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Steve Robinson

Planning hallucinogenic visions

Posted from: Wijint
We're in Wijint and having a bit of a hard time again. It took us nearly three days on boats to get here, on smaller and smaller rivers, travelling 15 hours a day and leaving before dawn to arrive after dark. We did travel through the most amazing jungle though, and I sometimes had to pinch myself to remember where I was and how lucky we all are.

We got here a day late, and were hoping to stay a night before moving on to a remote community in the forest. However, we lost so much time it looks like we'll stay here and film.

The Achuar are a pretty suspicious bunch. They have had a hard time at the hands of the oil companies and we are finding it tough to win their trust. We had a long day of meetings yesterday and finally they agreed we could stay but finding a household that will take Bruce as a guest is proving trickier, as they are all very nervous of us.

Members of the Achuar tribe
Members of the Achuar tribe

We want Bruce to take ayahuasca with the Achuar here: it's a hallucinogenic vine that will give him a vision. We've met a great old boy who has agreed to be his guide, who we've nicknamed Silas Marner.

The village Wijint
The village Wijint

We have just over a week here to make half a film, so we're feeling a bit of pressure. It's hot and humid and we are all sleeping in a huge open-sided hut in the centre of the village. At night we have a crowd of 100 people watching us brush our teeth. Last night was Zubin's birthday and the whole village watched his party. It was a good night though, with a cake that came all the way from Wales and a local hooch that tasted like Night Nurse. Simple pleasures. We drank all the whisky the night before.

We've met some good characters here and seen some amazing things - we just need to film some of them now.

The highlight of the day is washing in the river. A small splash of bliss.

Find out more about the Achuar


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