Calca, Cusco, Perú
My experience with Ayahuasca is a bit difficult to describe to someone who has not experienced it for themselves. Part fantasy, part reality, part mysticism, part healing medicine. It is at the same time ancient and modern revealing truths while also showing one a path to self discovery.
I set out on this experience with a trusted friend and, not knowing exactly what to expect, we were both drawn to the medicine. We had spoken about a retreat for months and had done many hours of research about the medicine and also about the Shaman and what would become our ideal location and retreat. We thankfully found Sapan Inka and I knew almost immediately that this was going to be the place for us.
We arrived in Cusco, Peru with an excited yet calm attitude. We truly did not know what we were getting ourselves into but we are both adventurous and well grounded. Neither of us had any addiction issues nor were we particularly in need of physical healing. We were both just feeling a bit lost in our lives and were seeking something more, something beyond our daily lives, something truly spiritual.
Erik had a driver pick us up in Cusco right on time and we were off on our ride through the sacred Incan Valley to Erik and Nilda?s lovely house perched on a hill in the midst of farming community. This was the true Peru, the Peru one does not experience in a city or on a typical tour, the Peru that makes you feel as if you have traveled back in time.
Erik and Nilda greeted us warmly and we felt a sense of calm once we met them. They welcomed us into their home as friends and always treated us with respect and kindness. They are both extremely warm and genuinely lovely people. We had our initial interview with Erik and he explained a bit about what we were about to go through and added his in depth knowledge of not only ancient medicine but also modern psychology. The sense of calm deepened and we were ready for our first ceremony.
To describe the ceremony itself would be a bit like cheating as it is deeply personal and meant to be experienced, not just read about in an online review. What I will say is that Erik and Nilda not only led the ceremony but also guided us as we traveled through the experience. I felt a strong connection with them, they protected us when we felt vulnerable and not once did I feel afraid of what I was experiencing. They were there for us.
The retreat is limited to four people at a time for good reason, it is intense. I wouldn?t dream of doing this again except in the loving care of Erik and Nilda. I am very grateful to both of them and my friend and I left with heavy hearts, not because of the experience but because we didn?t want to leave.
Our retreat was several months ago but as I told my friend, we may have left Peru but Peru will never leave us. A large part of that is due to our experience at Sapan Inka. My friend describes it as the trip of a lifetime, her description couldn?t be more accurate.
I give Sapan Inka the highest marks possible! They know what they are doing, they make you feel comfortable and safe in what can be a very intense experience and they take great care of you!