Journeys,  Travel

Mountain Daze

2009.  Bagga and I had just returned from a 3-day hike of Mount Rinjani.  Kranti Singh Bagga was my batchmate in college, and my housemate.  He had all the adventurous ideas, and I was the guy who’d always say yes.   

The hike had been pretty amazing.  We saw lava pour down the cinder cone into a lake while having fried chicken on a not-too-distant peak.  The squad was two porters, one guide and the two of us… so you can guess, it was a luxurious hike.  In fact, just before we had summited Mt. Rinjani, the active cone erupted in smoke and soot.  We were lucky that the wind blew it away, or else we may have suffocated on the naked mountain peak.

With worn out knees, and every bone in our body hurting, we decided that it would be a great idea to have mushrooms.  And these were not ordinary mushrooms.  We had them blended in orange juice and sipped it quickly.  The effects did not take too long… we were so spent, there was hardly any resistance.

Lying down in my bed with my eyes closed, the trip began in a jungle with beautiful canopy.  I was enjoying the vivid beauty of the scenery, when I found myself entangled in vines… in fact one was around my neck and I could hardly breathe.  I struggled to break free, but all in vain… I could feel life slowly seep out of me.  In a jolt, I shook myself out of my stupor, and opened my mouth for a gasp of breath.   I couldn’t tell if the moment that preceded as real or not.   I couldn’t believe that my mind could fabricate all the senses… I smelled the forrest, the tightness of the vine was real. 

I drank some water, put myself at ease, and went back to sleep… but it wasn’t sleep, it was another trip.  This time, I was in a battle – of olden days with swords and armor… I don’t remember the details as much, but minutes later, I got up gasping for breath… I spent the next three hours in the balcony trying to keep myself up, because my nose was completely blocked, and if I fell asleep, my mouth would close, and I’d have one of those crazy trips on mushrooms.  

Moral of the story – don’t get high on psychedelics when you’re not in the best of physical shape!