The Jungle, Day 1.

I got out of bed at around 8:30 A.M.

I hadn’t really slept that night, I had been thinking way too much. I had seen a lot in the past twenty four hours. Things that would never happen back home in cozy little Stittsville. However, the Jungle was a wild place, and so was this city. I had to put it past my mind and continue my journey. After all I had done everything I could. That and realistically the bus was leaving at 10 A.M. for the jungle and they weren’t gonna be waiting around, at least that’s what I thought. After I had finished packing and chain smoking three mapachos, I took a shower, threw on my clothing and boots and headed out my door to La Casa Chacruna, for the final time. I gave Freddie back the key to my room and thanked him and Gladys for having me, I promised them I’d come back and chat with them after the retreat, and headed out my front door. I started walking towards the Dawn on the Amazon which was the rendezvous point for everyone taking part in the retreat.

Upon arrival I saw my friend Rider and a few of the other guys that I had met throughout the four days that I’d been in Iquitos. I offered them all a mapacho and we smoked and chatted about life. I took a seat and met a few of the other people who would be taking part in the retreat, and my friends join me in a futile effort to make a quick sale to other tours with whom I could so easily strike a conversation with. I met Jason, a tall native Alaskan lad, Leah, a laid back free spirit lass from Vancouver Islands and Despina, A native Greek, Citizen of England, and current resident of Cusco, Peru. Despina was there as a translator between the shaman and the others taking part in the ceremonies, as she spoke fluent Latin American and English as well, she was also good friends with Andy Metcalfe, an Englishmen who is the coordinator of the Gaia Tree and Kapitari Ayahausca retreat centres.

After we waited for Andy to come back from getting last minute supplies, we loaded our bags onto the truck and hopped in, ready for our adventure. I met the rest of the group within and Andy laid out some guidelines and how the first day and ceremony were going to take place. There was Brennan, an intense (and seemingly spiritual?) Texan man in his mid thirties with a huge beard and intelligent demeanor. Brian and Darby, a very kind American couple from Oregon (Darby had eaten something bad at The Dawn on the Amazon and ended up puking in the truck while we were driving to the jungle). As well as Amy, An American lady from California I believe. We drove for around 2 and a half hours until we finally arrived at the Gaia Tree retreat (for some reason there was a sign with a different name on it, and we later discovered that Andy doesn’t own this place at all, his friend is “lending” it to him, so he gets to run the place virtually for free, and only has to pay the Peruvians there wages, meanwhile he’s charging tourists top dollar for Ayahausca ceremonies in their own currency), I mainly pass the time by reading. Upon arrival Emerson (who works at the retreat and drove us there) gives us our bags and we begin to walk to the main hut (where we will spend most of our free time hanging out, reading, smoking mapachos and talking about everything) where we place all of our belongings until our huts are ready. Andy tells us to relax, our own private tambos will be ready soon and we can put all of our personal belongings there, also our first Aya ceremony was tonight at 9 P.M. and lunch will be ready soon. I grab my smokes and a few books and head upstairs and lay down in the already arranged hammocks and close my eyes for about ten minutes. I open my eyes and everyone else is sitting in a circle just talking about why their all at the retreat. I light a mapacho. Brian is smoking some sort of marjiuana vapor (I discover later this evening that he and Darby are Growers based out of Oregon). The conversation continues for another 20 minutes or so before lunch is served; boiled eggs, rice, some sort of jungle salad and papaya. All fresh and pretty damn good to be completely honest. After that Brennan, Brian and myself helped Andy carry all the new mattresses to the tambos. We discover that there are no mosquito nets in the tambos, I ask Andy if he’s ever been here before, we laugh. I decide I’ll sleep in the moquito netted mulocka, at least until the tambos have proper netting. After that we bring all of our belongings to each of our own designated tambos (a bad idea, as mine was the deepest in the woods, and infested with termites, which enjoyed my book collection and clothing..) and went back to the main hut where I relaxed. I drank tea and read for about three hours. At around 7 P.M.

I passed out until 8:30, where I awoke to my back having been ripped apart by mosquitoes (it’s a good idea to wear strong bug spray in the Amazon). I walked over to the mulocka, put all my belongs beside one of the beds and grabbed a puke bucket. Then I lay down and smoked mapachos until the rest of the crew, as well as the shaman, Segundo(an incredible man) and his wife, whose name slips off the top of my head at this very moment, arrived. Segundo changed into his Shaman garb and began singing light hymns and smoking a mapacho. After he and his wife prepared the ceremony for about ten minutes, they poured the first cup of Ayahausca and called me over (I was sitting to the closest of the right of the shamans bed, so I drank first every single night, for six nights in a row..) Where I whispered my intention for my experience into the cup, just that Aya tells me what I needed to know at that exact moment in my life, and went back to my bed and lit a mapacho and closed my eyes. You literally need to smoke mapachos after you drink Ayahausca, doesn’t matter if your a smoker or not. The taste is so bad, and the first puff of a mapacho takes the taste away instantaneously, this is why I never seemed to mind drinking and those who didn’t smoke dreaded the ceremonies. I look and see each other individual with me in the room go forth and drink as well. I repeat my intention for about an hour and chain smoke. Suddenly my stomach begins to feel incredibly warm.That’s right about when I heard the first person purge, followed by another, and then myself as well. I puked alot. It tasted awful. I couldn’t stop sweating. After about ten minutes of purging, I felt really good and cleansed. I lay back and began a breathing practice. My forehead and my stomach were really warm. like an oven. I opened my eyes. The mulocka was swaying back and forth. What looked like a Chinese dragon mixed with an Anaconda was coming towards me, it was ethereal. It entered me through my stomach. My stomach lit up even more and I started to sweat. I drank some water, smoked a mapacho and closed my eyes.

Off to sleep I drifted.

Thanks for reading the blog guys, this was my first experience with Ayahausca and although not incredibly profound, I awoke feeling really healthy and alert the following day.

If you have any questions or wish to start a discussion please comment below.

Other than that have great Monday, and good luck with the rest of the week.

Sincerely,

Brandon!

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