JOURNEY TO SOURCE / SAN PEDRO IN THE ANDES / MACCHU PICCHU / RAVELLING THE URUMBAMBA RIVER / DIETA IN THE AMAZON / 5 MARCH 2020
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.”
SAN PEDRO IN THE ANDES / MACCHU PICCHU / TRAVELLING THE URUMBAMBA RIVER / DIETA IN THE AMAZON
We invite you on a journey through Peru, a magical country full of holy places, holy plants and people who remember this sanctity. Traveling with OneRiver is more than just travel, sightseeing, shopping and souvenirs. These journeys are stretched out in time and space to experience a deeper knowledge of self, others and the world.
On these journeys we will experience our own expectations, habits and needs, as well as that which is unknown, unpredictable and at times disturbing – with ‘Another’. The ‘Other” one may be another man, woman, place, or the surrounding conditions. You could also be the Other, because travel changes each one of us in profound ways.
After the initial uncertainties and adjustments of meeting and getting to know other participants, is time to indulge in what is new, exotic, and fascinating, but also connect with what is not what we would necessarily like. Making the experience real is not easy – it may be uncomfortable and painful on the surface; however, going through this process opens in us the layers of strength and understanding that were previously inaccessible. Working with the medicine of sacred plants strengthens this process and heals in us what needs to heal. With time, acceptance and gratitude come, and openness to the New within, and in – the Other. This is a beautiful process, one that requires concentration, perseverance and devotion and patience with yourself and the world. In a way, this process builds patience within yourself, as well as humility. Practicing patience throughout this expedition, we see insights and change within ourselves. It serves us, others, and the world.
IDEA MIESIĘCZNEGO WYJAZDU
Pokonywanie dużych odległości, uwarunkowanych wielkością kraju oraz docieranie do najbardziej odległych zakątków Amazonii wymaga skupienia, sił i czasu. Nie jest to wyjazd turystyczno-rekreacyjny, ale duchow podróż, która wraz z upływem czasu, przemierzaniem kraju i spotkaniami z rdzenną kulturą, uruchamia w każdym z nas wewnętrzny proces zmiany.
Po mniej więcej 2 tygodniach przebywania razem otwierają się przed nami nowe przestrzenie, pozwalające widzieć rzeczy, które do tej pory, ukryte głęboko w podświadomości, nie były dostrzegane. W tym wymiarze czas ma działanie uzdrawiające i pozwala przyjrzeć się różnych miejscom w sobie, by na bieżąco wprowadzać w nich zmiany. Druga część wyprawy pozwala więc wykorzystać w praktyce nowo nabyte doświadczenia. Proces ten dodatkowo wspierany jest, dzięki stałemu kontaktowi z przepiękną dziką przyrodą i z roślinami medycznymi.
Z dala od turystów, infrastruktury, przetartych szlaków, kołysani do snu w hamakach przypominamy sobie to, co jest w nas, a co w miejskich realiach gdzieś nam umyka – połączenie i głęboki związek z naturą. To ona, wyostrzając zmysły i poszerzając percepcję, pogłębia naszą uważność i kontakt z samym sobą. W niej zawarte są odpowiedzi, które nosimy również w sobie. W procesie tym istotny jest fakt bycia z innymi.
EXPEDITION PLAN AND ROUTE
Trip length: 24 days
Start in Lima: March 5th
Completion in Lima: March 28th
Arrival in Lima, the capital of Peru, transfer to the hotel. We meet here staying briefly for one night, close to the airport. Over dinner we discuss the principles of cooperation in the group and the trip program. We drink tea made from coca leaves, a sacred plant for Peruvians – especially for the Q’ero Indians living in the Andes, which is a national heritage site. It will prepare us for Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. If you arrive earlier into Lima with time to spare, visit the magnificent Museo Larco with the largest private collection of pre-Columbian art along with an intriguing collection of somewhat “naughty” erotic clay vessels, or stroll through the Miraflores district – full of shops, galleries and restaurants with delicious Peruvian fusion cuisine.
Early in the morning, after a light breakfast, we fly to Cusco. Some of the main streets were designed to reflect the arrangement of stars above them at certain important moments of the year. The Incas were the only people in the world that not only defined the constellations of stars, or light, but also the constellations of darkness. We check into the hostel and then head down to the city center, walking through the streets where the buildings stand, remembering the times of the great rulers of the empire. We will also be able to meet the Quero Indians, the heirs of this ancient culture, who descended from the mountains to the city, bringing their products, as well as potatoes and herbs collected high from the mountains and grown there. They sometimes bring their family Lamas that are sacred to them. At night, the Black Lama, one of the dark constellations in the pre-Columbian sky, watches over us.
After breakfast, we travel by bus together with the native people, to the small town of Pisac, located about an hour away. Here we drink the best smoothies in the world and drink great coffee at Urlike, – good coffee is not easy to find in Peru despite it being grown here, the vast majority of the collection is sold to North America and Europe. Here we visit the most beautiful market in Peru, full of beautiful traditional wool and other local and handcrafted products.
We also visit the Inca ruins located in Pisac. Later we travel by bus to Ollaytantambo, where, from the Temple of the Sun, you can see the 140-meter head of the god Viracocha, cut out in the mountainside. He is the God of creation – Father of Heaven and Earth, the Sun, Moon, and all living beings.
The former Ollaytantambo is a complex of temples and a fortress at the same time, with the unfinished Temple of the Sun, a beautiful example of the amazing skills of the Incan Empire. The boulders needed for construction were transported on the opposite bank of the Urubamba River, although it is not known yet how this was done.
We spend the next night in Ollaytantambo and in the morning we participate in the all-day ceremony with the sacred medicine of Huachuma, made from a cactus called San Pedro. This ceremony will be led by our friend Roberto, an artist called by all – Wow. The Wow family has lived in Ollaytantambo for 500 years and he has been working with medicine for many years. He takes us on a journey through 3 temples, away from tourist routes ceremoniously leading us through 3 worlds: the lower world of the Serpent (Sierpiente) – the middle world of Puma – and the upper world of Condor.
After the night in Ollaytantambo we journey by bus to the Hydroelectrica station, otherwise known as Santa Teresa, and from there we take the less frequented trail towards Macchu Picchu. We by-pass the well-known Inca Trail, often crowded with tourists, and with our friends David and Marcela, follow the railway track first to Jardin de Mandor – a beautiful place located 30 minutes from the entrance on Machu Picchu. Jardin de Mandor is a place full of birds and beautiful plants. There, the next day, after breakfast, we will experience another ceremony with Huachuma. Listening to the sound of the waterfall, we look for answers to our intentions, speaking with the extremely tender and heartfelt energy of Grandfather San Pedro, with the support of David and Marcela.
The next day, before dawn, we head towards Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, so that we can experience the sunrise in this extraordinary place. First, we traverse the pre-Columbian ruins, and go to the entrance to Huaynu Picchu, to climb the top of this mountain for another 2.5 hours, from where there is a wonderful view of the ruins of Machu Picchu and the Urubamba Valley. Going down from the top, we reach the Temple of the Moon. The guardian of this temple said that with 400 tickets issued per day at the entrance to Huayna Picchu, a maximum of 10 people can reach this place. Returning to Machu Picchu we experience the full power of the Temple of Condor and the Temple of the Sun. In the evening we return to Jardin de Mandor, where we spend another night.
In the morning after breakfast we will go back to Hidroelectrica, and from there by bus to Viracochasi. We drive through the fertile valley between the rainforests, which are crossed by the Urubamba River, which seems to speak to us with the sound of water flowing over stones. Moving to a height of 800 m, we start climbing for about 40 minutes on the hills away from civilization in the Viracochasi region. Here we spend the next few days. In this area of Viracochasi called “Illampu Proyects” (1,400 m) coffee and fruit such as pineapple, banana, lime and coca bushes grow … Among them is the echo of birds, typical of this part of the rainforest.
We spend the next three days in Viracochasi. Viracochasi “Illampu Proyects” is a self-sufficient project for the protection of indigenous communities and nature, whose main goal is to find a balance between the economic needs of man and his natural environment. This project educates and supports farmers in Viracochasi so that by cultivating the land on their own farms, they cultivate in a way that does not collide with the surrounding natural environment. Here we hike in the jungle, plant trees in the tropical forest, admire orchids and meet with hummingbirds. In this beautiful place we also have another ceremony with the master plant, Grandfather San Pedro.
Early in the morning after breakfast, the bus takes us from Viracochasi to Ivoche, where we spend the next night. Ivoche lies on the Urubamba River, which feeds the extremely fertile valley called El Valle Sagrado. The Incas saw the Sacred Valley as a reflection of the Milky Way. The Urubamba is a holy river, carrying life and nourishing the Earth, which gave birth to a lot of good. The river flows for 725 km, then connects with Apurimac, forming Ucayali, one of the tributaries of the Amazon. We spend the next day sailing down the Urubamba River by boat from Ivoche to Pucalpa.
We spend a large part of the following days on a boat, sailing down the river and admiring the majestic landscapes. This is a rarely frequented route that leads among the indigenous Machiguenga communities – Indians, inhabiting the rain forest of south-eastern Peru, on the border with Bolivia and Brazil. Until the 1960s, Matchiguenga Indians lived in isolation.
Traditionally, the Matchiguenga are a sacred community. They believe that the forest is for them: it feeds them with its plants, herbs, animals and fish, and the earth works in a harmonious way to maintain all life. Their Shamans heal by working with local herbs, plants and minerals. They use it to gain influence over the spirits that cause illness. The Matchiguenga also work with Ayahuasca, manipulating and controlling the powerful Jaguar Spirit. The Matchiguenga are known for their open and warm reactions to newcomers.
We spend the next two nights in two different villages inhabited by Indian communities.
Our boat trip ends in Pucalpa. Pucalpa is said to be a place to look after yourself! It is a port city, relatively modern and not very interesting, and is one of the important destinations for Ayahuasca tourism. Around Pucalpa there are many centers that offer work with Medicine and which are run by different Curanderos (those who heal with plants and ‘dietas’ or cleansing) and Ayahuasceros (those who mainly work with Ayahuasca), with vast knowledge and many years of work experience and treatment. Then there are those who know more about how to make money from the touristic aspect of ‘Ayahuasca adventure gringos’, than about Medicine. The Shipibo Indians living around Pucalpa sing their beautiful Icaros during the nighttime ceremonies. We we will hear them, however, much further away, in Tarapoto, which we reach by a 15 hour bus ride from Pucalpa.
Tarapoto is full of life, although it is one of the least known touristic cityies in the north of Peru. Located at the foot of the Andes and surrounded by hills, covered with lush green vegetation of the tropical forest, it seduces with waterfalls, lakes and warm springs. Another bus takes us from there to the last stage of our journey: to the resort, run by Maestro Winston Tango, located near the village of Yuakanayaky, on the bank of the Huallga River. Maestro Winston passed his initiation at the age of 14 and from that moment he learned to work with the Medicine – first from his grandfather, a Curandero (healer), who is very famous in those areas, and then from other teachers. Since 1995, he has been working as an assistant therapist at the Takiwasi Center, in one of the world’s best-known addiction treatment centers. He is responsible for preparing natural herbal medicines, for “dieting” and conducting seminars. He will accompany us at work with the Holy Medicine, Madre Ayahuasca, and with the “dieta”. Dieta is the deepest healing practice of traditional Amazonian medicine, stronger and more effective than Ayahuasca itself, and necessary when working with Ayahuasca, because it strengthens its effects. It is time spent generally in isolation, in a small Tambo in the jungle, with the ritual reception of so-called “Master Plants”, i.e. Ayahuasca. The plants for the dieta are always chosen by the Curandero (after talking to each person), so that this dieta experience serves the individuals health and development and is in line with the intention of the person who decides to participate in a dieta. There will be space for inner-peace, reflection, drinking a concoction of plants and all-night ceremonies in the beautiful surroundings of Tarapoto.
After breakfast, the bus takes us to the airport, from where we fly to Lima for our last day together. In the evening we enjoy a farewell dinner in Barranco, along the coast, a district full of small shops, galleries and great restaurants, serving fusion style sushi, sophisticated ceviche, roasted guinea pigs and pisco sour.
Day in Lima and departure from Peru.
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.”
Therapist and group supervisor.
Agata has been working as a psychotherapist for many years and she calls this chapter “her third life”. Before she started working in this profession she graduated in Fine Arts obtaining a master degree in Illustration. In her “first life” Agata launched an exhibition of her artworks, illustrated several books and published a page for children in Pomeranian Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.
In her “second life” she worked as a journalist, writing mostly for newspapers. She hosted several radio programs and dozen TV shows. She ended this chapter many years ago and began to organize empowering workshops for women along with year-round development groups for women. These experiences pushed Agata to deepen her knowledge in the area of development, psychological help and psychotherapy.
Her “third life” was established during the training at the College of Psychotherapy in the Psychoeducation Laboratory and the training of Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy. She learned from Arnold Mindell (POP) and Josette ten Have-de Labije (ISTDP). In 2018 she completed a Somatic Experience training (work with traumas), and currently she is in the course of the SOMA Embodiment training. Both of these trainings concentrate on the physical body, being in the body and returning to the feeling of an authentic Self. It is not only a container for knowledge or thoughts, but also feelings – and rooting those feelings within your true Self.
During our travels, Agata will support the group process, leading meetings after ceremonies, helping integrate insights and experiences related to ceremonial work with Medicine.
“Colombia was a surprise.
Not a jungle, because it has already called me years ago. It was then, among the Panare Indians, that I felt the time rolling over my body cells, drop by drop, connecting me with infinity. And I feel this connection constantly. And probably not even with the group, although the joy of following what is calling only for me during the journey is great.
Colombia was a surprise, because it was never on my map, my next flight supposingly should not be to Bogota. But by accident, so suddenly and out of nowhere I read about the expedition. And the idea of the descent under the 100 meter waterfall stayed with me, coming back into my dreams, seducing with something I did not know. I broke through my anxiety about being with unknown people for a month. Also because it was Colombia and not Peru and that someone will decide and I will just follow. Nevertheless set off and found myself in the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen with the people who became very close to me during the trip. With experiences which I will never forget. Like that I have changed the course of my life.
What stayed vividly in my heart was the end of the last ceremony at Taita”s Ernesto. A moment in a small camp surrounded by cocoa trees, where during the ceremony children from the village slept under our hammocks. We sat in a circle then, and four Taitas walked between us, praying, playing, singing and dancing. Everyone at their own pace, immersed in their process, being with us and for us. The dawn, cacophony of sounds, vibrating Wairas and Medicine made me feel like a veil between worlds becoming thin, almost transparent. Looking at the singing Taitas, people I was traveling with; Darek, who was our bridge to this world, I felt very strongly and clearly at home. At home. And that this home is not a place, but a living gathering at the intersection of worlds – a moment in space, in which all what is different and separate becomes one.
When, many days later, I went out at night in the full moon, climbing 4270 meters in the Sierra Nevada, and like a mantra I repeated the words of the song „Madre tierra madre tierra yo te alabo yo te alabo, porque eres el origen de la vida” this memory accompanied until dawn. It gave me strength, as did the huge stones that the Kogui Indians called their Ancestros. And when an eagle came from far away and hoovered over us so low that I could almost see its claws, the sense of HOME, belonging and connection, being at home in my life penetrated even deeper and opened another door. This is why I am here.”
TERMS OF PARTICIPATION:
THE PRICE INCLUDES:
– All local journeys and flights in Peru
– 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 Peru
– Personal expenses
TERMS OF PARTICIPATION:
– Complete the application form
– Advance payment of PLN 50% by December 1