Tena jungle to Banos

Trip Start Jul 30, 2007
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Trip End Sep 17, 2007


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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Saturday, August 18, 2007

There was the possibility in Tena to pursue a mental journey by partaking in the ayahuasca plant, a plant which applied correctly and under the special tutalage of a practiced shaman, will assist your mind in the pursuit of a higher plain. Supposedly, the hallucinogenic will tap into one's pinneal gland, a little used gland often referred in various mythology as the chakra or third eye. As a friend of mine back home said it will allow me to talk to my ancestors.

The Quechua family, that I took the rafting trip with, also offered a jungle trip that supposedly offered this drug during the meeting with the local shaman. Well, they did not speak English very well which did not build much confidence in me nor did I feel confident that I had the remote knowledge with the pre-planning, mentally and physically,  that is neccessary  before attempting the ayahuasca so I ultimately passed on this particular journey. I will have to speak to my ancestor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, another time.

Staying at my hostel is an interesting young man who is working on his University thesis. The thesisīs topic has to do with the ability to establish a democratic system in a difficult environment. The difficult environment included high level of poverty, extreme corrupt government officials, antagonistic, traditional ethic divisions and a high indigenous population. The district of Tena had these elements and made a good case study.

A local election is coming due in Tena. One of the political candidates, before pursuing his run for office in earnest, enjoys a good ayahuasca trip so he can see his future destiny.
Beats polling data!

Journeyed back to Banos today and was presented with fortuitous weather conditons i. e. sunny skies. A steep hike from town leads up the hillside to a lookout point where you can, and I did, see the volcano, plume of smoke and all. Sweeping in from my left corner was an approaching rain cloud, with a double rainbow forming underneath the cloud. Talk about dramatic moments in Nature. And local kids were having a ball flying their kites on the lookout ridge. A very cool moment.

So is the terrace view from my hostel. Looking directly ahead, is a waterfall surrounded by lush vegetation and above it, a silvery cresent moon. Just above the waterfall, is a lit cross, enshrouded by a halo of rolling mist.
However, the clear skies did not last long as the rains moved in for the duration of the evening, night and into the next morning. The cresent moon filled up with water and sank. The fires from Volcano Tungaruahua were temporaily extinguished. Banos would survive the night from becoming the next Pompei.
There is definitely activity a foot both to the north and to the south. The worst being the disasterous tragedy befallen upon the residents of a coastal town south of Lima, hit hard by an earthquake.
A friend of mine based in Antigua, Guatemala recently spoke of an abrupt eruption (Is there any other kind?) from the neighboring volcano spewing plumes of ash and a distinct river of lava from its belly. 
From my balcony view, I can see a rolling band of etheral mist drifts over the verdant mountainside and waterfall. If I direct my gaze upward, a way from the stark cinderblock complex directly in front of me, I can imagine myself in a deeply mystical place.

To visit my past travel photos, visit www.michaelmcguerty.com

To read more of my travel writings, please visit www.pecoskid.com
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