Colombia
Pepino

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5 travelers at this place
  • Day182

    Mocoa

    June 27, 2017 in Colombia ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Ever since I had been to Colombia last year and the first people told me about their experiences with Ahayuasca I thought about trying it myself.
    I'm not big into drugs and the idea of loosing control usually freaks me out. But Ahayuasca is not a drug you take for the purpose to have a wild trip. You take it to connect with Pachamama and your own subconscious. The people that I met who had taken it were all really positive about it and told me it was an experience that changed their view of things. I knew taking Ahayuasca wouldn't make me a different person but I was still curious about it.
    In Medellin I met Yala. She told me about her experience with Ahayuasca and her story convinced me in the end that I really wanted to try it. She told me about the hostel in Mocoa and that she did it from there without a weeklong retreat.
    So I decided to go there and make my final decision if I want to do it or not there depending on how I feel about the place and the people around me.
    To get to Mocoa was the first adventure. I took the overnight bus from Cali to Pasto and arrived there at 5 in the morning. Not really the time to hang out at a bus station but luckily there was a minivan leaving to Mocoa right away. It took almost 6 hours from Pasto to Mocoa and at least half of the way was on unpaved bumpy roads. Once in Mocoa I went to the market to buy food before jumping on a pickup truck collectivo which dropped me at the hostel a few kilometers outside of town. Mocoa was victim of the flood earlier this year which caused a big landslide that killed and harmed hundreds of people. You didn't see much of this anymore in town but lots of people talked about it. An old men told me as soon as I got into the collectivo that he lost a family member and made other people in the car telling me their story. Unfortunately for the town this event also resulted in tourists staying away. Lots of places seemed closed even though the hiking treks around were fully intact.
    When I arrived to the hostel it was pretty quiet as well. An old lady showed me my room and said I would be by myself in the room and there was only a few other people around. I was starting to question my decision to come here. After the long travel without a lot of sleep I was happy to just chill in the hammock for a while. I guess I slept for a while and when I woke up there were more people around and I started talking to them. I had wondered how to start the topic of Ahayuasca but they actually asked me right away if I had come to take it.
    As it turned out they were going to do a daytime ceremony the next day. Usually they do it at night a lot but I was actually happy to not be tripping somewhere in the jungle in the dark. So I knew this would be my chance I only had to decide till the next morning if I wanted to join or not.
    I heart different things about the preparation for Ahayuasca. In a retreat you have a special diet for at least a week. No meat, no sugar, no salt, no alcohol, no cigarettes and no sex for a week. I asked Juan Carlos (he is the guy who runs the hostel and goes with you to join the ceremony) about it but he said the only important thing is that you didn't eat meat in the last 24 hours. I hadn't eaten meat in a few days so there was nothing keeping me from taking it.
    I still didn't make a final decision till we got in the car the next morning to go to the house of our taita (sharman). In the end my curiosity was bigger than my fear and I decided to go for it.
    Who was waiting for me to tell the whole experience here is gonna be disappointed now as this is how far my report will go here - the complete story is more for a personal conversation face to face. I will say though that it was a positive experience. I did meet Pachamama and even though I didn't have the big realization about the sense of life it did back me up in my decisions and behavior. I stayed one more day in Mocoa to process the experience before I moved on to Ecuador.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Pepino, El Pepino