Posted on October 2, 2011 by Nik

Reflections on Peru

Photo album at FB: Amazon to Andes

… descending over the Amazonas, vistas of jungle, thatched roof, thin pillars of smoke, winding muddy river through low cotton cloud…

we land,

dismounting steel, into a welcome wave of humid heat, across hot tarmac, through tin pot airport, 3 wheel moto-taxi driver hustle and away, tearing like madness itself through the chaos of another 3rd world tropical city! Reminds me of Bankok 20 years ago. But this is Iquitos – different time, different place. Feels good. Unrestrained life at the pace of ungoverned humanity – dirty, chaotic, colourful, unconscious, living in the moment. Squinting against hot road dust, a thrilling roller-coaster ride through traffic governed only by the laws of nature – a fluid dirty dance, family of 5 on a moped cutting in as we cut through another narrow opening and close the gap, ebb and flow, seething into the largest city on earth with no outside road access. And it is a shit hole. There are some ragged remnants of the bygone colonial rubber boom era, Spanish tile, fading façades of faux grandeur, but tropical decay reclaims such structure fast.

The floating shanti market suburb of Belen however, has soul, and it’s dry season, grounded, music blaring on every corner, kids are all out playing football on opportunistic greensward mid open sewer, waiting for the next rain to sluice the skanky debris lining the edges of the living, into the mighty Amazon. [Remind me to come back and add more about this medieval market!]

We bus, boat, hike 2 hours into secondary forest, to “the temple of the way of light” a sweet enough, if shabby, over priced, poorly managed, ayahuasca retreat centre. If you’re considering doing such a thing, do it, absolutely, but perhaps not here. Go to Pucalpa or somewhere a little closer to the heart of the matter. Iquitos is mainstream ayahuasca tourism central and el templo del camino al luz, whilst perhaps having had an initial honest vision, has grown too large without being properly attended and is falling by the wayside of integrity in my estimation. Nevertheless, my experience and relationship with higher consciousness through the medicine and medium of Ayahuasca remains true and I am grateful for the sanctuary and camaraderie that I did receive there.

Disappointed to find no primary forest anywhere near…

yuh …this piece in progress…  more to follow