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Searching for Higher Ground

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Ice House

Rising Star
OG Pioneer
Quito Ecuador the journey begins.The incredible Mrs Ice House by my side, searching for Higher ground. No reservations. A walk through the Andes and then down into the Amazon basin, in search of higher ground. That's the journey in a nutshell. I look forward to the unfolding. Hehehe. ...
In search of higher ground. What is it exactly? Does it exist?
Quito, Ecuador a beautiful city nestled in the Andes. Declared a UNESCOheritage site back in the mid to late 70s? Lots to see and do in this town while adjusting to the altitude.
Rich in history and culture Quito offers something for everyone. Great vistas, beautiful architecture dating back to Ecuador colonial days with the Spanish and the Catholic missionaries. I should mention the great food available here. Walking through the market I was amazed at how much variety of fruit and vegetables there was.I have never seen anything like it. The Mrs and I were fortunate enough to run into a Jazz festival going on at the Quito opera house. There was a 12 peice world music band from the states playing when we arrived. The band was called Antibalas. The music was incredible. A great drum beat and a big horn section. I've never been a big fan of jazz, I do appreciate good music of all types. This was a great show.

The hostel we are staying at sits at about 9,000 feet. Its a pretty good place. It's called the Secret Garden. Australia owners do a great job of offering a great place to stay and network. Simple clean rooms great breakfast lots of interesting guests, most of whom are also in search of higher ground. Hehehe. ..

I am posting on this thread using my android Samsung Galaxy S4. Not an easy task for such a technologically challenged clod like myself. Please forgive me in advance for all the bad spelling. I'm going to start inserting photos in here as soon as I find out how to. LOL
Parsh - I was thinking the same!

Ice House - An honor to travel vicariously through you. Pictures would be much, much..

Warmth and gratitude.
Hope to be able to post some photos on here.this is my first attempt. Its a shot of the city from my room at the hostel.


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Awesome! I was able to get a a photo upload. My thanks go out to the Traveler. Heading out to the town of Otavalo for a bit to take in the world famous textile market.
Sounds like your having a blast!

I always found the whole "culture shock" thing kinda funny. I always felt well adjusted in completely different cultures.
Hello Nexus! Hehehe......

Higher Ground....... Right?

This story is going to take a few sessions to get down on this thread. bear with me. I'll have it told in a few days. Its a story I feel compelled to tell.

I'm not even sure what it was that I was originally looking for.

I'm home now, back from a long exciting vacation. I feel blessed. If only I had taken some detailed notes on my feelings before I departed. What was it I was actually looking for? Higher ground? What is Higher ground?

Like allot of you out there, I have always been drawn to the unknown. As I have grown in life my desire to reach the ultimate psychedelic state and having the ultimate psychedelic experience has increased. I have taken trips all over the globe, taken all kinds of psychedelic substances in hopes of achieving a state of mind that I could finally recognize as an altered state that can go no deeper. I began to feel a calling to find that higher ground. I had been searching for the last 35 years and always fell short. My psychedelic experiences were fulfilling, and yet, they always seemed to fall short. Had I reached the end? a pseudo saturation point at which only diminished returns could be achieved by looking deeper into myself with the use of psychedelics?

I knew that I needed to make some changes with how I was using psychedelics. I noticed two things about my psychedelic usage.

I wasn't getting the results that I once did.
I was using psychedelics exclusively in social or party environments.

Gone were the magical days when I would eat a huge handful of ps Semilanceatta and lay on my bed in a totally dark room and navigate for 8 hours straight. Gone were the days when I would eat a couple tabs of good LSD and that was enough. My psychedelic usage had evolved into a monster that was insatiable. Tripping for me had evolved into consuming several different varieties of substances, dancing to EDM and socializing with people all night long and then killing my trip in the morning with a benzo so I could get the sleep I needed. Why take LSD alone when you can snort MDA all night with it? Better yet why not take LSD, 2CB, MDA, mushrooms, Chonga all together every time I feel like partying.

More is better when you're searching for higher ground, right?
I had come to a place in life where I knew I needed to shake things up. I needed change. I needed to relax, I also needed to be pushed and I needed to be challenged, I needed answers. I had a clear vision of where I wanted to be but there was no clear path on how to get there.

I really felt that I needed the guidance of a shaman to help me reset and get myself back on track. I wanted that tryptamine magic back in my life, where every trip is just like the first. How had I gotten so far off track? My intentions were good? I was restless for answers and results.

My wife and I were due for a vacation. A trip to get away from it all.

A trip to get away from it all..... Hehehe....lol.

I knew that that was just a story I was going to tell my wife, Hey Honey! Lets go on a little vacation and get away from it all! She would buy into it, I could convince her.

Little did she know, I had every intention of jumping out of the frying pan and right into the fire while I was getting away from it all.

The plan was simple, we go on a little adventure to Ecuador, travel around the country, see the sights and somewhere during this journey we would surely run into somebody who could help me get the CTL-ALT-DEL I felt I needed.

Ecuador was, after doing some research, the easy choice. I was pretty ignorant as to what it was going to take to find what I was looking for. Ecuador for a few good reasons. I felt I had good access to ayahuasca and the amazon and if that didn't pan out I had the Andes mountains and huachuma aka San Pedro. Ecuador was right on the equator so the weather was pretty nice. I also wanted to avoid the crowds of tourists seeking shamans and plant medicine, so Peru was out. I wasn't interested in drug tourism, I wanted the real deal. lol, I didn't even know what real deal I was looking for.

Ecuador was it.
So we flew into Quito on a rainy cold night. From what it looked like through the window of the cab, it looked just like a rainy night in Seattle. We got to our hostel located in an old colonial part of the city. It looked pretty non descript from the outside I grabbed my pack and put it on, I grabbed my wife's pack also and started up the stairs following the signs to the reception desk. After the third set of stairs I realized that my lungs felt like they were about to explode. I dropped both of the packs and looked up at the sign for the reception desk. It was directing me up another flight of stairs. I felt like I wasn't getting any oxygen. I decided to take a break and catch my breath.

Welcome to higher ground......Hehehe....

Higher ground, Quito, Ecuador. Sitting at 9,350 feet its the highest elevation of any official capital city in the world.

My wife had just got up to the third floor where I was when I had finally caught my breath. The look on her face was priceless. her expression told me she was having a difficult time breathing. In the back of my mind I was thinking, Oh my god, This is the lowest altitude that we are going to be at for a few weeks, how are we going to manage?

I was planning on a day or two in Quito at the most. I really hadn't put much thought into staying in Quito for a few days to get adjusted to the altitude. I felt like I was in a hurry to get on with my adventure. Looking at my wife I realized there wasn't going to be an adventure if we didn't get her adjusted to the altitude.
Awesome Ice House. I hear Coca tea helps one to acclimatize. I think there are also O2 tanks available in some locations for those struggling and needing extra oxygen. You might also want to search out any juice bars that might be available to get some fresh juices with lots of fresh greens in them, this should help your bodies to process O2 from your lungs more easily. There might also be hash available in some places either to eat or smoke as cannabis is a bronchodilator. Have a great trip and keep posting your experiences.
three days after arriving in Ecuador my wife was sick in bed with extreme migraines, The altitude was unbearable for her, she was in bed and unable to get up and do anything.

I realized that our vacation was in danger of being over before it even got started.

I lay in bed on the third evening and discussed new plans with my wife. The altitude was compounding my wife's migraine issue and she needed a break from being sick. The adventure we had planned was physically demanding and this just wasn't going to work. I explained to her some options and we agreed that if she didn't feel better by the next morning, we were going to pack our bags and head to a sunny beach some where and make some new plans.

We woke up the next morning, her migraine was gone and she felt like continuing our journey.
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