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Old 04-04-2018, 05:56 PM   #501
Dubnjoy000
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Re: Blog : The Yukon, Paris, Vietnam and beyond...

Passerby

San Juan, Nicaragua, February 2002. Much like it has been the standard over the lapse of this Central American trip, I have once again ran out of money. Am down to my last 30$ (even after working for 2 months in Guatemala as a chef), I still have to cover the bus journey down to San Jose (Costa Rica), pay the airport tax and then cover the public transportation once in Montreal…. But no sweat, as I have an elite plan in place : to phone my ex gf and beg for 100$. I mean, what could go wrong, right

After pleading my case to my ex - eeehhhhhhh -, I get the expected (negative) results and am left with a sentiment of dread creeping into my soul… Forcing myself back to reality, I turn towards the lady at the post office and inquire - in my very basic street Spanish, nonetheless - on the cost of the call? She instills me with the last fatal blow : the call adds up to 10$, essentially cutting my life roll by 33%. I fracking lose it on the lady, mustering whatever espanol words I can, because, you know, life is permanently on the verge of collapsing and hellish are the f**king existential tides lately : my ex, this heavy depression of mine and a feeling of abandonment in a foreign country, penniless nonetheless. FML



The whole purpose of my Chiclayo weekend, was to step away from the virtual grind, celebrate the end of my (way above expectations) quarterly, enjoy some beach time and engage more thoroughly into the last stretch (3 weeks) of my winter journey. And darn, this weekend was an absolute blast



The bus journey from Cajamarca to Chiclayo would of been amazing, if it wasn't for the blacked out window





We meet many people along the way who leave a significant mark upon our psych ; nevertheless we move on, always one step beyond another, forcing ourselves to not dwell in the past... Yet at times, we turn back - even if so slightly as to indulge in a rapid glance - wondering what has happened to our lost friends…. How has their lives shaped themselves after ours has rebranched into a totally different direction… Such pondering remains (for the most part) unanswered, obviously, yet it does leave one contemplating about parallel lives in alternate countries, sorta speak…. Such as my Arabic-Palestinian friend in Nazareth, for example, a highly successful pharmacist who’s inhibited anger-depression has slowly crept to the surface over the past few years…. One most believe that having to come to terms with an alcoholic father combined with living in a country where originating from a Muslim/Arabic background does not net you any favours, will take its psychological toll…

#ForeverMadAtIslamphobia




Chiclayo did not have much to offer and the closest beach, Pimentel, was nothing to write home about, but it did act as an escape from the city.





Or, more recently, the simple petite Latina woman in Chiclayo... girly-girlish and feminine as can be... sexy as hell... studying to become a physical therapist... I thank her immensely for the wonderful weekend spent together. But, as the GTO-numbers- fellow that I am, I wonder how her life will shape out…. What vectors lie ahead, story arc she will embrace or end result it will all equate to…

Am presently in Cusco where I will be spending the final stretch of my Peruvian trip. I will do a couple tours, go check out Machu Picchu, do an ayahuasca journey, if the conditions are right, and maybe go check out Iquitos in the north... Stay tuned.

Peace

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Old 04-05-2018, 11:04 PM   #502
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Re: Blog : The Yukon, Paris, Vietnam and beyond...

Of Hope and Other Stuff

Tijuana, Mexico, April 2001. Leave it to Manu Chao to sell me on the prospects of Tijuana with his fiery lyrics :

"Welcome to Tijuana, tequila, sex and marijuana.”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuktJ8mppE0

While the promise of drugs, booze and sex might of been true, we are far from a Jack Kerouac script... In fact, everything is for sale in Tijuana. Even one’s soul Hookers are lining up the streets at 10am... hoards of cars are packed at the border... A few suspicious fellows offer me 800$ to drive a bus through customs ... Crooked cops bluntly ask me if I am holding drugs, hoping to get a bribe in the process ... And meanwhile, all I can think of is why the hell did we have to be stuck in this shythole for a week



36h is the amount of time I spent in Cusco to recover from the flight, login a few hours in the virtual world, get a massage, finish my taxes (hard to keep the taxman happy, isn’t it ) and watch the Toronto Raptors get decapitated (again) by the Lebron’s Cavaliers only to see the Raps bounce back the very next night and pounce on the always overrated/overblown Boston Celtics




Plaza das Armas, Cusco




Cusco as seen from above


36h and that was it ; morning came bright and sunny - ehhhh, but a bit too early -, and after stuffing a delightful breakfast into me tummy, I hopped into a taxi and vanished below sight into the Sacred Valley.





Urubamba has a population of roughly 40k souls and acts as the (sorta) urban hub. I will be spending some time in town tomorrow, but in the meantime, I decided to indulge in a comfortable and remote setting, nestled in a quieter area in the valley.








The plan is to spend 2 days here, 2 days in Ollantaytambo (…), 2 days in Machu Picchu, 2 days back in Pisaq and then…. I don’t know, perhaps hop on a plane and do an ayahuasca journey up north in the jungle in Iquitos…. But, who know's, as it will all be determined next week, yo


Run good all

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Old 04-09-2018, 04:39 PM   #503
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Re: Blog : The Yukon, Paris, Vietnam and beyond...

Drifters

Lanquin, Guatemala, January 2003. 4h is the truck ride separating us from an internet connection and an atm, AKA modern commodities that are nowhere to be found in the remote town of Lanquin
Spoiler:
. Thankfully though, my 2 German lady friends (with whom a great complicity has developed over the past 2 months of working together ) accompany me on the day trip, as they are moving on southbound to Honduras in their journey. When I hop off the pickup truck and start to engage in the “goodbye” procedures, they hand me over a farewell letter with a 100$ tucked in. My heart melts. They have long known of my dire financial situation and selflessly decided to contribute to my cause (despite not holding much in terms of monies themselves). This would be one of many times where people would magically help me along the way. Much luv to all


As mentioned in the previous post, I decided to treat myself to 2 days in a luxurious Spa Resort, peacefully nestled by a river in the mountainous Sacred Valley. I expected to encounter your standard package constituting of a sauna, a massage services, a high end restaurant etc. ; what I did not envision though, was meeting an American hippie fellow that had been staying in the hotel for just over 3 months. I mean, talk of being out of place Of course, there are a handful of reasons why our new friend ended up overpaying for this hotel, and none of them were alas positive



The Spa was located 10 minutes out of town, down in the valley by this river and overshadowed by the this beast of a mountain


It was on an intuitive-spiritual-hunch that he set out for new horizons towards Machu Picchu with 1700$ to his name. This might not sound like a comfortable financial cushion when you find yourself in your 40s, but when you have been living off the USA streets as a 7 year adderall addict (prescribed by his doc to treat ADHD, I suppose…), it might feel like God sent...





He showed up in utter withdrawal (his body overtaken by the shakes) in the Sacred Valley, essentially falling prey to the will of the taxi driver. He had nowhere to go. No plans. No reservations. 35% was the cost of showing up strung out at the hotel (80 USD$/night), as everyone had to get theirs and our friend was left with the least comfortable room and a severe case of anxiety in the process He would ultimately manage to negotiate down that long term fee to a 60$ nightly, but still a high daily nut when factoring in the restaurant fees and taxi rides.





Our friend was open right off the bat open about his journey through depression and anxiety, which also lead me to share my existential struggles with the latter…. When he finished his story, his eyes teared up, unable to contain this mounting suffering of his After all, the doctor had given him little more than days/weeks to live (we won’t get into his physical issues) and if it wasn’t for a family inheritance that magically coincided with a dire need for monies, he would be in a Peruvian street left alone to his ill fate. Instead he has been staying in an upper scale hotel ; overpaying, certainly, but still having his needs carefully attended to (in all frankness, the hotel has been good to him, albeit scummy...).





The next day we hopped into a cab, made our way to Pisaq (a hippieish town located an hour away and one of the most vibrant places I have seen in this bottom world) and visited a few hotels/B&Bs over there (he struggles immensely with the little stuff, like eating, meeting people etc. let alone finding a hotel in Spanish!!!). He reserved a place and will move there next week.

For the past few years, I finally find myself in a very good place in my life (forever thanking vipassana meditation for my salvation ) ; yet, in times like these, I find it necessary to turn back, to contemplate on the struggling self that I use to be, along with the numerous lost souls that I have met along the way, and send a ton of love…. Luv to places like India, Dawson City, South-East Asia (albeit more alcoholics/sexpats there…) and other transit touristic towns where lost souls end up… Many of which whose narratives have ultimately faded away… At least I have captured our protaganist’s story in these here lines, although I do think he will be ok…. Unless he isn’t, obviously.

Peace

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Old 04-12-2018, 04:52 PM   #504
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Re: Blog : The Yukon, Paris, Vietnam and beyond...

The Heavens are the Limit
Spoiler:


It was with little expectations that I made my way to Machu Picchu, crawling along at a slow pace... After all, not only was I physically impeded by a clinging tummy ache, but ruins are no longer much of a novelty for yours truly, I loathe at the thought of crowds, am not a fan of anything set or organized and was not impressed by the price tag (300$) ; all of which were weighing upon my restless mind while I was dragging my body up the mountain…. Until I reached the top, that is, from which a breach opened itself upon otherworldly beauty for all to caress.





Even if there was several of us up there overviewing the lost ruins and the breathtaking valley, you still managed to forget…. Forget about the surrounding conversations…. Forget about the fact that certain peeps are skyping away on the 4g signal…. Forget about the constant distresses of modern times, our little personal problems always nagging at us, all of which pale tremendously in comparison to the obstacles that the Incas must of encountered building a splendid kingdom so high in altitude, far away from the conveniences of running water or abundance of food…. Aren't we soooo spoiled in comparison…. Sooo smallll idem...





Of course, all of the latter mattered little when I found myself sprinting down the mountain, victim to a threatening case of diarrhea about to come spurting out





I ended up taking the last seat on the bus, luckily tucked away in the back beside a beautiful Belarusan lady whose eyes were as dreamy as the skies, as BIG as the world and the ensuing dinner at the bottom of the mountain, as charming as can be (as will be our next one in Lima, if not New York or Munich…).





I am now in Pisaq where I will spend the next week unless I cannot find an ayahuasca ceremony, that is, as the latter remains the priority going forward. But am going to talk to a lady tonight about the prospect. Pisaq is definitely where I want to engage the spirit world, as there is a fracking astral portal in these parts, and - I kid you not -, but the spirits and demons of yesteryear/ancient times most likely engaged in an interplanetary doomsday scenario as the energy is as wild-ferocious-primitive-rampant as can be
Spoiler:



Peace

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Old Today, 12:30 AM   #505
Dubnjoy000
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Re: Blog : The Yukon, Paris, Vietnam and beyond...

Lady (G)Aya

Pisaq, Peru, April 2018. When I first set foot over here in the Sacred Valley (located 2h away from Machu Picchu) on a day trip from Cusco, I knew this was the place…. The place where I would open a breach into the spirit world… Call it vibrations... Or energy... Or something mystical floating in the air, but I instantly felt at home in Pisaq.

I approach the day with excitement and apprehension... Thrilled to engage this upcoming ayahuasca journey, yet anxious in the face of the imminent demons to overcome…. If the past 2 decades of intensive meditation has shown me anything, it is that we have so much shyt inside of us to deal with…





There are 7 of us at the point of rendez-vous ; 2 that are embarking on their first journey (an overly anxious Argentinan fellow and yours truly, who remains relatively calm), 4-initiated-yet-still-beginners (a young Canadian hippie fellow, a confidently outspoken American lad, a shaky New Zealander and a visibly distressed German lady in her 30s) and our Master of ceremony in question, a tall Peruvian punky-hippyish tattooed fellow. We engage in conversation, get acquainted, drink some tea before slowly walking the 20 minutes separating us from the wall tent located in the fridges of the forest just outside of town.

I feel at ease around the fire, sitting cross-legged on my mattress, carefully listening to the Chaman dictate the instructions... I am at peace with the trip to come, even if I know it will cost me tremendously in terms of focus and pure stamina.





Before drinking the potent mix, we each take turns verbally expressing our intentions. When it comes my turn to speak up, I layout what I think to be a vague projection of my desired experience, not realizing that my words were precisely defining the outlines of the journey to come :

"I want to experience the good and the bad... And a deep level of compassion.”.

The taste of the drink is not the most pleasant (almost a mix of black liquorice combined with some cheap brandy flavour...), yet I do not let it bother me ; I pound the liquid down, slowly go back to my mattress, sit down, cross my legs in a comfortable meditation position and calmly shut my eyes…. I quietly observe my breathing and scan my body (as vipassana meditation has so acutely taught me) while awaiting for the journey to commence…

At first, the effect is not much different than any psychedelics I have experienced with : my senses are fiercely awakened, sensitive to all the outside stimulus whether it be through hearing, tactile sensations or cognitive contemplations…. And then it really kicks in : I am overblown, HIGH like a mother****ing kite ... albeit still meditating, still observing, still emotionally dwelling within acceptable boundaries…. Until all hell lets loose, that is : I am suddenly inflicted with a pain MASSIVE like 13 worlds, explosive like 1001 Hiroshimas It is toooooo fracking MUCH Tooo f**king unbearable and overwhelming... I am about to lose consciousness when I start screaming in my head : “MAKE IT STOP!!! I CANT HANDLE THIS, NOT WHILE BEING THIS HIGH!!!”.





Within a few moments, the pain is released : I feel liberated. Soooooo relieved A big weight has been lifted from my body, from my mind. Despite having my body covered in sweat from the experience.

Having faced this exact demon in previous meditation retreats, I know that not more than a minute has gone by. And yet, here I am, soaked in perspiration like a wet cloth I gather back my spirits, resume sitting in a meditation position and try to locate my puke bucket…. Only to realize that I have, unbeknownst to me while immersed in my recent disarray/almost blackout moment, kicked it 6 feet away I go grab it, sit back into a semi-lotus position and pursue my journey.

The voyage is smooth, delightful... Vibrations of pure compassion are streaming through my body, pouring out of my head... All is blissful... Even the constant mutters of my German neighbor are of little distraction as all is full of love...





On my left, my German lady friend is taken for a loop : she is crawled up in a ball, sporadically spewing out unintelligible blunts (both of pain and relief). It all started a few hours back when the Master of Ceremony asked her "do you want to go deep?", to which she happily obliged. Not long after, she would puke all over the blankets, her consciousness completely immersed into the journey... Which is what was meant to be...

But as far as I am concerned, I continue my journey inward, deeper into meditation, into the heart of the unknown...

She is beautiful, soft, so vivid... Lady Gaia. My whole essence is vibrating with love and while I feel embraced by her accepting presence, a few tears come rolling down my cheeks... "I am sorry. I am soooo sorry.", I cry inwards, asking Mother Nature to be pardoned. We have done her so much harm... I have inflicted her body with myriads of lacerations, of deep scars... and in this moment, it feels incredibly blissful to ask for her forgiveness.

I fall asleep long after everyone else, not wanting to end what has been one of the most fabulous journeys in my life... But alas, I decide to give in to fatigue and thus put an end to the experience.

When morning comes a few hours later, I feel completely depleted. It is not easy to crawl back to the surface after going so deep ; I feel like an open scar. And yet, I still engage the morning sunrise with a smile on my face, feeling much more connected with life/all living beings and knowing fully well that I will pay Lady Ayahuasca another visit very, verrryyy soon…


Spoiler:



Peace

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