Monday, May 03, 2010

The Beginning, Brazil, Into the Jungle!, Part 1 - My first Peyote and Peyote-growkit!

Update 17-3-2016:
Good day and welcome on my blog! As you can see above, what I'm writing an update to this very first post. The reason why I'm doing that is because this is actually not the first post ever on this blog.
I've deleted a couple of my earlier posts, because I thought they contained too much private stuff, too much personal details of my life. Today I feel like sharing just a little bit, so that you all (all 2 of ya!) can see how my blog has started.

Back in time

Now let's go back in time:

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The beginning...

Hello and welcome on my blog! Before I really start blogging around, I would like to share some photo that were taken in Brazil during my previous travels:

Somewhere in Paraná (2004)

Ilha do Mel (2004)

Ilha do Mel (2004)

Gramado/Canela (2005)

Gramado/Canela (2005)

Vila Velha (2005)

Vila Velha (2005)

Paraguay (2006/2007)
Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (2006/2007)
Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (2006/2007)
Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (2006/2007)
Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (2006/2007)
Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (2006/2007)
Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (2006/2007)

 Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Friday, januari 23 around 03:00 in the morning I'll pick my train to Schiphol, the beginning of my 18 hour travel to São Paulo Guarulhos international airport. This day is getting kind of close and I still need to prepare some things like another vaccine against some weird disease, anti-malaria- pills, a digital camera and other stuff that I might need. But of course I'll wait till the last moment, because... that's how I am!
I already bought some nice things for my travel! A huge backpack, a tent, a hammock/mosquito net and rain-cover in one and a lot of other things that are too boring to name.

Of course I won't sleep in a tent when I'm in São Paulo! I'll stay in some hotel that I haven't arranged yet... I don't know exactly for how long I'll stay in São Paulo and what I'll do there... So... Read my upcoming blogs for that! After SP I'll travel to some other cities and some days later I'll come back to SP to pick a plane to Belém, a city in the middle of no-where...

I checked out some stuff about this city. The Dutch Wikipedia says that it's a big city that lays very isolated in the jungle of the Amazone. Nice! Exactly what I wanted! Then I googled this city a little bit and found some articles about snakes entering the city sometimes... I'll enter the jungle... So if the snakes enter the city... They won't be in the jungle! Right? I hope not, because snakes are cool!

I'm still arranging a package with stuff I'll do inside the jungle. Parachute jumping, some flight above the rain forest, a survival course, meeting an Indigenous tribe, fishing piranhas and looking for caimans are already on the menu. The rest I'll hear later this week...

After one week doing crazy stuff in the jungle, I'll travel to Florianópolis and some other secret place and after that I'll celebrate carnaval in Rio de Janeiro! Most of the time I'll stay with friends and friends of friends, so luckily I won't have to search for hotels all the time.

Wednesday, februari 25 I'll travel back to Holland...

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

São Paulo & Curitiba. 23-01- 2009 - 30-01- 2009

I'm in Brasil! So... I woke up around 2:00 to pick my plain to Lisbon to continue my flight to São Paulo, but I arrived too late in Portugal so I missed my plain to SP. Great! So I waited for almost 5 hours at the airport for the next flight... So instead of 18 hours, it took me 24 hours to arrive in Brazil. No problem! Right now I'm here in Brasil having a great time.

I first visited São Paulo. What a big city! I arrived around 22:00 at SP international airport and my girlfriend (for the ones that are thinking: 'WHAT?! Girlfriend?!'. I'll explain it another time, personally) was already waiting there for more than 8 hours, because of my delay! Our great friends, Wagner and his girlfriend Jaqueline (Thanks a lot for the hospitality and fun!!), picked us up and brought us to their home, where I have stayed during my time in São Paulo.

Stephanie, me, Wagner and Jaqueline
After couple of hours rest, we went to the centre of São Paulo. Like I said: it's BIG! If you've never been here, you can't imagine how big it is. I mean, 18 million people in one city! It's not one of the cleanest cities in the world, but it really makes me realize how small my own country actually is.

Their metal-scene is HUGE! There is a sort of shopping center in SP that only contains metal stores. They call it 'Galeria do Rock'. Full with metal/rock-music, cloths and other stuff!

Galeria do Rock
Everywhere you look, you see metal-heads! If you'll ever visit SP and like metal: GO SEE THIS PLACE!

Right now I'm already in another city(Curitiba) to relax a bit before I'll enter the rain forest. Later I'll write more about it, because now I'm going to enjoy my time here! I hope you're all doing fine! See you guys later, take care!

Stephanie & me in front of  'Galeria do Rock' (closed at this time)

Monday, 9 February 2009

Into the Jungle! 30-1- 2009 - 6-2- 2009

(as you can see I wrote a lot and added a lot of pic's. I didn't check the grammar yet and I want to make it all look better(photos etc.) But I have no time! Later I'll correct some stuff!) Hello all! I just came back from my trip to the Amazone Rain Forest and my trip with Stephanie to Floripa. For the ones that are interested: I'm still alright and I'm not missing any body parts.

It's kind of hard to write a story about all I've done till now. And I know that not everyone will read all of it! No problem! I would be lazy too, I think! I'll start a bit weird, because I only started to write on my 3th day in the Amazone. I wrote a story about the first 2 day's and after that I was so tired, that I only wrote words and small lines for me to remember what I did. I kind of have to work it all out still... But here I'll Go:

Day 3
Hello all! For the first time in three days I took a hot shower. The place where I'm right now is a bit strange, but I'll explain it all later... First I'll start from the beginning, my arrival in Belém, one of the bigger cities to enter the jungle.

Day 1
23:30 I arrived at Belém Airport. two guys - Bruno and Jotta - picked me up and brought me by car to a sort of recreation park, based in Belém. This park isn't the jungle yet, but it's full with nature and they directly warn me for all the scorpions that are walking around here. Here I passed my first night in my tent, "protected" against the rain...

Day 2
7:30: time to wake up and have breakfast. My tent is soaking wet and so am I! = My tent sucks! The food is great here! I ate soo many different fruits here that I've never seen in my life. This together with a strong cup of coffee... Great!

Right after breakfast, Jotta, my guide and friend, teaches me a lot about nature. About all the different fruits you can find, how to arrange water, how to make a fire and how to make traps for small  animals. He also teaches me how to smell snakes! Something that is very handy in this region. Even in this park are many snakes. Also koral snakes! Right after this lesson we already spotted a snake  non-venomous) that passes our path.

Right after we ate our lunch, Jotta teaches me all about navigation inside the jungle. With a compass, but also based on the sun. After this lessons, it's time for some climbing! Inside this park they have some climbing parcours, high in the trees, full with small bridges and stuff to climb. Very cool!

Everything was going alright and again I was lucky enough to spot some animals! First another snake, then an Iguana and almost at the end, a large group of small monkeys that started to eat and play right in front of us.

During the last part of this parcours, I dislocated my right shoulder... Damn! There I was, standing on some rope and holding another one with my left hand. The last time this happened to me, I paid attention in the hospital, so I was able to put it back myself and finish the parcours.

In the evening, me and some instructors had some first aid lessons for in the jungle and after this, Bruno was teaching us about how to catch a snake. We practiced on a real one.

22:30: Diner-time!
And later on: bed-time...

Day 3
7:00: I woke up and my tent was dry! Yeah! After some breakfast, Bruno took me to his army barracks. There I touched a panter and a jaguar! I's amazing how big and powerful these animals are!

After this we went to the center of Belém to visit the local market. Here I ate so many different fruits! Maybe more than 30 different ones! I'll just name some of them:
-Andiroba (Very disgusting! But it's a natural antibiotica!)
-Mari- Mari

After this we visited the fish-market. Just to see what's all around.

The center of Belém contains a lot of culture and it's clear to see the influences of indigenous people here.

Now it's time for some Abseiling! We went to a high bridge and went down by a rope! It's very cool to hang in the air on this height! At the moment that I landed at a platform, it started to rain HARD with a lot of wind! I was standing there for 30 minutes in the cold! This was the only moment of my travel that I really thought: 'What the hell am I doing here?!' But after the first 10 minutes I gave up and just accepted the fact that I couldn't get more wet... At this moment I also thought about my girl, that is waiting for me on the other side of the country... Weeh!

After lunch, Bruno and I went to the center again to visit a big festival named "Fórum Social Mundial". It was about saving worlds nature. People from all over the world went to Belém to visit this festival. Here I took some pictures with Indigenous people who were presenting their tribes in protecting their habitat.

The weird thing is that, right now I think very different about indigenous people. What can I say about them... They dress like normal people and they're very money orientated. Of course not all of them... But this is the image I'm seeing here.

The photo above made me a bit uncomfortable, because the dude was actually trying to sell the bow and not really into posing on a photo with me...

After a tasty pizza I went to a "Motel" (ALONE!). Bruno told me that it will rain a lot this night and that it's maybe better for me to take a hot shower before I enter the real jungle. I took his advise and... Went to this Motel. Guys! This was the first time I saw a motel! Damn! It was a pretty room, okay... A big bath, a shower with hot water and a large bed.

But there were no blankets! And next to my bed I see a big Dildo in a plastic package! I mean... WTF?!

The only thing I wanted was a hot shower and a bed... This dildo makes me feel a bit uncomfortable! Check the pic and imagine finding one next to your bed!

Day 4
8:00: I woke up... Staring right into the eyes of this damn dildo! ARG! (and before some funny people will comment about this: it's still in the plastic package and it will stay there!). I realize that I'll enter the jungle within one day! This is something I always wanted, but on the other hand... I'm missing Stephanie a lot and I hope that I survive it all to see her right after!

Jotta picked me up at the Motel and this day was another day to visit some places in the center and again, I tasted a lot of different fruits! I also bought some stuff that needed in the jungle. After this we ate some fish and Açaí, which is a very typical food in this region. Then we went to a shopping center to wait for Bruno.

It's very interesting to see all the influence of the indigenous people back in everyone that is walking around. Almost everyone has something in his face that shows it and all the food, drinks and culture are based on it.

This night I slept in the House of Bruno.

Day 5
Today I'll really enter the jungle!

I woke up around 5:00 to have breakfast and to pack my bags. Around 7:00 we left and head-on to a village called "Castanhal", where we bought some equipment for our journey. Then we went by boat to the other side of the river to the house of Jotta's friend to prepare our boat-trip on the river "Rio Capim".

The three of us were dressed in Army cloths and together with our equipment, we were looking like a sort of guerrilla movement! Everyone was looking at us... Also because I was a strange apeariance here. I was realy the only outsider and everyone here was smaller than me. You can imagine the effect of a tall, white dude walking around there. I felt like a giant!

Bruno, Jotta and me traveled together with the uncle of Jotta and Roberto, a good friend of Jotta, by boat on the river "Rio Capim", southwards for almost 2,5 hour.

Then we arrived at the house of Jotta's uncle and prepared ourselves for some fishing on the river. Jotta's uncle told me a story about a kid that got bitten by a poisonous snake this morning, close to his property. The kid went to the hospital and is alright now.

For our fishing-trip, we used a canoe, a large fishing line, a net, stones, and a lot of pieces fish. Here in this area, fishing is very important to survive. If you don't catch a fish for some days, you'll have nothing to eat. Mostly you catch at least some large fishes here, but it's very obvious for me that the life of a fisherman is very hard.

The uncle of Jotta also told me a story about a 5-6 meter long caiman which was spotted in this very river! And believe it or not, but after hearing the story, I even took a bath in it, because... There was no shower around!

I was starting to like this place a lot. Everything was so peaceful! Everyone works very hard, but at the same time smiling a lot too! I mean... I know a lot of people with a lazy life who are complaining all the time. Come and see these guys and see them as an example.
Even young children here are helping their parents with working at the land, finding fruits and fishing. But 2 times per day, a big bus comes to pick them up and bring them to school. Something that actually surprised me a bit, but it's nice to see that things are going alright here.

From my travel journal:
"This place is very nice and relaxing! Even when I'm active from 6:00 in the morning till midnight. I realy feel free, but... There is something on my mind that I can't stop thinking about... My girl that is waiting for me at the other side of the country! Yeah, call me a pussy, but don't get me wrong! I'm  liking this place!"

After this, we catched some fish and made our hammocks ready for us to sleep outside.

Well, they made their hammocks and mine was broken! Damn! I've payed 40 euro for this thing and it's supposed to carry 100 kg! I layed down on it for 1 second and it teared apart. We laughed a lot about this, because earlier this day, Bruno said to me: 'Stan, do you really thrust your hammock? Maybe it's handy if I take another one of mine (from the military) with me, in case yours doesn't work.'. And I said: No need! I thrust this thing. I payed 40 euro for it and... It should work!'. I'm happy that he didn't listen to me and took the extra hammock with him. ;)

Time to sleep. The mosquitoes weren't bothering me that much anymore. I mean, they're still there to suck my blood, but I kind of accepted it. There is nothing you can do against them.

Day 6
I've slept great last night! The sound of the jungle is very relaxing. The weird thing here is that I feel great after 4-5 hours of sleep. In the big city I need 7-8 hours at least. Maybe it's the air, maybe the sound of nature.

During the previous night I've met the "Spirit of the Jungle"! For those who have never heared about it: the first time you realy sleep in the jungle, you can get overwhelmed with all the sounds coming from the trees and the animals. You'll start to hear and see things that aren't there! In my case: I heared a big jaguar jumping from the house right next to my hammock. It seemed so real. Even the sounds of this "jaguar" seemed real! At that exact moment I started to ask my self: 'What the hell am I doing here?! My first night in the real jungle and this is what happens to me?! Eaten by a jaguar and GAME OVER.'. A jaguar that wasn't even there... Everyone was laughing when I asked the other guys if they heared something that night hehehe...

This day we've entered deeper in the jungle than we already were.

We walked 9 km and we took only one short break to check our exact location.

After our walk, we really arrived in the middle-of- no-where!

There were no paths here and no houses. It was very hot and everything was wet. The ground was full with rotten trees and plants and every time when I standed at one place for too long, I noticed that I was sinking. The trick is to keep on walking... We walked a lot and after almost one hour, we arrived next to a small stream. Here we built up our camp for the upcoming night.

Gathering water from plants.

Right after we finished our hammocks, it started to rain very hard!

Another way to gather water
Time to relax a bit... Then we tried to catch some fish, but we weren't lucky this time, so we only ate some fruit.

Later, Jotta and me went out for some hunting. It was already starting to get dark and believe me: walking in the jungle when it's dark can be kind of scary! This time we really heard some jaguars VERY close! Normally they don't attack human, but when they're hungry, also I can be their prey. They wait for you high in a tree, till you pass. Then they jump on you and scratch out your eyes to make you blind, so you get disorientated. Then it's dinner time... We also heard a lot of other animals. A goat for example. So I kind of told myself: jaguars prefer to hunt goats instead of human. Actually, jaguars weren't the biggest danger for us. Snakes were.

We turned back to our camp, because it was completely dark. We walked very fast and all the time I noticed the smell of snakes around me. But the weird thing is that I really wasn't impressed anymore. I trusted in my guides and I accepted all the parts of nature around me. Kind of weird,  because actually I'm the guest here...

Between 23:00 and 0:00 we went to our hammocks to sleep for some hours. At 4:00 it was time to leave this part of the jungle.

Day 7
4:00: I slept very well this night! It's amazing what the sound of nature does. After only 4 hours of sleep, I was completely awake. I was still very dark when we started our walk back to the house of Jotta's uncle. Without breakfast we walked the same 9 km. No break this time. A lot of times I've read about the danger of walking in the jungle at night, but I really trusted my guides and I could see that  hey really knew what they were doing.

When we arrived at the house of Jotta's uncle, we relaxed a bit and prepared some fish with lemon and salt. Very tasty! And for the first time in days I drank a beer! Damn! You can't imagine how  welcome this cold beer was!

Our boat for the trip back to Belém was broken, so we had to wait a bit. Time for me to write down some stuff about this travel. Lots of things that I already wrote here above, but also things that I've learned here. In the jungle you can find everything you need. It's a shopping center for the ones who have the knowledge. Everything looked so big and powerful. I realized that there are many things you just have to accept. Like the rain, annoying mosquitoes, snakes, jaguars and the chance of not catching any fish or other animal for dinner. Here you are the guest of something that has it's own rules.

Another interesting thing that I've learned from Jotta is that there are so many things undiscovered yet by scientists. For example: a scientist enters the jungle and study for 5-10 years one type of snake. At the end he writes a book that says: the maximum length is 8 meter. But then I talked to the uncle of Jotta, who has been living here for more then 56 years! He told me that he once saw a snake with the length of 15 meter and a caiman with the weight of 80 kg! Nature can't read and write and is developing all the time...

"30 minutes later: the boat isn't fixed yet. Will we have to row? I hope not! The only thing I want now is a hot shower and... Soon! Very soon!"

"15 minutes later: the boat is fixed! Yeah! Time to go back to Belém, have some rest, a hot shower, a bed, some hours sleep and a flight to Floripa where my Stephanie will be waiting for me!"

During this boat-trip, I thought about a lot of things! Even about my brother Michael who is probably playing a lot of World of Warcraft now to become level 80 before I'm back in Holland. But I actually think that he won't be able to reach level 80 before I'm back and... Of course I'll win!

Then we arrived in the harbour. The uncle of Jotta, Roberto and me opened a bottle of cold beer and relaxed a bit in the hot sun.

Time to go back to Belém by car. The rest of this day we passed in the center of Belém to eat and drink "normal" stuff. Tacaca, Pastel, Hamburger (YEAH!), ice cream with guaraná and a can of guaraná. I'm 100% fresh again and if there was no one waiting for me in Floripa, I would like to go back to the jungle again!

Then we picked up my stuff at Bruno's house. This night I slept in a motel again. A nice room, with a TV and a big round bed without a blanket... But this time: no dildo next to my bed!

I prepared my bags and slept very well in this round bed! Only the sound of my neighbors was kind of annoying! But that's also nature I guess..

Day 8
Bruno and Jotta picked me up at 4:30. Time to go to the airport and say goodbye.

I would like to thank Bruno and Jotta for all their help and friendship! If anyone is looking for some guys with a lot of survival experience that you can thrust your life with: Check out these guys!  Abração pra vocês! (



Back to the original post, the one where all the cacti-crazyness has all started!

Peyote news part 1!

Now it's time for something else. For those who don't know it yet: I collect Cacti. In December 2009, I've visited Amsterdam together with my future wife and we bought some plants for our house. Also some (actually: almost only!) Cacti. One of them (that Stephanie thought cute) has a big history that we didn't know about.

This is him, Tofu:
The Holy Sacrament Peyote(Lophophora williamsii)
A short description(just a small part taken from Wikipedia):
"...It is well known for its psychoactive alkaloids, particularly mescaline. It is used world wide as an entheogen, and supplement to various transcendence practices, including meditation, psychonautics, and psychedelic psychotherapy. Peyote has a long history of ritualistic and medicinal use by indigenous Americans. It flowers from March through May, and sometimes as late as September. The flowers are pink, with thigmotactic anthers (like Opuntia)..."

In other words: if you dry parts of this cactus and then eat it, you'll have a strong trip. It seems to be heavier than mushrooms. (not talking from my own experience!)

Wow! I mean... I'm not even a drug-user. (only beer, coffee and pipe-tobacco) Right now I'm kind of interested in the history of this Holy Sacrament Peyote. Not in using it, but in the indigenous rituals about shamanistic rites where they used(and still use) it.

For fun I ordered a Peyote Grow-Kit! I'll add some photo's of this grow-kit at the end of all my blogs from now on, so we can all watch my cacti grow, together! Ain't that fun?! =D

Below you see a Grow-Kit that contains 25 Peyote Seeds and 20 Peruvian Torch seeds, another Cactus that is used in rituals. I've sown them at 29-4-2010, so let's see what will happen. It was fun preparing everything and I'm looking forward to see all the small green balls. I'll keep you informed. (like it's something that you're interested in! Haha!)

Nothing to see yet! Now it's time to get married! See ya next time!