Lima - Day 95-97
Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
254Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Hitchhiker's Backpackers Hostel
Woke-up this morning feeling mentally and physically on top of the world. I think the Ayahuasca has cleansed my soul and the violent vomiting has detoxed my body. Haven't felt this good in months!! The Ayahuasca's psychotic effects have completely vanished, thankfully! Thought I might be seeing none existent people and hearing voices in my head for the rest of my days.
I walked to the sea front in Miraflores and watched the early morning fog roll in from the pacific, it's a stunning view from high on the cliffs. The fog cleared quickly so I thought today was the perfect day to explore Lima. I headed for the central district with it's beautiful colonial buildings. I walked most of the 7km from Miraflores to Plaza de Armas in the centre. Surrounding Plaza de Armas is some of the prettiest colonial architecture I've seen on my travels in south America. There's example's of exquisite 16th and 17th century Spanish colonial architecture everywhere. I wandered the cobbled streets for hours enjoying the temperate pacific coast climate, it's so nice to be away from the humidity of the Amazon.
The French guys arrived in Lima tonight from Iquitos and we had a chat about our shaman experience. I think the experience for the guys was in many ways a lot more intense, they widnessed the shamanic strangeness without being under the influence of a powerful narcotic. After discussing our experience I'm starting to remember some more snippets about this strange evening in the forest, maybe over the coming days more things will come to light. We disscussed my fall in the river the morning after the cermony. After falling in the river I was mortified that my PDA was broken, the shaman told me not to worry, he said it would be fine and would work later, he was right. Also my passport was bone dry inside, how can this be possible after being submerged in water? My wallet was completely soaked and I had to dry the notes, but the passport was dry! I can remember having this sudden urge to step off the wooden blank into the water. Did the shaman make me fall in the river after I refused to heed his advise to cleanse? Did he somehow protect the important items in my pockets? I really don't know, my logical brain can't explain this weird series of events. The more I begin to remember about the last 24 hours the weirder the whole experience becomes. Normally I'm a bit of a sceptic when it comes to these supernatural pagan type things, but this whole experience has proven to be unexplainable and unbelievably freaky.
The French guys also told me that the shaman didn't drink any Ayahuasca but still had visions and vomited violently just after I did. The shaman wouldn't say what he saw, I just hope it wasn't anything too bad. Probably best I don't know.
Day 96 - 12/04/09
Didn't do anything today, felt very tired and just hung around the hostel and slept for most of the day. This is really strange as I was full of energy yesterday. Maybe the Ayahuasca is still playing tricks on my body. I haven't been able stop thinking about my experience with the shaman in the Amazon. The Ayahuasca has made me think about what we perceive to be reality. I think there's a fine line between conscious and unconscious thought or dream like states. I think the human brain is far more complex than we could ever imagine and I don't think humans will ever fully understand this complex biological machine. My perception of the world is completely different to someone else's, but I can only every understand and peceive my own personal world. The Ayahuasca obviously reduces this gap between the conscious and unconscious thought. The Ayahuasca world could be the real reality, you never know!
Day 97 - 13/04/09
Once again I'm feeling very lethargic today, sat in the park in Miraflores in the early afternoon and watched the world go by. Didn't really do anything else apart from surf the Internet at the hostel and get ready for my departure tonight.
In my opinion Miraflores is not the real Peru, the clean affluent streets with swish apartments feels more like a rich European city. Certainly doesn't feel like the capital of one of the poorest nations in South America. Although Miraflores feels like a bit of a contradiction, I do really like the place. It's safe, close to the Pacific and it's generally a nice place to be. Maybe I like Miraflores because it feels so close to the world I've been accustomed too for most of my life. Although my past comfortable life has now been substituted with my simple nomadic lifestyle, which to be honest I infinatly prefer.
Tonight I caught the bus to Huaraz in the Cordillea de los Andes. The town sits at a dizzy 3100 metres and I hope to do some trekking amongst the numerous 6000 metres peaks which surrounds the city. I caught a cab to a run down bus station in central Lima, looks pretty dodgy to be honest. This is more like the Lima I was expecting to see before I arrived in Peru's capital, the opposite end of the spectrum to Miraflores. I wondered why my bus ticket was so cheap when I bought it a few days ago. I now know why after boarding the rather tatty uncomfortable bus. No problem though, it's only a 9 hour journey which is stones throw away compared to the bus journey's I've taken over the last couple of months in Brazil. A few hours after leaving Lima the bus started to climb the western slopes of the Andes. I could see the silhouette's of the mountains in the moonlight, I'm finally back in my natural habit!! I was checking the altitude on my GPS and in the early hours of the morning we reached 4200 metres, that's sea level to over 4km in the sky in just 4 hours. Think my head might be a little dizzy in the morning after such a quick ascent. Any acclimatisation I build-up on Aconcauga has now been lost after 10 weeks at sea level in Uruguay and Brazil. I'll need to acclimatise again in the coming days, no doubt.