Drinking Mushroom Tea in Villa de Leyva, Colombia

Villa de Levya

The town of Villa de Leyva

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.

Villa de Levya countryside

Exploring the Colombian countryside

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.

Magic Mushroom Moment

High on mushrooms in the river

Advertisements

Friendly Faces in Colombia

High up in the mountains of Medellin

High up in the mountains of Medellin

My time in Colombia was brief but certainly very sweet. From admiring street art on the buildings in Bogotá, to embracing the peace and beauty in the colonial town of Villa de Leyva, to endless partying in Medellin, every minute of my time there was well spent. Although the country has many positive qualities, and I could provide endless reasons to go, the thing that impressed me most about Colombia was how friendly and open the people are there. Having woken up unusually early one morning, I decided to visit a café just around the corner from my hostel in Medellin, where I sat writing in my journal whilst eating breakfast. After a few minutes, the guy on the table next to me asked what I was doing and we began chatting. His name was Jerry, he owned a diamond company and what sounded like a pretty plush apartment overlooking the city. I was eager to accept when he asked if I’d like to see this apartment, but felt nervous at the prospect of going to a stranger’s house alone, so I returned to the hostel, dragged my friend Will out of bed and took him along with me.

Please click here to continue reading this article, which I entered for a travel writing competition on We Said go Travel’s website. Thanks!