After settling down in Quito, Ecuador for a while I manage to branch out my connections to local pushers for quality mind-altering substances. We chatted through Whatsapp and he came to deliver the goods right outside my doorstep.
At first glance, he reminded me of how dope peddlers are depicted in American television and from real-life encounters; he wore a cool psychedelic pattern t-shirt under a bleach wash denim vest.
Slick back hair, a thick black hoop on his left earlobe and a silver thin chain on his neck. Discreet and cool, I consider him the ideology of a new-age hippy.
We shook hands. I would always apologize for my limited vocabulary. He took the gesture gently as he spoke in Spanish and then switched to English.
“Don’t take them at home, go to a park, it’s much nicer,” he said, sharing his opinion on the best place to drop acid. “It’s very strong,” he reassured me with a friendly smile.
I was on a quest for finding the perfect spot to let loose and let go.
Overhearing a group of backpackers talking about a lagoon in Otavalo, said to be a hidden gem by the locals. I knew right away that hiking it is going to be a ‘trip’.
Laguna Cuicocha, a crater lake near the town of Cotacachi in Ecuador, not far from the famous Otavalo Market. The islands in the middle of the clear blue lagoon are said to be in a shape of a guinea pig. It is also a ritual site for local shamans; giving it an even more mystical and magical vibe.
I got ready with comfortable clothes, fruits and snacks, some pot, and a good playlist to keep me in tune. Only 20 minutes leaving the capital from Terminal Terrestre de Carcelén, we were surrounded by never-ending hills and valleys.
As I start my hike I knew that there was no turning back from the loop, and decided to dropped acid when the time hit noon.
I could feel the air getting thinner as I struggle to catch my breath ascending up the mountains. The only focus I had was the pace of my steps to coincide with my breathing.
After an hour I still didn’t feel much difference so it was time to smoke some pot right at a viewpoint above the lagoon.
Standing at the edge of the cliff, I could feel the grounds shaking but I haven’t lift-off.
My hands were tingling and I felt funny, not like coming up on mushrooms but just a funny feeling all over. I wasn’t sure if it was the altitude or my sugar levels were low.
Every time I look up and further out, it seems as if I can’t focus my gaze. The mountains and lagoon were changing in shape and proportion. The clouds were movings at high speed and the surroundings seem unsual.
Is the acid kicking in or my eyes playing tricks on me?
It was after my second pot-stop, it started to rain lightly from the clouds as it slowly flows back into the mountains.
Suddenly the ground and everything around me was quiet and calm – the forest, the rain, and the sky. I took off my shirt and laid on a patch of grass and felt the drops of soft rain touching my skin.
As I hike further into the jungle path, I could feel the mountains breathing, the trees and leaves swerving gently as drops of rain kept falling from the clouds above me.
As I gaze out to the forest, the colors were slowing shading back and forth from dark green to bright lime.
The mountain whispered, “ask and you shall receive.”
It was somewhere mid-hike that I felt an immense rush of questioning my own existence. Time was not real, it was only then and there that I felt whole.
Feelings and emotions were scattered all over the place. Life as you take it, it happens here and now.
Not tomorrow, not until you are ready. Embrace every change and everything certain. Experience it before it all passes through.
To thy mountains, to thy sea, to thy lord above me.
I am not a religious person, but I do believe in a power greater than ourselves.
Mother nature was the star of the show and I had front-row seats. I observed her playful creations with rainbows and sunshine. I was overwhelmed by the astonishing landscape.
Even though the acid trip did not give me all the answers to the universe like mushrooms, it did give me a subtle insight into why I am here.
As for doubts and uncertainty of life in general, you can ponder and blame all the wrong things that happen in your life or you can go out and do something about it.