Calca, Cusco, Perú
In January 2015 I have visited the sacred house of Erik and Nilda and participated in an Ayahuasca/San Pedro retreat. And still now, half a year later, a can feel the aftereffects of this positive experience.
It wasn’t my first encounter with psychedelics, but until then my intentions were more for diversion and experimentation. Having heard of Ayahuasca and it?s power of giving a “life-changing experience” made me curious, although I had high doubts on the sustainability of this kind of experiences.
Looking for a proper place for getting into the ‘rabbit hole’ I was first thinking of going into the amazonian jungle to the Ucayali valley the look for an indigenous shaman to take master plant. But during my research crossed over the homepage of the sapan inca project. The way they write about their work and the plants indicate the depth of knowledge they share. And the fact that they work with small groups of max 4 participants proves that they do not seek maximum economic profit for themselves but rather maximum benefit for the guests. Also being a couple of a man and a woman made a lot of sense to me, so I decided to participate in the retreat – which turned out to be a real damn good decision! 😉
Prior to the retreat I was asked to answer a questionnaire, for two reasons: First, that Erik is able to analyze my intentions and personal topics/challenges and second, that I prepare myself appropriately for the experience – which makes a lot of sense to me and is sadly not a matter of course in every retreat location.
The house and the surrounding in a quiet village near Calca in the center of the sacred valley are simply magically. Tranquilo, pure and wonderful nature and positive vibrations from the holy mountains (apus). It?s a perfect place for these retreats.
The food served is delicious, vegetarian, especially selected for ayahuasca usage and prepared with local, organic ingredients and lots of love!
The accommodation is very cosy and comfortable.
The rituals themselves are a bit hard to describe with words and individually very different. Erik and Nilda guided us very calm, clear and in holy and sacred way. There voices and chants and their presence guide and give space at the same time.
My first ritual was not at all what I expected of one of the most powerful entheogens: I did not feel a lot a effects beside purging hard and cocooning myself on the mattress.
The talk with Erik on the next morning eased me, saying that sometimes the plant medicine first has to tear down some walls before working further beyond – and he should be proved correct:
On the second evening Ayahuasca with the guidance of the two shamans took me down into darkness and up into the bright sky again, connecting a lot of loose ends in my life and leading to a quiet and light place of acceptance of myself and connectivity to the universe.
The last ritual was with San Pedro and was initiated with a despacho from a curandero of the Q’ero people. I was fascinated of the inner energy and kindness and the respect to mother nature and its inhabitants – best practice of Buen Vivir (Sumak kawsay, Waiki!).
Looking back on the last months between now and the retreat, I am happily surprised how my life has developed. Thank you so much for this experience and the good wishes and the buenas ondas which still keep vibrating!
I am looking forward to travel back to Calca one fine day and continue the journey….
I highly recommend the Sapan Inca Project for everyone with good intentions who is looking for an authentic, safe and inspirational Ayahuasca and/or San Pedro experience.