Beware ye pilgrims who be messing with the sacred medicina! It is well past time to call this out: real people ARE dying in ayahuasca ceremonies – and not all those deaths are accidental. The Vine of the Dead always came with a curse, so beware the cup you drink from! This time it came by … More Whoring the Goddess – Ayahuasca takes her revenge.
When the fine art of conjuring the mighty cosmic serpent goes wrong, it takes a Colombian juggler, a bottle of snake juice and a steady needle to sharpen the carnal fang. Vilcabamba Valley, deepest Ecuador, 2pm under a fierce Andean sun: here we are in the garden. Humming birds whiz about like dabs of oil … More The boy with the really bad tattoo
They sell the remote Andean paradise of Vilcabamba, Ecuador online as The Valley of Longevity – a cheap, beautiful, magical place where you can re-start your life, connect to nature and fulfill your dreams. But beware of sharks in the waters if you’re hunting for a peaceful place to relocate – all is very much … More Mr Walker’s Fingers
Vilcabamba artist, James Birthrong, talks to a difficult bitch about love, drugs and the higher ground on the eve of his latest show, First Harvest, opening this Friday in Ecuador. The artist smokes. He eats meat if he wants to, gambles, swears, describes himself as try-sexual (“I’ll try anything, twice!”)… and is brave enough to be interviewed … More Man of Flowers
Of all the cities in the world to soothe a tattered dream, I hand my vote to Cuenca, in Ecuador. With regrets, of course, to Paris. Folks from the more rural, southern parts of Ecuador will say the little city of cobble stones, cathedrals and actual cappuccino is too cold to be comfortable, too wet … More The Last Beautiful Thing
As murder tops the list of crime and skulduggery in Vilcabamba this week, I am reminded of the timely lesson of the Snake Goddess: while sucking the delectable poisons of someone else’s myth, beware the compulsion to bite your own tongue! She had been beckoning me for years, the snake goddess of the cubist pueblo … More Snakebite! – Evilcabamba Diary #3
Evilcabamba Diary #2 – Miss piggy cries wolf! In the story of The Three Little Pigs there was the one who made his house out of straw, the one who built from sticks and the last one who was (unfashionably) fond of red brick. I have had reason of late to wonder about this story. First … More Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
It’s difficult to say, really, who ruined everything. I mean, where the rot really set in. Of course, there was that whole thing with the Spanish, and there has been that whole thing with the USA and its calculated plundering of the islands and continents sequentially, but I doubt that even these horrendous incursions, betrayals … More Evilcabamba Diary 1
A recipe for Disaster. Oh, this was a great blog! An incredible, witty, passionate and inspirational blog. It was My Best Blog Ever. But I accidentally deleted the whole thing fooling around on WordPress and it is lost forever. Oh, woe! I have been grieving for three solid hours over the loss of the caffeine-inspired … More The Goddess of Cauliflower Soup
I’ve always had this intuitive feeling that ‘going back’ is a path fraught with disappointment, a sure way to lance the boil of regret that grows quietly on the under-side of nostalgia. In love, in career and travel, ‘going back’ risks curdling all that warm milky romance that time so gently nurture us with – … More Death in Vilcabamba