It’s wasn’t by intention to leave you all hanging on the San Pedro story. My phsycadelic companion had to catch his bus, so I left to say goodbye as brothers bonded by soul searing of the sacred cactus…
We thought we knew enough about the plant to attempt to prepare it on our own. What we didn’t know, however, and we soon to discover, was how to determine the strength of the concoction before consuming it. Anyhow, the lack of a proper kitchen, stove, blender, and privacy presented some challenges which we enjoyed striving to overcome. It brought back memories of the days in highschool where we mischeviously applied all our mental capacities to the task of getting high on new and deliciously illegal drugs. But this time we were older, perhaps wiser, and had the security of knowing that San Pedro is far from illegal around here. Still, though, we didn’t feel that the hostal establishment would condone our processing the plant and consuming large quantities of it openly infront of their other guests. So we opted to keep it quiet as best we could.
Fortunately, not many guests were hanging around on the top floor terrace around 2:00 in the afternoon. Jake grabed is camping stove, asked to borrow a kitchen pot, and proceeded to try and fit the stove to a new kerosene tank we bought just an hour earlier while Lada and I diligently cut the skin off the cactus as we were trained. The stove and tank had incompatible fittings… which Jake managed to work into a seemingly snug marriage. But like most marriages, there were leaks… and about 30 minutes into the cooking process, we had flames coming out of the tank, melting the stove top rather severly before we managed to quelsh them. Scratching our heads, not wanting to endanger the mission by asking the establishment if we could cook San Pedro on their kitchen stove, we sought alternative options. Then we saw the kettle… and electric kettle is a common household item for Brits- asking our British friend how it worked inspired chortles and that holier-than-though look of disbelief as he went on to explain that life is quite impossible without one. But why not heat your water in the microwave, we ask? Ahhh!!! Blasphemy!!
Anyway, an electric kettle is just that- a kettle that boils water when plugged in. But it isn’t meant to boil water for very long… it stops when the temp gets to boiling, and you have to hit the button continuously if you want to boil something for longer than a few seconds. Well, we wanted to boil our San Pedro for over and hour. Thinking that this might break the kettle, and piss of the establishment, we asked our lovely Brit friends if they might let us use their private room for the final processing of our baby. They ablige, and we proceed to sit in their room, next to the window, for over and hour hitting the on button of the kettle approx. every 30 seconds. Eventually, we skinned the meat off the hard skin, tossed the skin, then boiled it some more. The brits and I had both done the San Pedro through “professional” shaman oufits, and we knew more or less what the green goo should look and taste like. Well, it looked ok, but tasted far more bitter than what we had before. Assuming this was just because we shortened the cooking time, and the drink would probably therefore be less potent, we shrugged our shoulders and decided to go for it.
Jake and I cheersed it up, and struggled to get the awful green liquid in our bellies. Ten minutes later, and we’re already feeling strange. Later we come to conclude than the bitter taste probably comes from the drug itself… so the more intensely bitter, the more intensely high you will get. Stupid us for thinking the opposite…
Anyway, there’s no way to describe that experience. It was intensely strange, pleasant mostly, but sooo very strange. We forgot what the world looked like when we weren’t hallucinating, and we found the hallucinations are far crazier when we closed our eyes. And it went onnnn and onn and on. Some 4 hours into being in another world, and we were still as high as ever. By the end, we wanted it to stop, to release us and let our worn out minds have some rest. But no, it doesn’t just stop… we were forced to come down and far as we went up, and it was another six hours of not so pleasant, tired, but alert, conscious struggle. Oh… no sleep that night, no sleep at all.
All in all, we enjoyed it. I’ve never done anything even remotely that crazy. And I don’t think I ever will again… it was just too much, man… too much. San Pedro may hold the key to heavens gate, but do you really want to go there??