I managed to get a few hours shut eye at our hostel after the beers that me and Andy had at a little rock bar in Quito before commencing the long haul to meet niggz in Cali southern Colombia. Quito is a famous city in Ecuador as the equator runs directly through. You can go to a tourist site and visit the "centre of the earth" where you can apparently balance spoons on their end from a higher gravitational pull toward the earth. Interesting but I was prepared to sacrifice to get into Cali and begin the adventures with Luke. Sucked saying goodbye to Andy, and it kind of felt like I was bailing him, but he wasn't ready to leave as abruptly as I was. Absolute ledge , knew id miss him.
I left at around 7am and got a cab to quitos bus terminal. I got the lady at the hostel to write down for me the name if the cities I needed to pass through to make sure I was getting the right buses. There was at least 4 towns written down and I was conscious of not f***ing it up. I didn't really have any problem at the border cross. Young kid came up to me and direct me in the right direction of immigration and took me to get the right bus ticket and exchange money into the local currency so I bought him a bag of mangoes for the helpful gesture.
The journey all up was over 22 hours door to door I'm pretty sure. Arriving at 5am at the hostel and greeted by niggz at reception was awesome !! He heard me checking in as he was just getting to bed after having been out that night. Had seen the bloke once in 2years so had so much to catch up on !! Niggz didn't sleep we had a few beers and just stayed up. What a laugh! Was so great seeing him ! Trading stories and talking rubbish I knew i was going to have the sickest time with niggz and create some of our own awesome memories.
Our first day together we spent with a California lad named drew at the Cali zoo. Arguably one of south Americas best zoo's! Had a few beers and walked around still catching up.
Got back in touch with jenny smale and zac seaborn. They came around the following afternoon I think it was and Jenny had a bit of a proposal for us. She had been enquiring as too how we could to a ayawaska ceremony with a sharman. Ayawaska is one of the worlds most hallucinogenic medicines capable of apparently curing numerous diseases and reportedly enabling those who part take to a life awakening or even an outer body experience. Sounded pretty wicked to me, and although I'd never been one for hallucinogenics I thought if I was ever going to dabble a traditionally spiritual ceremony with a legit sharman in southern colombia would be an outrageous chance!
Part of the preparation for the ceremony is fasting; to allow the ayawaska to have maximum affect on an empty stomach. This kind of changed what I was originally planning for me and luke but we were both pretty interested. I heard stories from people id met saying they had done ayawaska and it was pretty insane. So we ended up just trolling the city for a few days and went to the movies one night to see iron man 3. We all fell asleep for the last third. Felt as though it was a bit of a anti climax for niggz starting his travels not being able to drink let alone eat but knew this would be the last chance potentially in my life to take party in this type of ceremony. There was a crew of 6 of us that got picked up by the sharma and and taken to his home. It was really beautiful and in a cool location surrounded by loads of bush. The sharma was some super spiritual Dutch guy - a little creepy but very passionate about his ayawaska.
Lights a camp style fire , explains the whole process before preparing the drink. Was pretty intense and was interesting to say the least. Certainly didn't affect me to the extent that id prepared for but was still a totally unique experience and a bit of a laugh afterwards. I'd possibly try it again but in a more authentic environment, supposedly places around Bolivia and parts of the amazon are where people have the most successful side affects.
Cali is known as the salsa capital of Colombia.... Couldn't of cared less
So after on a couple nights niggz, Jenny, zac and myself were keen to move onto solento - coffee country !