Ayahuasca With Javier de Silva

by Captain Bill

Guest post by Dag Walker

Javier de Silva

Part One

Ron Wheelock was in a confessional mood or something as we sat having breakfast at his place the morning after. He got onto a guy he is obsessed about, Javier de Silva, a local curandero who, Wheelock says, is plagueing Wheelock with spells and miseries from afar, from the aether, and in fact was doing it as the session the night before progressed. De Silva is such a menace to Wheelock’s peace that he is seriously, he says, considering a move out of the ayahuasca business and flight from Peru just to get away from this guy. Wheelock is serious about this. “Javier de Silva is the worst brujo in the world,” Wheelock says.

“Hey, I know that name,” I blurt out. I know it because Bo Keeley, who tells me everything about how to live my life right, told me that I had to take ayahuasca with the guy. Now it is totally settled. “Ron, I have to take ayahuasca with him. It’s perfect. You and him, in competition, who knows what will happen!” I’m thinking it’s cosmic, and that maybe Bo is onto something here.

After hearing many horror stories about de Silva from folks around town I try to track him down, failing at first because I got the wrong street address. I was nervous a bit because the man has such a lot of people who say so many bad things about him. I feared firstly that the man would tell me to go away, wrecking my devious plan to take ayahuasca with the two biggies of the ayahuasca trade here. Then there was no secondly. I had to actually find the guy first.

Enter Juan Maldonado again. Juan is the ultimate hustler in Iquitos, a man most people get to know if they stay here for longer than a few weeks. Juan is the man who can fix anything, get anything, and will do anything for a few dollars. As much as a man like Juan can be a friend to anyone, he is my friend. I got him to come with me to find this brujo with the seriously bad reputation. With Juan that was a simple matter. The problem was that de Silva was on a Peru-wide tour to promote his ayahuasca and healing abilities and was out of town for a week yet. Fine, I had the right place to return to. I also had a stern and concerned warning from Juan: “He is a con man,” Juan said. This is some kind of statement, coming as it does from Juan. Mention almost any name in the city and Juan will say, “Yes, I know him. He is a friend of mine.” Juan doesn’t say this about de Silva. Instead he says: “He is a sneak.” I wanted Juan to introduce me to de Silva to establish my credential as a low-life and cynical journalist.

Juan is the kind of man one would expect to find in the movies, and as luck had it, Juan was actually in the movies the day I needed him to come back to de Silva’s place with me. I had to fake it with de Silva to sneak my way into his affections. With Juan’s admonitions in my ear I went.  “He is a sneak and a liar. He is dishonest and only out for the money.” Oh, Juan! After that there was no backing out. It’s Javier de Silva or death. Maybe both.

I finally met de Silva, a medium height, dark-skinned man of 42, his curly hair cut short, he dressed in a wife-beater tee-shirt, baggy shorts below the knee, and plastic flip-flops, the usual attire in Iquitos for foreigners, locals usually far better dressed, at least in public. De Silva was at home, inside a two story concrete place distinguished only by its imposing size. De Silva is fat, his belly sticking out too far, his face round, and sweaty even inside the bunker that is his home. He smiles, and his teeth are wonderfully white. He opens his big arms wide, and I step back so he doesn’t hug me. We shake hands like men. I explain myself and enter his home, main floor, a huge empty square, plastic chairs stacked up in a corner, some stained colour posters of Mary and Jesus or saints or something taped on the wall. It’s an empty barn of a room. We pass through it into the back of the place to a small sitting room, also bare grey stained concrete walls, and we sit on some plastic chairs while I further explain what I want from the man, i.e. a story about ayahuasca and the man who uses it to commune with the spirits to heal the wounded and ill and frightened in this world. To my relief, de Silva is open to talking to me, and better still, he doesn’t do tourists. At least not primarily. All the while we talk de Silva smiles at me and often, for no reason at all, he bursts into giant belly laughs and his little black eyes glisten. This guy is a pro. performer.

“Hey, you, tell me about stuff.”

De Silva has staked out a space in the very crowded area of Iquitos ayahuasqueros. I’m in for a few bumps as I listen to him, and I encounter some shocks as well, fat, smiling, Mr. Joviality that he is. This guy is a con. But I come to him with as much prejudice as I did when I first met Ron Wheelock. I think I’m here to learn.

De Silva is Peruvian since he came at the age of 12 with his ayahuasca master grandfather, though many refer to him as an exotic, as The Brazilian. Iquitos is his home, and here he’s at the top of his game, though not so top as he used to be, the centre of all spotlights among the shamanic crowd he used to dominate during the international conferences organised by the U.S. Federal fugitive, Alan Shoemaker. De Silva is still big in town, almost entirely among locals, and big in Ron Wheelock’s mind, due to de Silva’s “witchcraft.” All I see, as we move into an even smaller concrete room, his sanctum sanctorum, where de Silva performs his magic on-on-one, is a smiling fat guy chain-smoking the local cheap cigarettes, Caribe, of which he has opened and scattered on the bottom rack of his altar perhaps 50-60 packs. The menace of this guy is the choking fog of cigarette smoke. He’s a clean-shaven fat guy dressed like a bum sitting at home alone on a weekend. He checks me out in my flip-flops, my rolled up shorts, my shirt tails hanging out. I haven’t shaved in over a month. De Silva smiles at me. De Silva isn’t loud or aggressive, doesn’t have the cunning, wary, scanning look of a convict scoping out the scene. He looks me clearly in the eye, and he looks OK to me. If not powerful of mind or body, he is at least powerful in personality. Yet there is still something about him that sets off my alarm bells, this guy who has spooked Ron Wheelock. De Silva, I see, is a low-rent version of Obama. He’s a talker. He smiles at me like he doesn’t mean it. Then I truly get it: “I am different from all the others. They are in this for the money.” Now I do not trust this guy at all. I nod and smile and let him know I believe he is something special and I like him. He looks at me and grins for real for the first time. I sit and smile like I mean it and inside I worry that Juan Maldonado will show up for no reason at all and tell de Silva that I am here because I know Ron Wheelock. I smile at de Silva and he checks out my metal teeth.

I’m a nice middle-class guy from a small rural area back home where folks are honest, decent, and church-going people who join the army and kill innocent, blood-crazed peasants for a few years if by accident they get their teenage cousins pregnant. I’m a simple kind of guy with solid values and a core American morality. Thus, to find myself deep in the Peruvian Amazon jungle in a tiny concrete room with a man who has a reputation as a con man and a witchdoctor who can cast spells on people and destroy their minds and bodies, the kind of man I have heard about all my life as Satanic, I could have been– should have been– scared. I should have been trembling and in fear of losing my soul. As is, I can’t recall fear anymore. My concern was to put the man at his ease so I could get a story from him without him knowing I had sneaked in with a lot of ideas already in mind. I smiled a lot as I sat with this devil-worshipping con man. I didn’t feel a thing. Nothing is too strange anymore in my homeless life.

There I was, trapped in a six by four foot room with a Satanist who could capture me, torture me, kill me impossibly far from my homeland and no one else would know or care. In this room were three chairs, in a corner that de Silva occupied, a wire frame rocking chair with one plastic seat cushion, my wooden chair in another corner, and a chair by the doorway where sat a segundo, one of many of de Silva’s seconds in command. This cramped little box was de Silva’s workspace, a place he practices his arcane magic medicine of casting out daemons who cause cancer, which he can dispel for $200.00 U.S. I watched him under the dull glow of a pig-tail lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. We smiled at each other.

A fourth man entered and stood standing stupid, segundo closing the door, lighting a Caribe, which he handed to de Silva who immediately huffed it to the filtre and put out his hand for another. De Silva lit four small white candles and turned out the light, the candles illuminating the doo-dads on the altar, a two foot by three foot long table crammed with ornaments of the curandero trade. I scanned the walls and saw a poster of Jesus and Mary, one of those ultra-dayglo things that shifts into a different picture, a Bleeding Jesus with puppy eyes. Two for one. I, too, am a sucker for a good deal. Beside that on the wall was a picture of Shiva and his wife, Mrs. Shiva, I guess. On the corner of the desk close to de Silva were two sticky-looking discoloured cell phones. The desk was littered with stuff I would loved to own as a ten year old, and I would like to have some of it even now, which de Silva gets because we looked at each other and did the lips and teeth thing again and he knows I’d shop-lift his cool-shit if I got a chance. I’d pass on the three plastic multi-size pyramids, but I sort of like the gold-coloured charging plastic bull. I asked if that was a statue there of Saint Anthony, the Egyptian sex maniac Dali painted a picture of. De Silva said that would be a different Saint Anthony. The one thing I really wanted to steal was the foot high metal totem pole of junk bits on the desk. There’s a skull with sparkly diamonds for eyes, and a metal moon and some gear parts and weird-looking shapes from things I don’t recognise, all of it stacked up and soldered into a big cross. De Silva said the image came to him in a dream and he had it created in Lima. My inner ten year old wants it. I turned from it and saw a tiny photo of a wrinkled, butt-ugly Muslima in a hijab. I asked about her presence there and de Silva informed me she’s a Catholic saint. Sorry, bud, that is definitely a Muslim woman. Finally, I stared in disbelief at a clay statuette on the desk. It is a thing from one of those hip cards and gift shops one finds in Manhattan or Los Angles, a figure of Stan Laurel, silent movie star, with his slap-stick pal Oliver Hardy. De Silva informed me the statuette is a doctor in a brown suit carrying a medical case. I remember Laurel and Hardy. They should be together on de Silva’s altar.

“Blah-blah and the ya-yas,” de Silva says, and I turn sadly from thoughts of home to my current reality, “25 years as a curandero in Iquitos….” Out of the corner of my ear I catch that “I have 10,000 plants at my ayahuasca centre in the jungle outside of the city.” He tells me he knows 15,000 icaros. I make a mental note that if he says 20,000 of anything I am walking out.

I started out with some softball questions to get things moving, questions so easy to answer that no one would have to think about them, just to get the man in the mood to talk to me. This is relationship building so this sleazy con man will trust me. I am bored to tears with this kind of crap, but I do this for a living, so I do it with a smile. I do fear I might pass out from lack of fresh air as de Silva blows through a pack of cheapy smokes. I listen to his nonsense ayahuasca stuff and take notes just because.

“The patient takes ayahuasca to have a connection with the spirit causing him harm, which allows de Silva to follow up so he can defeat said evil spirit.

Check.

Ayahuasca is a gateway to other worlds.

Check.

There are 150 other worlds.

Check.

There are five elements: Earth, air, fire, water, and the Spirit.

Check.

Mother Nature is the mother of all the elements, as if I care.

Why visit other worlds when the one we inhabit is so large and strange that we cannot know much of it at all?

To gain power.

Sure.

To find oneself.

And if one does find oneself, what is one to do with self, especially if said self is an arsehole one would rather not know?

One can change oneself.

As if.

De Silva says he looks on change as a matter of medicine healing by changing curses in one who can be whole again, by connecting ones interior elements of happy wholeness.

Huh?

If there was a further explanation I lost it in a cloud of Caribe smoke and the smell of the liquid agua florida de Silva guzzled. I wasn’t so bored by this a year ago when I first heard it, but now it’s tiresome. I barely listen as de Silva speaks on and on till I suddenly have to stop him and ask him to repeat himself in case my Spanish has suddenly failed me entirely. It’s one of those WTF!? moments.

“Mapacho is for amateurs. A true master smokes the pure tobacco of Caribe.”

I’m, like, “WHAT?”

Then there’s more drivel that I tune out as I nod and smile.

Every hippie and middle-aged flaky I have ever heard goes on about Mother Ayahuasca till I am ready to puke up anaconda spirits.

“Ayahuasca does not grow in water,” de Silva says. “It grows on land. It is not a water-borne plant. It is not an anaconda spirit. Ayahuasca is a rope. It is a male.”

Mother Ayahuasca is not my mother? Mother Ayahuasca is a man?

“This is true. The idea that ayahuasca is female is learned from Shipibos, and they are greedy and only want money. Ayahuasca is a male. Yaje [DMT] is female.”

Suddenly I am not in Kansas any more. I do not hear the usual cliches, but instead I hear the war hammer blows of iconoclasm smashing the idols of hippie-dom, de Silva having cleared a space for himself to stand among the wreckage of boring old New Age fripperies. De Silva has just stepped out from the crowd and he now shines. He shines alone. No one else can now do what he has done, i.e. no one else can be the ultimate ayahuasca rebel because they would simply be imitating de Silva. All the conservatives can do is call him a brujo and hope it sticks. This is jungle medicine checkmate. Bang!

I sit in the coffin size room and my head spins from the cigarette smoke and heat of burning candles and the close quartered scent of fat men. I am in unfamiliar territory in the Amazon jungle chatting with a witch doctor. I am a small town conservative Protestant from fly-over country, U.S.A. I cannot go home again. That place disappeared long ago. I sit with Javier de Silva in a concrete casket in the Amazon. Lost? Only if I had somewhere else to go. Afraid? Only if I had anything to lose.

Part Two

Stuck in this stink of sweat and cigarette smoke stench-filled tomb I am seriously in danger of passing out from lack of air and and a strong flow of bewilderment. It does not get better. Enter a 40 year old woman dressed to the nines in the local equivalent of Walmart’s finest sale-priced floral pattern discount ladies’ apparel, pancake make-up fit for a matron of an age we will not say, and the lady so nervous she cannot stand still even though she is obviously exhausted, her eyes red, her face pinched, her posture slumped and yet tense, a woman who, it turns out, has not slept for over a week because her ex-lover has cast a spell on her. She exists in a state of ever-waking torment. She cannot go on. She takes a seat, a pink plastic molded thing that I think de Silva might well have pulled out of a hat somewhere, because I cannot recall having seen it all this time. She’s kind of cute in a Marg Simpson way, her hair a lot shorter and stiff, brushed back severely, set hard in tight curls from a beauty parlour. This lady is trying very hard to look as good as she possibly can in this Modern Amazon world of working class small town America circa the 1950s, and I think she’s doing it well. She looks like the practical and hard-working ladies back home, something like Sarah Palin, like a nice lady with kids she works hard to support. She fiddles nervous with a string of white plastic balls that sort of approximate pearls as she glances at me, a stranger, a man in the room where she must tell all her secrets of love and woe and pain. She’s got my vote, especially when she sits rigid in the chair and gives in and matter of factly says to de Silva that she is possessed by a daemon.

De Silva leans forward, his big belly rolling across his fat thighs, his big, flabby arms jiggling as he reaches for another Caribe cigarette already lit by segundo and waiting, all the phlogiston sucked out of it as I watch in horrified wonder, the long grey ash falling to the floor like a dead man. Yeah, that is scary. De Silva looks the lady in the eye and tells her softly, “I will cast out that daemon.” They consult  in whispers, and suddenly de Silva leans back in his chair and speaks in a tone of shock, shaken to the roots of his soul by the discovery he has made: “You are possessed by the spirit of the Black Anaconda!” he roars. I burst into hysterical laughter, but thank the gods, only on the inside. The lady in the pink plastic chair twists one leg around the other and shucks both under the chair as she clamps her hands crosswise on opposing shoulders and stares terrified at de Silva. “I will defeat him and rid you of this curse,” de Silva shouts, and I fucking well believe it now, as do all the others in this room, particularly mom and her 20 year old son who has slid in and stands beside her and puts his hand on her hand as she clutches her shoulder tight and must hurt if only she knew. The Black Anaconda Spirit.  If you got it, it’s not a laughing matter, as I see when I see it all play it out before me in the smoke and the candle light and the steam of sweat.  This lady must be saved. This lady will be saved. I am sure of it.

To get this ball rolling, de Silva takes a giant swig of auga florida, stuff I might use on my hair if I were a bit fancier than I am. He does another Caribe like he did before and I am aghast and somewhat sick at the sight of such a stunt. He sucks the coal through the cigarette till there is nothing left but a long ash, and I can’t cope with it. I turn my head away. How does he do it? He begins to whistle, a mighty fine tune, too, though I have no idea where the music came from, up and down the scales, and I like it. He shakes his chakapa and the leaves of this big rattle swish and make a sound like the wind blowing through the leaves of the pine forests back home at night when I am awake and am supposed to be asleep. I find myself mesmerised, the icaros coming thick in the dead air, the tune familiar to me from too many icaros sung by others; but this is different, de Silva singing, more than loud, the sound powerful and exciting and exhilarating, the song pounding in my mind. I feel the icaro in my chest. I feel the icaro surging in my blood. De Silva shakes his rattle, he sings, he trembles and shakes his corpulent stuff in his chair and he sweats, and the sweat flies off him like a dog shaking off a jump in a lake. His voice is a full roar and beautiful. His eyes are wild and rolling out of control, and yet still he manages to reach out to segundo for another lit Caribe, which, hate to say, is sucked to dust along a diminishing trail of glowing red ember to the filter. The icaro rises to heights of glory, and at the crescendo, all of a flash and fury, it ends instantly. De Silva heaves himself back against the chair, he covered in sweat, reaching for a towel, wiping himself off, and then, looking at the woman in her chair, he laughs out loud in a opera-worthy scene of ultimate triumph of good over evil. He shouts, and the lady grabs her knees and stares bug-eyed at him. “The Curse of the Black Anaconda! It is gone!” The Lady slumps in her chair, so relieved she cries silently, tears dropping onto her polyester dress in a glittering light cascade.

Well, fuck me dizzy. That was some evil spirit. I’m happy for the old lady. I look at her son, and I am happy for him too. Mom passes de Silva two ten sole notes. All is well again. Son stands still beside his mother, he clean cut and proper, dressed in black slacks and a black shirt with white embroidered words I squint to see.

Sony. Make. Believe.

Part Three

Dinner arrived at my favourite chicken place just in time to save me from a serious bad headache of the kind I used to get as a student when I marked the backyard of the house with sticks in the ground so I could compare the force and distance of my headache-induced projectile vomitting over the course of time. I was so used to crippling pain that I became clinical about it. My impending headache was making me somewhat nostalgic. Javier de Silva. I had spent so much time thinking about the story and how to present it to the greater world that I missed all the day’s meals, didn’t drink anything, and smoked myself into this state of pain and sickness to the point I was dreading the moments from my dinner order to the plate landing on the table so I could at last eat and be reasonable again. My chicken dinner came, and as I stuck a fork into a plateful of french fries covered in ketchup, my coleslaw just waiting for the next bite, my chicken sending me to a heaven of food delight, in walked Ron Wheelock, and he said hello and asked how I was. I put my fork down and greeted Ron and his boy and his girlfriend. These are people I like and I value my time with them. Dinner had to wait.

Ron smiled and his bright blue eyes shone even when I told him, “I just finished writing up my notes of a meeting I had with Javier de Silva.” Ron spent some years in prison for selling drugs, and yet there is none of that typical con manner about him that most pick up and keep for life even after a short spell.  When he shakes my hand I feel the grip of a man who works hard for his money. We share 10,000 years of island inbreeding. Ron smiled at me, and I like him because he means it when he smiles.

Wheelock told me as he and the family stood and I sat at my table, for in hand, that he had a group of 31 people at his ayahuasca lodge recently. “The first session was good,” he said, “but the second was a catastrophe. Javier de Silva came and put curses on me and made my people crazy. I t was worse during the third ceremony. De Silva cast so many spells that I had to fight him the whole time and people were panicking. The last ceremony was just as bad. De Silva is a brujo. You ain’t gonna take ayahuasca with him, are you?” Wheelock was seriously concerned about it. “There was one guy who ended up crazy. I used to see him on the street. I’d give him S./5.00 sometimes, not often, but sometimes. He was crazy because de Silva cursed him. I don’t want to see that happen to you.” I could see Wheelock’s thin face drawn at the very thought of his nemesis, his concern for me making him tense.

If not for Ron Wheelock’s relationship with de Silva I would have no interest in the latter. As is, this is a must for me, this clash of Titans. I have to take ayahuasca with Ron Wheelock’s enemy, Javier de Silva.

Wheelock’s boy is excellent. We make faces at each other, we poke each other and do boy things. I forget momentarily about brujos and curses and headaches and even my dinner. We all shake hands and I stab my chicken, ripping him up and eating him. “You have my blessing,” says Wheelock as he leaves.

Part Four

Mother Ayahuasca had better lock on her chastity belt because the plan as of now is to go drinking with the Three Davids, currently the most notorious motherfuckers in Iquitos. If there is trouble in town, one hears the “David” was involved. Taking ayahuasca with these guys is probably a mistake, and thanks to Juan Maldonado, it’s to drink with the most notorious brujo in the city, Javier de Silva. What could go wrong?

David is going to drive us over to de Silva’s place. He has a mototaxi, and if he isn’t too drunk he’s a great driver, very reliable and affable and a good friend. David is tall, well over six feet, so he carries the extra 70 pounds, most of it from beer drinking, pretty well. He’s a good-looking guy for a 60 year old, white hair now, and blue eyes and a long ago broken nose. He’s easy to like, always ready with a joke, a happy guy who had some bad luck over the years, like being busted a while back because the police in Europe mistook him for a big-time dope smuggler, and David did a few years in prison till the  government figured out that they made a mistake somehow. I’m not clear on the details of this story. Nor am I clear on how his bad luck continued and David went to prison in Ecuador after the Chief of Police emptied a revolver into the whorehouse David was running. David’s bad luck continues in Iquitos because someone in a position of authority is claiming that David has threatened to murder said official. Knowing David as I do, I suspect the official lacks a sense of humour. David is going to drive David, David, and me to Javier de Silva’s place.

David is going to come along, the second David, that is, the guy with the crenelated smile, his thick black hair pulled back into a tight pony tail, his limping gait from a serious accident during a crazy adventure making him noticeable from a block away, to write a story for the local expat paper. I think David is coming. One can never tell from one minute to the next about David because he is having a problem with a local warlord who is threatening David with a ten year prison sentence, and David is leery of going back. He had some really bad luck in life, being smaller than a lot of blokes, and thus he was picked on a bit, causing him to straighten out those who would bully him. Unfortunately, giving these lessons in good behaviour to others got David thrown in prison a number of times for assault and such things. Perhaps if David hadn’t used table legs, pool cues, and broken beer bottles to teach so well he might have been seen as a victim of other people’s cruelty. He is definitely that now, given the warlord’s fury at him. That fury means David is forever planning his escape into the jungle to make his way to some other country where the Peruvian police won’t bother coming after him, though the warlord’s employees are likely to seek him out no matter where he goes. I don’t bother mentioning that to David. He’s tense already. Ayahausca would likely be just the thing to calm him down and show him the error of his ways.

David, on the other hand, he being David number three here, looks like James Bond of later movies, a good-looking fellow with prematurely grey hair, a Scottish bad temper, and a fine wardrobe that one afternoon came hurtling down from Tracy’s (a gentleman doesn’t ask ladies about being in prison) second floor balcony over the Malecon Maldonado, just moments before the safety glass door exploded into a million pieces, knows the error of his ways, suffering from a severely broken hand he got in a fist fight with a Brazilian transvestite hooker in the night while back. David was pretty drunk when that happened, and because of it he now has his third “denuncia” from the police. Any more trouble from David, like another fight with anyone who crosses his path, and David will find himself dumped across the nearest foreign  border. That would be unfair, David being a good guy who just had some bad luck  a few years ago that resulted in him killing a fellow by accident. It was unfair too that David had to spend time in prison for that. He was really sorry about it all. If David is sober enough and hasn’t had too much cocaine, and if he isn’t in gaol for something, then he will go to Javier de Silva’s place to drink ayahuasca.

We have to thank Juan Maldonado for this visit to the brujo. Juan is a good guy, though knowing that he spent some time in prison in Mexico would spoil this impression if one didn’t know as well that Juan was put there by mistake, a friend of his being up to no good and Juan being imprisoned unfairly because of his association with this criminal.

Thank the gods I’m a straight arrow. Otherwise this trip to craziness could turn out badly.

David, David, David, and I are off to see the Wizard.

What could possibly go wrong?

Part Five

Ok, dear reader, you and I both know that trip to drink ayahuasca with Javier de Silva was bound to be a fuck-up. It just didn’t turn out to be the fuck-up I feared it would be.

David and my evil twin Adrian Walker took a 12 hour boat ride up the Nanay river to check out a creepy ex-con who has been squatting on Adrian’s jungle property, cutting down Adrian’s trees, selling them on the black market. Adrian sold his laptop computer and a pair of fancy binoculars for a hundred bucks to finance the trip. It’s been ten days now since anyone has heard from them. Folks all say, “They’ll be OK. These things happen.”

David did indeed skip town, last I heard, David was living in an all-night laundrette in Madrid.

David and I did go to drink ayahuasca with Javier de Silva. David had been drinking all day prior to that, eight litres of beer in the afternoon, so by evening he cut back and only had two more before we left to see the witchdoctor.  De Silva, to his credit, wanted to throw David out, but David paid the man a lot of money and he was allowed to stay and to drink his cup of ayahuasca. I had some, too. Within an hour David was puking and then, minutes later he was shouting about there being snakes in his puke bucket. That was me having fun. I got five for a dollar at a toy store. If I’d known David was going to freak out like that I would have bought some plastic spiders as well.

Otherwise, the evening drinking ayahuasca with Javier de Silva was the usual boring shit for me. I got sick, all right, but mostly I laid down on the cold concrete courtyard, if you will, the laundry space between the meeting room and the toilets, where I sweated and dozed off until David went to use the toilet and stepped on me. This ayahuasca is not working for me. David was out of his head. I got nothing from it.

One reads horror stories about Javier de Silva, many of them from a Canadian metro-sexual who carries on about de Silva being Satanic. The man is at worst a cheap hustler, but reading about him on the Internet without having met the man, one is stuck with what can seem to be authoritive pronouncements. I shrug. There’s nothing scary about the man at all other than that he can smoke a whole cigarette in one go.

I am carrying on with this ayahuasca voyage, not giving up just yet. My next adventure will be with Peter Gorman. If that fails, then I must call it quits. But I have deep hopes here that Gorman is the man.

Ayahuasca With Javier de Silva

Guest post by Dag Walker

If you enjoyed this article you will want to purchase Dag’s book Iquitos Peru: Almost Close; by D. W. Walker at Amazon.com.

“Wild and wonderful tales from the Amazon jungle city of Iquitos, Peru, Almost Close brings this fascinating city to life for the ages, a collection of stories of places, people and events that will thrill and entertain the reader with indepth views of an exotic land and its eccentric and adventurous characters: colourful locals, expatriot residents, and romantic drifters all looking for paradise, having found it in Iquitos, if not forever and for all, then for some and for a while, perhaps not exactly, but almost close.”

You will also want to read these articles in a series about Dag Walker’s on-going search In Iquitos Peru, with Ayahuasca;

Iquitos Peru, Ayahuasca, What Happened To Me, Part One;

Iquitos Peru, Ayahuasca, What Happened To Me, Part Two;

Iquitos Peru, Ayahuasca, What Happened To Me, Part Three;

Seating Ayahuasca At The Cannibal Banquet Of The Soul, (Part Four);

Two other articles by Dag about Iquitos;

Iquitos Peru, A Really Dirty Story;

Black Days and Red Nights, Riot ’98;

More great stories about Iquitos on Dag’s blog; No Dhimmitude;

Another book for your consideration by Dag at Amazon.com, An Occasional Walker, by D. W. Walker

Hi Bill Grimes here. As always, the views expressed by guest authors are not necessarily the views of Bill Grimes, Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises, or the Captain’s Blog.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leo Jones January 18, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Dag, I found your blog very entertaining. I believe I would have enjoyed it even more if I’d been high. I must caution you about writing about expats living in Iquitos, though. Specifically, the comment you made about my friend, Alan Shoemaker. I believe you would have been better advised if you hadn’t said what you did about him. In this town one can make enough enemies accidently. So the last thing you want to do is do it intentionally.

2 Dag Walker January 18, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Leo, I know Alan Shoemaker slightly and perhaps well enough to think he and most others will grasp that this piece is written in jest for the most part.

3 chris January 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

I’ve read a lot about Javier recently, having heard about him on Ayahuasca.com, and as described by an ex ‘disciple’ as a ‘satanic shaman’, lol.
Thanks Dag for a hilarious read. The bit about the toy snakes in the pukebucket had me laughing so hard i cried, and that was without the spiders, lol!!

Keep up the good writing sir, cos when i read this i was right back in Iquitos. You do it better than anyone else! 😉

4 Dag January 19, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Chris, I’m happy to see that you liked my account of Javier de Silva. There are more comments at Bill Grimes’ Facebook page about this.

If you like Iquitos, then I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of my latest book, at the link above, and have more fun meeting and greeting folks in the city, “Iquitos, Peru: Almost Close.” It’s available at amazon.com, again, at the link above. My next book about Iquitos is due by the end of Feb, a book on Rubber Boom architecture. And as soon as I go out with Peter Gorman I’ll be able to finish and send to the publisher my third book about the ctiy and its culture, “Confessions of an Ayahausca Skeptic,” of which the piece above is an excerpt.

Again, I’m happy that you liked it.

My best from Iquitos,
Dag.

5 David Edwards January 24, 2014 at 12:14 pm

“table legs, pool cues, and broken beer bottles”??

You’re a funny man, Dag. I love ya!! Great piece of work. 🙂

6 Dag January 25, 2014 at 5:58 pm

David, I had much fun writing this piece, and it is popular all around town, especially among your friends and mine, people who know you well and miss you.

My best from paradise, mate.

Dag.
Iquitos, Peru
Jan. 2014

7 Andrew Osta July 10, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Good read, funny, accurate. I know both Ron and the brujo… In fact I must be the Canadian metrosexual you briefly mentioned – what a description! Somebody forwarded this article to me, otherwise I would have never found it, as I no longer actively research any of this stuff. Anyway, if anybody is interested in a more in-depth long term account of studying under this brujo, have a look at my two books: Shamans and Healers and Walk in the Light. P.S I received a death threat from da Silva about 2 years back… he’s a bit more than a conman, to summarize him with that is to miss the point.

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