We got some new rocks! I know, that sounds pretty funny, huh? Not a lot of people get so excited about rocks, but we do! Especially when they are new volcanic rocks for our San Pedro and Ayahuasca Ceremony in the Sweatlodge (Temezcal in Spanish).
First we want to say a BIG THANK YOU to Csaba and Mika for their kind and generous donation toward this effort, as the cost of going and getting these rocks was a little bit daunting. It wasn’t cheap to rent trucks, taxis, pay drivers, hotels, etcetera, even though the rocks themselves were free for the taking at the land where it was near the volcano. If it wasn’t for Csaba and Mika, we couldn’t have done it!
A BIG thank you to you two beautiful and lovely souls. Now we’re going to have an even hotter sweatlodge than ever, thanks to you! I’m sure all the future participants will be saying thank you too with a big groan as they sweat out all that “stuff” that it’s time to let go of, ha!
Read our Adventure Story with our Ayahuasca Shamans and the Volcanic Rock Hunt!
Salvador and Paulina, our ayahuasca shamans, went with their daughter, Marko (one of our lovely volunteers) and Christine Breese to find some new volcanic rocks for our sweatloge ceremony during the ayahuasca retreats at Gaia Sagrada. We weren’t quite sure where to go… to get them, but we figured being near a volcano would be a good place to start! It’s not like you can just go to the store and buy volcanic rocks. You have to go out in the country and find them!
We took a night bus to Riobamba and stayed overnight in an affordable but nice hotel. The driver of the truck stayed at the same hotel. We met didn’t get to the hotel until 12:30 am, and were finally in bed by 1 am. Then in the morning at the breakfast buffet we met the driver (Ruben) and his wife. We couldn’t all fit in his truck so we got a taxi to take the extra bodies (us) along for the ride.
We left Riobamba and were headed for the volcano called Chimborazo, but the driver of the taxi (Julio) told us that there weren’t that many rocks to be found there but there were a lot of rocks to be found near Banos, a popular tourist destination in Ecuador. So we decided to let the taxi driver lead the truck there.
What a good decision that was. As we were driving toward Banos, there was someone burning cedar wood near the road, a sacred tree in the ayahuasca ceremonies and the san pedro ceremonies that our ayahuasca shaman and san pedro shaman love to use in ceremony for cleansing moments when they come up. That was affirmation from the universe that we had made the right choice to go to Banos instead of Chimborazo. We all took a blessing from the smoke in the taxi as we passed.
When we got close to Banos, we drove around and found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! A publicly accessible quarry type of place with thousands of volcanic rocks! Yay! Success!
We all happily went about picking rocks, and even Salvador and Paulina’s 5 year old daughter joined in, as well as the truck driver, his wife, and the taxi driver. Within a couple hours we had a truckload of delicious looking, seriously solid volcanic rocks that would heat up the Gaia Sagrada sweatlodge double what the river rocks we were using could do. The truck driver, his wife, and the taxi driver were having fun too because they never had such a strange and weird request from some silly people who wanted a bunch of rocks! There were a lot of laughs. What joy these rocks came into our lives with!
It was a good time had by all. We went the last 2 km to Banos and had a great lunch, browsed the rafting, ziplining, and hiking brochures in the local shops, and then headed back to Riobamba to get on the bus back to Cuenca. When we arrived in Cuenca we met the truck driver and unloaded the rocks with laughter at 1 am and then collapsed into bed afterward! Today, the volunteers are washing the dirt off the rocks.
We are ready to give you a seriously hot sweatlodge more than ever now! It was already hot. Now during these next ayahausca retreats let’s sweat out all those toxic emotions, thoughts and bad foods we ate in our lives, and be reborn into a clean and new life!