At last a rusty 3rd class Bluebird bus arrived in a cloud of fine dry dust. No too many passengers except a dusty dred-coiffed couple. The young fella looked as if he might be Mexican, but his companion was Japanese. I generally avoid these types because they’re fairly cliquish if you don’t sport the same rasta uniform. That… and, they tend to attract la policia.
We arrived in Wadley and the rasta-boy asked me in English, “Is this Wadley?”. Couldn’t make out the accent, but it sounded Israeli. I confirmed, and said, “See ya ‘round… It’s a small place.”, then bolted for the hacienda of Don Tomas. The camp compound was deserted so Don Tomas helped me remove some piles of metal rod and wood planks that had taken up residence in my preferred larger tin-roofed cinder block room since my last visit. As always, he re-reminded me not to carry peyote into the town and to keep it out of the camp. He advised to just eat it in the desert and you’ll have no problems. In the last ten years I’d rarely seen la policia, nor encountered anyone who’d been busted in the desert, but the 3rd party stories were always rampant so I usually heeded the advice.
Off I went into the desert, called Wirikuta by the Huichol, to get my first vomit laden “break-in” trip over with. After the first peyote induced bout with severe abdominal distress, I tend to acclimate and can avoid the whole ugly digestive mess on subsequent journeys.
I started out heavier than I should’ve. Ten plants, and I paid dearly. I won’t trouble you with the details, but the ill portion of the excursion lasted 3hrs. After paying my dues, the rest of the evening was quite pleasant. Magical in fact! Mescalito finally gave me a break and I was able to drift off into Technicolor dreamland.
The next morning, after I’d stocked up on fresh goat cheese, tomatoes, tortillas, and water as the young hippy couple stopped by the empty compound. They’d also taken a room from Don Tomas, but he’d put them up in the camp closer to the railroad track. A less desirable locale since the train passing feels like a mechanized earth quake every hour or so, tough to sleep… but you do get used to it, eventually.
The couple introduced themselves and we made a bit of the usual comparative travel small talk. After I realized these were the new arrivals who earlier Don Tomas was asking me if I’d indoctrinate in the proper harvesting, cleaning, and dining of peyote, I asked if they’d be ready to head off in an hour or so. They seemed nervously thrilled to have an English speaker run them through the ropes the first time, as they didn’t speak a word of Espanol. We all parted to pack the essentials, ie. a few oranges to choke the plants down, a good knife, water, smokes, etc.
I was a little apprehensive about volunteering to hang with a couple of dred-headed neo-flower children, but I’d recently misjudged the character of one straight-laced and alleged American attorney in Mexico City, so I figured I’d give these two a chance.
As the afternoon blazed, and after we’d all made it past the complimentary nausea hump, we built a nice fire and drifted through loose conversational threads as we gazed at occasional stars shooting down from the milky way. I told stories, that looped back into other stories, and they shared as well. Turns out the young fella had spent his 3 years in the Israeli army, had to do a bit of fighting except he said it wasn’t much of a fight, “They had rocks, we had guns.” The memory seemed to weigh heavy on him and I asked if he’d ever had to kill anyone. I could actually feel the pain in his eyes, and it hurt me to know such a gentle character had to endure such a horrible experience. He said he thought he probably had killed, but he couldn’t be sure.
I changed the subject as much for his benefit as mine. I’ve learned from experience that it’s not generally such a grand idea to delve into such topics when the mind is so vulnerable.
It was a beautiful night and I was sad when they had to move on the next day. I’d miss them, but would look forward to catching up to them one day in India where they now make their home in between trips to Japan to sell handicrafts and jewelry.
They’d already been gone for a few hours when I went to take refuge from the heat and found a dear letter from them under my pillow. They each thanked me kindly for showing them “the way” and urged me to look them up the next time I’m stumbling through India. :-)
Image for this entry HERE
“John and Yoko 2000” ~ Near Wadley, Mexico © Skip Hunt