Magic San José del Pacifico (Oaxaca, Mexico)
In Pochutla there is a hidden courtyard where the small white buses wait for Oaxaca. On the way through the mountains it will take us to San Jose del Pacifico. We took caution to avoid nausea, the ride is very curving and we are both sensitive. The trip was not too bad, we enjoy the view and arrive at noon. In the village we ask about the hostel La Cumbre, which was recommended to me by friends. We walk up the mountain and have to ask several times. When we finally find it, it is perfect – cheap, nice rooms with amazing views and nice landlords. The highlight was for us definitely the small kitchen, where an older lady prepares delicious soups, teas, fruits and homemade brandy. Immediately we felt at home here.
The night is cold, we share our woolen blankets and only get up when the sun is already higher. The shower is freezing cold and you can even drink the water from the line. At the info in town we ask for hiking trails, we want to explore a little bit. Most of the people don’t come here to hike, but the guy showed us some routes. We walk through the forest towards San Mateo, on the map it did not look so far. The route is fantastic, we have to cross some ice cold streams and meet nice old people in the forest. At some point, we realize that it must be quite far, but now we do not want to go back. Finally, we arrive at a street and hitch up to San Mateo on a pickup full of bottles with an old man. If you ask for the way, you are often invited to go along. San Mateo is preparing for a fair, a local shows us nicely the church but there is not much to see here. The drive back to San Jose was then surprisingly far and expensive ..
In the evening I go with a few people from our hostel to a Temazcal (sweat lodge) ceremony. We walk for a long time to the forest, where the village shaman is already glowing the stones in the fire. It is slowly becoming cold, we pull out and crawl one after the other into the low hut of clay and grass. In it I experience a mixture of sauna, nightmare and rebirth. We are cooled with wet branches and then almost boiled with hot stones, we sing and drum and scream and tell. I can only breathe partly when I cheat on the ground. I lose any sense of time. I do not know anyone here and dare not go out earlier, because it’s freezing outside and I don’tt know the way back. At the same time, we grow together as a group. In the end the heat can not be increased and it is over, we are again thrown with wet branches and released into freedom. We stand briefly at the fire and then walk back through the clear full moon night. I feel filthy and smoked but at the same time also cleaned and free. One guy runs screeming like a wolf through the fullmoon forest. I crab without showering under the preheated rug to my sister.
At night it was very stormy and the morning is extra cold, we linger forever in the bed before we dare to go outside. The sun warms and clears up everything quickly. Today is a special day, we drink a special (magic) tea on empty stomach and step up the mountain behind our hostel into the enchanted spruce forest. The tea must have been strong, I can hardly walk after 15 minutes, fortunately we find a secluded clearing. Then it gets crazy – dizziness, laughing and nausea. Moments of deep joy and extreme discomfort alternate, we do not want to vomit in any case and eat each a small biscuit to get a different taste and from then on everything goes better. The nausea fades into a super-slow, weightless, joyful state of happiness. I sit in the crosslegged seat, and suddenly the time begins to stretch infinity, every movement seems to take minutes. Everything is so incredibly funny and the biscuits are so delicious. I see 1000 details and am deeply fascinated by the environment but also by my own body. My body has no more weight, I hardly move and I am still completely weightless. Getting up or moving at all is hardly an option, everything feels so numb but at the same time also highly sensitive. Taste, sense of touch and sight are 100 times more intense – nevertheless, we saw everything just much more detailed and have not really imagined anything, an all-embracing beauty. At some point, we discovered what happens when you close your eyes: Incredible fragments, patterns, faces, deeper levels, painted animals, Buddha faces, colors, mandalas, kaleidoscope, very 3D deep – absolutely fascinating. The outside world and inner world were intermingled and yet they were totally different. External impressions have totally affected the interior world, but when we opened our eyes, it was more like waking up and less intense. Sensations for pain or needs were completely gone, everything was so soft and light. The light was eerily intense, and we were both very drawn from the earth. I had a moment in child pose, where I could look several levels deep into the ground.
Gradually, we then slowly woke up. Then again moments of total clarity and meditation. I felt that dying is simply passing into this absolute joy and energy. We then slowly became more and more “normal” and went back to the village, on the way everything still beautiful and slow. We ate tasty Tamales with cinnamon and pineapple, cocoa and orange juice and then went to chill at the hostel. The time in the forest feels like an enchanted dream, luckily we have written down a few things. The memory disappears quickly and can hardly be described with words anyway.
We have absolutely fallen in love with this place and want to stay, but we are not well equipped for the altitude and the cold and feel like getting sick, so we leave the next day. The bus down the road takes us in 3.5 hours to Oaxaca Ciudad.