoke English there so I was very thankful.
An airport guy pointed the way to the shuttle busses.
In the email I received prior to the trip, it stated that the shuttle busses are to the right of the airport as soon as you come out of it – but as it turned out, it was a right, a left, then a walk down a few blocks – not good instructions for an idiot abroad.
The airport worker seen my confusion and offered to walk me there himself. He spoke little English but found the words to tell me that he won’t leave me until I get safely on the correct shuttle.
I hugged both of my new companions good-bye and thanked them profusely before being handed over to the airport guy.
“You shouldn’t walk alone.” He said in broken English.
“Is it dangerous?”
“During the day a little, but at night yes. Very dangerous. And what you have on…..”
It was so hot that I opted on wearing a tank top. A youngish girl with a backpack wearing a tank top – walking alone in one of the most poorest area’s of Ecuador is not a good combo.
He kept his promise and got me on the correct shuttle. Thank goodness he was there because nobody spoke a word of English.
I slept for most of the way there. I passed so many little restaurants. They were more like outdoor kitchens. Everyone ate outside on cheap plastic Coca Cola patio sets. Everything looked poor and rundown as opposed to Columbia where there was no litter and the houses looked newer.
I fell asleep watching the ramshackle houses go by and woke up a few hours later to my ears being blocked up from the effects of high altitude. We were in the mountains and I had to put on my sweatshirt, then a half hour later, I put on my jacket.
After a long five hours, I arrived to my destination with time to spare. It was the [forgot the name] airport.
I was hungry so I grabbed myself a mini pizza from the airport cafeteria and waited for my new spiritual seeking friends to arrive.
We all met up and everyone was lovely. There were Canadians and people from Jersey. One woman from Jersey had a stash of cocoa leaves that she swears heals just about everything. One of the Canadian boys was suffering from altitude sickness and been miraculously cured by the cocoa leaves. We were up 9,000 ft.
We piled into another shuttle to take us to Gaia Sagrada – way up in the Andes mountains (the longest continental mountain range in the world!). We needed a special driver because only two taxi’s in all of Ecuador know how to get there.
Basically, my arrival magically slipped into place. When I needed help – no, not even – before I needed help, there were people there to guide me. My appreciation was at an all-time high.
But after that first day, I don’t remember much. I have a horrible memory, that’s why I write.
Here is another video for you guys….
The thing I didn’t like about this particular ayahuasca ceremony is that first off, it was cold, and secondly – people weren’t allow to talk or walk around. To be able to talk and walk around clears my head from the fog you feel in the beginning of your ayahuasca experience. Without being able to walk around, I remained in that fog for the entire night.
Here’s another video: [Warning: This video is very long and uneventful. Try to go easy on me. I was exhausted and stretched to my limit.]
Nearly everyone was pissing me off that day. It was supposed to be about love!
And here’s the last video that I made while in Ecuador:
Those last few nights in Ecuador consisted of dancing with the locals, mud baths, getting shit-faced, reuniting with some of our retreat pals, getting yelled at a few times by cute Ecuadorian cops, getting locked out of our hostel at 3 AM…. I think that about covers it.
There’s a lot more that happened on the trip other than what the video’s provide, but it’s too far gone to capture it.
Now I’m laying in bed tired as hell as usual.
My Mother went on a comfort food cooking spree that lasted for about 2 weeks. Lasagna, hamburgs, loaves of meat concoctions – not a shred of veggies anywhere. Then getting bombarded with clients at work redeeming their expiring vouchers – going out a few times, my insomnia still won’t let up….
I was supposed to go hiking today but had to call it off. I need to get back to a regular sleep routine, exercise, and start eating healthy. I feel like shit. It’s 6:30 PM and I want to sleep. I don’t know how people with kids (let alone a husband/boyfriend) do it. I don’t know how people have regular jobs! At least with my job there’s light up ahead – a reprieve from work.
Starting today I can go back to enjoying the comforts of having people work for me. By next month I’ll have more members signed up to my membership program along with plans to expand. As the months move along, I’ll be working less and less. I’m working towards earning my freedom. Our innate human right.
I’ve decided to go to Thailand in December with Brianna, the girl who held my hand during the ayahuasca ceremony and told me that she loves me. We get along swimmingly and this opportunity may not happen again if I delay it.
This is not my favorite compilation. I didn’t film a whole lot while I was over there and had nothing but scraps to work with. I picked this song because it matched the mood and shamans from all over the world believe that fire cleanses everything.
I had an experience during my last ayahuasca ceremony having to do with fire, but I’m still not in the correct frame of mind to write about it. I’ve been waiting for it to come, but apparently it’s not happening anytime soon.
Too many buckets, too much stress, too much insomnia….the fall is passing by as quickly as the summer months.
It’s 10 PM. I’m going to try my hand at sleep.