Quito Travel Blog› entry 9 of 17 › view all entries
Atlantida was awesome - a beautiful community of people and equally very beautiful land. I learned a lot. Edwardo toured me around and I spent one day with him bee-keeping. I was there for only four days while the plan was to be there for 1 Â˝ weeks.
From the discussion in Atlantida, very quickly the plans were made. I was going to travel with Jorge and Santiago to Pericos, leaving Atlantida the next morning. At 5:00 a.m. we met and headed to the main road and waited for the chiva to Popayan. That was awesome. Climbing in the back of what is like a collective bus, but open on all sides. The bus was full of campesinos on their way to work/market in the city from the mountains.
I finally made it to the peer and took a boat to Juanchaco/Ladrilleros to meet Margarita. You can only get there by boat, which takes about one hour. Her and some friends met me at the dock. While she finished some work, I was toured round the village/beach by one of her friends. We then caught a moto up to where her house was â€˘ located on a cliff overlooking the ocean â€¦. so amazing. I stayed there with her for two nights to get to know the environmental projects she is working on and the area. Traveling back and forth between her home and town, we had to call for a moto or walk down the mountain side to the beach and cross by beach â€¦. which was quicker than walking the other way. The projects were very interesting and again â€¦. learned a lot.
After two days, I took the boat back. It rained a lot and that morning, the ocean was extremely rough. I was again so glad that I didnâ€™t take all my luggage. While trying to get on the boat, the waves began to separate the boat from the peer and I almost landed in the water, practically dislocated my arm trying to get on the boat. For a while, I was concerned I may have done damage to my arm, but all ok in the end. Journeyed back to BV by boat and walked from the peer back to the bus terminal and caught the next bus back to Cali. In Cali, I taxied back to Santiagoâ€™s in-laws and collected my luggage. I crashed there for one night, went salsa dancing with him and his father-in-law and left early the next morning for the terminal. Hopped the first bus to Ipiales, the border town near Ecuador, which was about 12 hours. There were border problems between Colombia and Ecuador, but again all was ok before I made my way to the border â€˘ thank god. I took a cheap hotel room for the night and left really early. Ipiales was extremely cold. The cold shower early in the morning was lethal. From Ipiales, a taxi to the border crossing. You have to exit on the Colombian side, walk across the bridge and enter on the Ecuadorian side. No problems. Caught a taxi to the border town of Tulcan in Ecuador and from there hopped a bus to Quito. I have to say that the Lonely Planet travel guides are a life-saver. That experience was freakinâ€™ bizarre. There were four people grabbing my luggage and trying to carry my luggage to their buses that were leaving the terminal. It was a frenzy of trying to settle up with the taxi who was saying he didnâ€™t have change, four people grabbing at my luggage, trying to negotiate bus fares with everyone, while trying to get my freakinâ€™ change from the taxi and not lose my luggage. I was yelling at them to let my bags go. I finally managed to get a cheap bus fair to Quito.
That is something Colombians just wouldnâ€™t do. Although you may be hassled a bit, but from what Iâ€™ve seen Colombians are much more refined to start grabbing and fighting over someoneâ€™s luggage.
The ride to Quito was again longer than I thought. I was a bit in a panic as I told this couple that I was going to stay with in Quito that I would be there in the afternoon. I wanted to be at their place in time to travel with them to a Shaman ceremony that night. I finally landed in Quito and grabbed a taxi to their place, arriving there around 3:00. Three hours later, we had gathered our things and were on our way to pick up some of their friends and head up the mountain to where the ceremony was going to take place.
Interestingly enough, the place happened to be one of the homes of Simon Bolivar. The home and the land was handed down to the lady who was hosting the ceremony. The ceremony lasted all night. Everyone takes Ayawaska, the medicinal plant and the Shaman guides you through the experience. That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. So many things became clear. My journey throughout the night was something I would never have imagined. There was some serious spiritual battles going on, but I could feel myself being cared for and guided throughout the night. There is no way to go into detail about the ceremony.
One thing I do know is that my stay while here in Ecuador is going to continue me on a very spiritual journey. I look forward to what new things are to come and where the journey will take me next.