JOURNEY TO SOURCE / BOGOTA / PUTUMAYO / SIERRA NEVADA / SANTA MARTA / 3 DECEMBER 2019
Time to next expedition:
“The journey does not start when we hit the road, and does not end when we reach the finish. In fact, it starts much earlier and practically never ends, because the ‘memory tape’ turns around in us, even though we have not physically moved away for a long time. After all, there is such a thing as a travel-bug and it is a kind of disease that is basically incurable.”
JOURNEY TO THE SOURCE
BOGOTA / PUTUMAYO / SIERRA NEVADA / SANTA MARTA
COLOMBIA DECEMBER 2019
It is our joy to invite you once again to the source –to get to know Colombia and its native cultures, as well as yourself. In addition to trekking though the jungle and visiting the holy places of the pre-Columbian territories, we will participate in 9 ceremonies with the medicine of the Amazon and the Andes, led by healers from the indigenous communities. We’ll be staying in each place for about 3-5 days. This adventure is specifically designed for those who like being in nature. It is an expedition for the true seekers of authentic experiences, for those who are open to anything not only to what is simple and easy. This trip will allow you to contemplate the cultural richness of this country, as well as the beautiful nature of this land.
The highlight of this trip is the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, named by The Older Brothers – ancestors, indigenous inhabitants of Kogi – “the heart of the world”. We will be able to admire one of the most unusual and rare views: seeing the ocean and snow –capped mountains in one spectacular view.
THE PURPOSE OF A MONTH LONG TRIP:
The duration of the trip – a month’s travel across the country; has a meaning that results from the very nature of the trip – travelling long distances, conditioned by the size of the country and journeying to the most remote corners of the Amazon requires concentration, strength and time. This is not a recreational trip, but a spiritual journey which with the passage of time, while traveling the country and encountering indigenous cultures, triggers an internal process of change in each one of us.
After about two weeks of being together, new spaces open up in front of us, allowing us to see things that until then were buried deep in the subconscious and not perceived. In such dimension time has a healing effect and allows you to look within yourself to make changes on a regular basis. Therefore, the second part of the trip allows you to put into practice the newly acquired experience. Continuous contact with beautiful wildlife and medicinal plants supports and strengthens this process.
Away from tourists, infrastructure, beaten path, and cradled to sleep in hammocks – we remember what is present in us and what is missing in urban realities – a deep connection with self and nature. It is She who sharpens our senses and expands our perception, deepening our mindfulness and contact with ourselves. Nature contains answers that we also carry in ourselves.
Being with others is also an important component in this process. In addition to individual work on yourself and observing your own process, the expedition is also a community trip – being together and following what will naturally appear in the common space. Our own space expands, becoming a shared space. We intuitively begin to sense more subtle energies and thus new possibilities of cognition open before each of us.
To consciously participate in this process with others, authenticity as well as clear communication and transparency are important. The opportunity to look at these values will lead us to meetings in a circle, initiated depending of the needs of the group. The circle is a kind of living organism, a space of mindfulness and being; whereby listening to each other and sharing what is important to us in the moment and giving attention to ourselves and others, is valued. In this way everyone is heard and nobody’s needs are ignored. By learning from each other, we become part of a whole in which everything completes and reflects itself.
Listening to yourself and others, experiencing the constant changeability of the world, brings inspiration from being together, from expanding borders and exchanging. This supports development not only on a personal level, but also invites changes in the functioning of the group. What is important in this is trust in the process- a powerful response to life and to living in the moment. Softness, breath and relaxation are the keys to expand your perception, and to allow you to let go of fear and to open you to a natural flow of life. This is the key to finding yourself and your place in the world.
Specify your personal “What for?” and embark on a trip with us, during which we will support you in finding the essence of what is the most important to you at this moment in time.
EXPEDITION PLAN AND ROUTE
Trip length: 31 days
Start: Bogota, 3 December 2019
Completion: Bogota, 2 January 2020
Arrival in the capital of Colombia, Bogota – transfer to the hotel to meet other travelers. During dinner w’ll talk about the rules of cooperation in the group and discuss in detail the program of the expedition.
In the morning walk the streets of Bogota to visit attractions in the historical part of the city. Our goal will be the famous Gold Museum and the Monserrate Hill, which overlooks the 8-million metropolis and the mighty Tolima volcano. There will be time to learn about the local cuisine and numerous local attractions.
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll transfer to the airport, traveling to the South of Colombia, to the town of Pasto. We continue to the Sibundoy Valley, located in the Colombian region of Putumayo, just off the border with Ecuador. Here we’ll spend a few days in the company of the natural medicine doctor Taita Floro, where we take part in traditional Yage-Ayahuasca ceremonies. We explore the corners of the Sibundoy Valley and go on a full-day hike to the crater of an extinct volcano to bathe in the streams of a hot waterfall. In the town we’ll get a chance to see artisan crafts and painting workshops of local artists and listen to a lecture on medicinal plants from this region.
After our ceremonies with Taita Floro, we’ll make our way through the eastern Andean corridors and the spectacular route “The trampoline of death” and head to the town of Yungllio, located in a beautiful natural environment in the middle of the forest in the mountains. A small community of indigenous Inga Indians, living in the so-called “Piemonte Amazonico” on the Caqueta River, which has a semi-tropical climate. We’ll sleep in hammocks and eat food cooked on a fire. Accompanied by Inga’s community guide – Taita Ernesto and his family – we’ll take part in several Yage medicine ceremonies. After relaxing in hammocks, we’ll explore the area, nearby rivers, waterfalls and visit artisan craft markets. We will also have the opportunity to participate in a “Temazcal” (Sweat Lodge) ritual led by Shaman Renato Gonzalez, a guide of the Red Road with whom we have been cooperating since the beginning of our expeditions in Colombia.
We will continue on after breakfast with rented transport from Yungllio to Mocoa. We’ll stay at a hotel with a view of the jungle and the river. The following day we’ll discover the secrets of the majestic natural wonder of the Fin Del Mundo waterfall. We will be able to face its 80-meter wall of water and descend along its stream wearing a safety harness. We will get there after 1.5 hours of trekking through the rainforest, seeing seven more waterfalls along the way, embedded deep in the jungle. After returning, we’ll go to La Paz to visit Taita Humberto, with whom we’ll spend the next two or three days. In the Ukumari Kanke Reserve we’ll visit the oldest living Taita Querubin Queta – the 107-year-old head of the Kofan community, living in the territories dividing Colombia and Ecuador. Together with Taita Humberto and Taita Querubin Queta, we’ll proceed to the next Yage – Ayahuasca ceremonies and rituals. After this cycle of ceremonies, we will go to a hotel in Puerto Asis, from where we will fly to the city of Santa Marta, located on the Caribbean coast at the foot of the Sierra Nevada.
We’ll spend there two nights in a comfortable hotel, gathering strength before climbing the mountains.
KOGI TREKKING – SIERRA NEVADA DE SANTA MARTA – 9 days
The desire to experience an adventure away from the beaten path leads many foreigners to the exotic landscapes of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. These are the mountains in which we’ll find all climatic regions, from warm and dry to everlasting snow, along with their diverse fauna and flora. Just a few years ago, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta was a huge green mass on the map of Colombia. They were called the highest mountain range in the world, located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. This mountain range reaches 5775 meters, and the highest snowy peaks are Cristóbal Colón and Simón Bolívar. Only a few know that thanks to its exuberant beauty, Sierra is a magical and yet non-touristic place. This unique 9-day experience we’ll allow us to learn more about the habits and rituals of the ancestors of the Kogi indigenous community that resides in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. We’ll learn about caring and respecting the wellbeing of these mountains and the natural wealth that this unusual place has thanks to the indigenous communities who consider Sierra Nevada to be the center of the Earth. During the trip we’ll experience a variety of microclimates and even climatic floors, because the flora and fauna changes as we climb from beaches in Santa Marta, through to the dwarf forest, low mountains (dry forest), medium mountains (humid forest) and high (misty forests). On the way back towards the sea, we’ll have a chance to admire a piece of the Caribbean mangrove forest.
The trip requires some physical fitness, you’ll need to be prepared for it. It also requires adaptation to the local culture and tradition, like sleeping in hammocks and eating traditional food from the region.
ABOUNDANCE OF WATER
Colombia is one of the most water-rich countries. Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the mother of 36 rivers, hundreds of streams, creeks and tributaries, which partly exist due to the lasting snow and moorland lagoons.
We will spend the last weekend of our month-long trip in Kalache, surrounded by mountains and forests, near a river with a waterfall. Here, in our ceremonial Maloca, our last two Yage, Ayahuasca Ceremonies will takes place, led by Taita Florentino Agreda, a guide from the Kamentza community.
After the ceremonies we will take a short walk through the rainforest to Playa Brava, a remote nature reserve on the coast of the Caribbean Sea in the heart of Tayrona National Park. Will stay there the following 3 days and we’ll be taking walks and visiting many holy places in the area. We will be guided by Mamo Manuel – the head of the Kogi Indian community living in several nearby villages. We’ll sleep in hammocks (optionally in bungalows). On this Caribbean beach, we’ll spend the last day of the year and welcome 2020. On January 1st we’ll return to Bogota.
The last day in Bogota is a great opportunity to visit the local artisan craft stores and say goodbye to Colombia before our departure.
AND GUIDES TO EXPEDITIONS
Group leader – translator – responsible for logistics during ONE RIVER trips.
Darious is a founder and organizer of the One River Project and as a host he is responsible for logistics during all expeditions. Since 2010 he has been organizing trips to Colombia, exploring local culture and rituals. He is a guide, traveller, musician, animator of events in Poland, the USA and Colombia, speaks Polish, Spanish and English and regularly translates between all three. Darius treats life as a journey, combining work with passion. A free spirit, he loves people and make friends with teachers and leaders as well as the indigenous people of Colombia and Mexico. A practitioner on the spiritual path associated with traditional medicines of the Amazon and the Andes, he has learned ancient techniques that in our reality have turned out to be proven tools for therapy and personal development.
“Walking on the streets of Medellin in 2012, not accidentally I came across a beautiful movie poster depicting a powerful, turbulent waterfall and on its edge you could see indigenous inhabitants standing and looking down at the foaming waves. Captivated by this sight, a few days later I found myself in the movie theatre watching that documentary called “Apaporis- in Search of One River”.
The movie is based on fragments from a book written by an anthropologist, Wade Davis. The book is about his teacher, Harvard professor, anthropologist and ethnobotanist Richard Evan Schultes, and his multiple trips during the interwar period into the Amazon forest in searching of gum trees – mostly for the purpose of dynamically developing arms industry. Schultes was fascinated by the riches of the Amazon rainforest and decided to stay with the Indian tribes for many years in order to study medicinal plants and accompanying them rituals.
The medical tradition was the reason why many indigenous cultures and their cosmologies survived and the trailblazing work of Professor Schultes is still considered to be one of the most important achievements in the field of ethnobotany and anthropology.
The movie brought me to a magical world of indigenous cultures that lived in seclusion for millennia. The beauty of the landscapes and poetic style of this film enriched with a narrative based on professor Schultes’ reflections taken from his manuscript as well as the indigenous shamans and inhabitants of the Amazonian village, mesmerized me to the point that I promised myself to organize a journey to that place.
Several years have passed already and this idea hasn’t withered, it only has matured and is constantly evolving.
It is my great pleasure to invite you on a journey to Colombia for one month long adventure and a spiritual expedition, thanks to which the whole project earned its name: ONE RIVER – “Journey to the Source.
Group supervisor, guide, translator.
Alexander has lived and worked in Colombia since 2015. To him traveling is what stabilization, home, work and security means to others. He has lived in Italy, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. He used to work in non-government agencies, student organizations, at universities, schools, bars and even at a gas station. He joined OneRiver project following the path of Medicine. OneRiver is the culmination of many years of searching for his own path, or in this case- his own one river. He sees his role in the project as a messenger and a guide, but also an explorer, even if as some may say, there is nothing left to be discovered. Alexander has an extraordinary gift of listening and telling stories in spirit of Magical Realism. His open personality will be helpful in building relationships within the group, and his linguistic skills will be a great support for the expedition, especially when coming in contact with new communities. His task is to facilitate your contact with locals and people from indigenous tribes who whisper their stories of the Earth.
The question “what are travels for you?” has always been one of the hardest to answer for me. Because what are they not? For me, travel is a wonderful manifestation of the hermetic doctrine of the identity of opposites: they are everything and nothing at the same time. Everything, because it is the most natural state of mind to me, nothing – because it is so natural that it is difficult to specify. I have always been leaving someplace and going somewhere since I was a child: with my parents, for projects, working abroad etc., but I started to travel much later – it was only when I stopped expecting and comparing, and started just to be, finding myself in a new context.
TERMS OF PARTICIPATION
COST OF THE ONE MONTH EXPEDITION
THE PRICE INCLUDES:
– All local journeys, 5 flights in Colombia
– Fees for events, workshops and ceremonies
– Insurance (Hestia or Compensa)
– Fees for guides with the necessary experience and equipment
THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
– Flight tickets to Colombia
– Personal expenses
TERMS OF PARTICIPATION:
– Complete the application form
– Advance payment of PLN 50% by November 3rd, 2019
(For subsequent applications, the full amount must be paid by November 15)