I was woken up to Juan Carlos calling out my name. It was 5:30 am, I had overslept. The group had started up the track while JC went looking for my room. I threw on a pair of pants, checked I had everything in my pack, made a quick pit stop at the bathroom then we were on our way.
I’m back in the mountains hiking the Colca Canyon for three leisurely days. Today I hiked four hours to a little village nestled in a valley with sheer cliffs on one side and green terraced farmland on the other.We started the morning with a 3am pickup then three hours in a mini bus from Arequipa to the Colca region and the world’s second deepest canyon (after the Grand Canyon in America) and the home of the world’s largest Condor which can be seen floating on the thermals rising up from the canyon as the sun heats up the rocks.
The Inca Trail trek was magical. 4 days hiking up and down breathtaking mountains and enjoying the company of not only the other guests in the group but also the guides and support crew.
After a long week in the jungle with a very restrictive diet and some hard ceremonies at the Ayahuasca retreat, it was time to recover, indulge in some tasty food and laze around on the streets of Iquitos. Most of the street shots are taken with my lovely Contax G2 film camera and Kodak colour film.
We’ve just finished the flower ceremony in readiness for my third and final ceremony in a few hours. I’m both determined and nervous. The scars from the last ceremony are still fresh but there is still so much more to learn. I hope that tonight will bring me what I need in a form that I can understand and not be overwhelmed by.
Today will be ceremony number 2. I view my first ceremony as a failure so I’m determined to make this one a success. I’m now very specific with what I want out of it and will be focusing and meditating on that objective throughout the ceremony.
Finally I met our Currandero Percy Garcia. He asked about why I’m here and what I want out of Ayahuasca. He doesn’t speak English but his friend and assistant was there to translate. We’re about to have a flower bath ceremony in readiness for tonight’s ceremony. I’m now nervous as hell. But I guess that’s part of it.
A 6am flight up to the north of Peru into the tail end of the Amazon jungle. A taxi meets me at the airport in Iquitos (ee-kee-tos), after a 45 minute drive on a bumpy jungle road I reach a tiny roadside village. The taxi driver charges me a ludicrous amount for this part of the world – 80 soles ($30 AUD), my heavy bag is given to a local guy who then leads me on a 30 minute walk straight into the jungle and to the DAS Ayahuasca Center.