Published: May 20th 2012May 20th 2012
I hopped on my hour late bus yesterday evening from Mancora. Those goodbyes were pretty damn hard.
When I got on the bus the few others said they were going to Lima, 20 hours south of Mancora, in Peru... and I was heading to Loja, Ecuador, 14 hours north of Mancora. So it started a bit confusing. As it turned out I was to change busses at another stop in Peru. I have no idea where I was, and I'm pretty sure we went south for 3 hours before I changed busses. Who knows, even speaking the language gets you very little clarity. Half the time you ask a question and they don't even answer you. Then you (me) start getting uptight (not all the time, sometimes I just laugh about it, others I'm stressed) and then they say the single spanish word, something they say all the time, that makes me want to PUNCH OUT everyone who says it: ¨Tranquilo.¨ Anyone who knows me knows that telling me to be calm is a sure fire way to make me NOT calm. I hate this phrase so much. So SO much. And it's used ALL THE TIME.
Anyways in random-who-knows-where-city, I switched busses. I passed out for a while and woke up at the border, where you had to go to two immigration places on the Peru side, cross a bridge, and go to one on the Ecuador side. Following people was the way to go. There, I met 3 girls who spoke English, all of us travelling alone, heading to Loja, and then three of us on to Vilcabamba. So that helped things. When we arrived in Loja at 5:30am, they went with me to find a bank machine, as I was the one brilliant one who didn't change any money before entering Ecuador. Luckily there was one at this bus station, a rarity. First use of my precious new debit card! Then we figured out the bus to Vilcabamba and actually were lucky enough to catch the first one of the day. A very crowded bus ride later (though us girls all managed to get seats, thank god as I think we were all in and out of sleep on the ride) and we arrived in Vilcabamba, known as the valley of longevity as its residents seem to live to be quite old. Who knows if this is true, but kinda a neat (possible) fact.
The girl from Holland and I both were going to this hostel that everyone raves about, called Izhcayluma. Holy, I can see why.
Basically, I picture celebrity rehab to be exactly like this place is. For $10 a night, you get a dorm room (and who was the lucky girl who randomly paid the same but got a double bed?! ya that's me) and buffet breakfast in the morning (fruit salad, bread, yogurt, eggs, CREPES!) Then you've got a restaurant, a bar (less celebrity rehab-like), a pool, hammocks galore, but really the thing about the place is the view. It's 2km outside of Vilcabamba, and the town itself is in a valley. We're raised up here so the views of the town and the surrounding mountains are just incredible. There are a ton of self-guided hikes you can do around here, along with horseback riding and such. The hostel is more than one building so just the grounds themselves are filled with so many beautiful plants and paths to adventure through.
So why in the world would anyone not be happy as can be in this paradise? Good question. Good question indeed. I've just been so antisocial, feeling so down all day. I haven't made a single friend - and there are a ton of people here, any of which I could approach and be pals in a moment. But I haven't bothered. Today I contacted a local shaman, who I'm hoping to have a journey with in the next few days. We'll see. She did say something that struck me - that she thinks I may be going through a transformation at the moment, and when this happens we can feel all upside down... but that we always land on our feet. I believe her to be right, but that doesn't make anything make a bit more sense to me.
So, since I was feeling down all day, I decided to spoil myself a bit. There's also a spa here (told you, it's paradise, I'm just INSANE), and one package was a facial, hair treatment, and Reiki. 90 minutes for $24. Ya, spoiling me was pretty cheap.
At 6pm this evening I went to that. First was the facial and hair treatment, pretty standard stuff. Then the Reiki. I had zero idea what to expect. It's a sort of spiritual healing type thing. I really don't know much about it. But I can tell you this: though it far from shut my brain up, it did relax me a bit. An odd bit was for most of the session I felt a pressure just below my heart. As if there was a light rock sitting on me. But there was nothing. I distinctly felt this there, and like I said I had no preconceptions. So that was odd.
Even odder was right after it was over. I stood up to gather my sweater, shoes, fanny pack (I'm so cool, right?) and my necklace. I had taken it off for the session as she asked if I could. No problem.
You all know the necklace. My tree. It's always on me. I got it in Nazca, Peru, over two years ago. I rarely take it off. It has another connected necklace, the craziest tooth I've ever seen, which I gave to Yannick at my first Shambhala to give him strength.
Needless to say, this tree necklace of mine meant a lot to me. It experienced everything with me - the ups, the downs, the excitement, the dread, every last feeling and emotion, sight, sound, smell, of the last two years of my life.
And when I went to grab it, it fell off the table. And it just instantly broke into two pieces. 2 years, a wooden necklace, and it just snaps in two like a fragile piece of glass.
Right after the Reiki.
Right after a day I've felt more lost than ever, it seems.
My first instinct was wow, that is ominous. Very ominous.
My second, more hopeful instinct, was perhaps it really is time to let go of everything that has happened, good and bad, in these past 2 years. Perhaps the necklace breaking symbolized a new phase. A better phase.
Or perhaps I'm just a crackpot putting too much significance into a little piece of wood with a tree carved out ever so delicately in the middle.
Time will tell. Until then... I'll keep on trucking.