While staying in Bogota, two girls from my hostel and I decided to go to Villa de Leyva, a delightful little colonial town just three hours away, so that we could get out of the city for a while. Admittedly that wasn’t our only reason for making the trip; we’d heard that Villa de Leyva was famous for a particular type of magic mushroom, which we thought we’d managed to locate on our first day, however as we weren’t convinced, we decided to do a bit of online research. Almost instantly we stumbled upon a blog post written about Villa de Leyva from 2009, in which the blogger mentioned a man named Andres and provided a number should we need a “source of info”. We each exchanged glances before deciding to go ahead and give him a call.
Amazingly, that one phone call led to four wonderful days which were spent with Andres and his friends in an extremely beautiful remote spot in the Colombian countryside. As it transpired, we’d picked dodgy mushrooms but Andres had some of his own, which he offered to share with us (hooray!) That first evening, he took us to some natural hot springs all lit up by candles, before inviting us to his house where we made spaghetti and smoked endless joints until tiredness eventually got the better of us and we dozed off. The following day was spent meeting the locals and exploring our peaceful surroundings, before settling down to sample the shrooms. Andres prepared a camp fire and a large pot of mushroom tea, which was accompanied by panela, fruit and chocolate, then filled two cups and passed them round the circle. As evening approached, we left to take a walk down by the river and watch the sunset. I stood still in the water for what must have been a good twenty minutes simply staring in awe at the colourful plants along the riverbank which appeared to glow, unaware of the other people or of any sound. Once it was dark, we made another camp fire, poured ourselves more tea and chatted into the night as tiny fireflies flitted back and forth illuminating the black skies.