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Rainforest and drugs

Right in the middle of the Amazonian Rainforest: piranhas, caimans, tarantulas, monkeys, parrots and lovely Amazonian villages (and people). Part 2

The second day, after a yummy lunch cooked by Jacinto's wife, we went on a long boat ride to search for a land. A piece of land piercing from the endless flood around us. Jacinto knew where to go and not too long before the sunset we found a muddy island. And by muddy I mean MUDDY. It’s good that we bought gummy boots. It would be impossible to walk around that 20cm deep mud without ones. Jacinto and his son set up a one-night-jungle-camp. Few sticks and palm leaves cut by machete, piece of tarp to protect from the rain and a cool hammock combined with a mosquito net to sleep in. Me and Viktor slept in these hammock-and-mosquito-net-in-one and our guides slept on the ground, on a bunch of palm leaves and piece of tarp. They cooked us a great fish meal (a crazy frog jumped into the pot while we were eating from it and it boiled and died within 7 seconds) and we went to set the fishing nets. I was incredibly happy and relieved to be on firm ground (well, as firm as mud can get) because I could go and take a shit hidden somewhere in the jungle. I would never expect that one day I will be looking forward to take shit IN THE JUNGLE, because it would be more comfortable than taking shit at someone’s house. Weird but true.
In the night we went to search for caimans. Jacinto caught 2 of them with his bare hands. Yes, they were just babies, maybe 40-50 cm long (including the tail), but still it was impressive. He said that older caimans are not so patient and they cannot be caught like this. But the young ones are too curious about the light of the flashlights. Of course that after a short photo session we released them back to the jungle.

In the morning we went to collect the fishing net which we had casted the night before. They turned out to contain about 20 weird, prehistoric “armored” fish. I mean really armored. Instead of normal fish skin made of fish-scale it was made of armor, which was rough and hard. You could probably hit that fish with a hammer and it wouldn’t notice :-) But there was more than 20 alligator-proof fish in the net: 2 pure skeletons of what used to be fish before piranhas took hold of them, some 2-3 relatively normal fish (which piranhas didn’t take hold of) and finally, 2 piranhas and 2 fish from piranha family. All the piranhas and piranha cousins were still alive and they were jumping around the boat when Jacinto put them in our canoe. We checked their teeth and fuck, they are indeed sharp as razors! Now I understand how piranhas can do what they do, and I was very glad that my fingers, toes and penis did not attract them during my short swim in the river the previous day.
Back to Jacinto’s village we went and had those piranhas for lunch. I thought that they probably serve piranhas only to gringos, just for fun, but as soon as we tasted them I was proven wrong. They were DELICIOUS! I swear that god damn piranhas taste better than trout, salmon or mahi mahi! Oh my god, so good!

After the lunch we had a siesta and waited for the evening’s highlight. Before that highlight we went on a quick tarantula spotting boat trip. The hairy fuckers were found exactly where Jacinto expected them to be found, on palm leaves just at the edge of the village.

And then, at around 22:00 the highlight came. We and Viktor embarked on a ride to higher dimensions. As we asked for, Jacinto took us to a nearby “shaman” so that we could undergo ayahuasca trip. The two of us and a younger couple from San Franciso were already awaited by a 100-year-old-looking man, with just a hint of eyes left. Too much ayahuasca probably whitened out his eyes so that he now had a proper shamanic look.
First he spiritually blessed us and all the ingredients by chanting some sacred chant and blowing tobacco on us and the objects, then he handed out super strong local cigarettes without filter and we were all requested to smoke at least 2 cigarettes. Me and Viktor smoked 3, which was quite a heavy load for Viktor who doesn’t smoke. And then we were all poured some dark brown liquid and were requested to down it in a single sip. That was of course the ayahuasca. As expected, it tasted HORRIBLE. Then he started chanting and told us to wait for an hour. We were all in a tiny room with a tiny window, in complete darkness and silence and thick cigarette smoke.
Before too long we were all requested to vomit. That’s right, to vomit! To shaman's delight Viktor vomited pretty quickly and that ensured him highest honors in the eyes of the shaman. Viktor got his face oiled by something and was put to the bed with orders to “close his eyes and enjoy the dream”. The 3 of us did not feel like vomiting and that disappointed the shaman. My head was slightly turning, but otherwise I felt OK, not even high. After 1 hour of sitting in a complete darkness and silence, breathing air that contained more tobacco smoke than oxygen you would get a spinning head even without drugs. And so the shaman ordered another round of ayahuasca, “to provoke the vomiting”. Me and the guy from San Fransisco downed it, the girl refused. It worked out well for the guy, it indeed provoked the vomiting within few minutes. Shaman was satisfied. The guy got oiled and was put to bed for his private hallucinations, like Viktor before.
It was already past midnight and me and the girl did still not fulfill shaman’s wish and our buckets were still empty. The girl vomited a bit (not enough to satisfy the shaman, but at least something). The shaman said that “the two of you are little bit hard, aren’t you” decided that it’s time for ANOTHER round of ayahuasca for me. I realized that I have to start vomiting or I will end of overdosed by this medicine man. So I did my best and I tried to provoke the vomiting by my inner mental and physical powers. After while I succeeded and filled up my bucket with the remainders of the piranha and thus got save from another dose of disgustingly tasting ayahuasca. The girl followed with her own duties and shaman was finally happy. We got oiled and sent to the bed. I don’t know if it was the fact that I laid down, or indeed the purifying and healing effects of vomiting cleansed my soul and mind, or if that weird oil contained some catalyzers, but as soon as I laid down the effects of ayahuasca started kicking in strongly. My mental powers were growing. As those who did some drugs know, my brain doubled and started buzzing with unknown activity. The trip began. Sound hallucinations soon kicked it. Perfect 3D dolby sound hallucinations. And then the visual part kicked in too. No, it wasn’t anything truly ground breaking. Just geometric shapes coming and going, like a laser show. It didn’t feel too different from smoking hashish. No dwarfs appearing or jaguars crawling around me. Just nice getting high. I was sleepy but perfectly awake, enjoying the beautiful chaos and fractals produced by my brain. I felt asleep maybe after 1 hour. When I woke up in the middle of the night by brain was tripled. Fuck this IS strong I thought to myself. I was tripping eight miles high, but still being perfectly in control. Amazing.
When I woke up in the morning my sight was blurred, my head was turning 360 degrees and I could hardly walk. Viktor was fine by then. Luckily little by little the aftereffects disappeared and it was all over.

It was nice. I didn’t cleanse the doors of perception, I didn’t reach unity with the Universe, I didn’t meet Krishna. No it didn’t change my life. But it was very cool experience, especially because it took place here, in its place of origin, in the Amazonian rainforest.
Magic mushrooms, Kava Kava and Ayahuasca completed. Next please! :-)

Here is a short transcript from memorable higher-plane-reaching event - the ancient, most mysterious and mystic Amazonian rainforest ritual:

Shaman: Fuma, fuma cigarillo!
Shaman: Fuma! Fuma!!! Fuma mas!

Shaman: Toma ayahuasca. Todo!
Shaman (singing): Ayahuasca, ayahuasca, ayahuasca, ayahuasca. Ayahuasca doctorcito, cura cura fuertecito!
Shaman: Esperamos 1 hora hasta la ayahuasca empieze trabajar.
Shaman (1 hour later): Vomita. Vomita! Es muy bien vomitar!
Viktor: Bluaghhghh!
Shaman: Muy bien! Ensena me el vomito! Muy bien! (singing again)
Shaman: Marcel, vomita!
Me: No puedo.
Shaman: Toma mas ayahuasca para provocar vomito!
Me (2 hours later): Bluuaaaghhgh!
Shaman: Muy bien!
And then hallucinogenic silence for 4 hours...

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak