HAMILTON MORRIS: Juan lights a stick on fire and gets it
The captain does not react.
He takes two more burns the same way, and then Juan begins
to rub the jelly into all three wounds.
HAMILTON MORRIS: Does he feel anything?
MALE SPEAKER: He's beginning to feel it.
HAMILTON MORRIS: The captain stands with a
far-off look in his eye.
Then he sits down and puts his head in his hands.
He says that everything is spinning, and that he can feel
it in his gut.
They pour a bucket of water over his burns and head
because they think it will counteract the venom.
HAMILTON MORRIS: And then the captain jumps
into the piss river.
He looks at me and says that he's fine.
Now it's my turn.
Juan picks up a stick off the ground and lights it on fire.
It's much thicker than the sticks the Mayoruna use.
HAMILTON MORRIS: No sensation yet, no sensation yet.
Now it stings.
The site of the burn now hurts a lot more than when he
initially did it.
Still no psychoactive effect.
No psychedelic effect.
No visual distortions.
Nothing at first.
Then slowly, an opiated high creeps over me--
It feels good.
I feel high, or sort of a little bit disassociated.
It's not necessarily unpleasant.
MALE SPEAKER: What's your feeling right now, man?
HAMILTON MORRIS: Very little.
I mean, I feel an extreme pain in my arm where I was burned
and had venom rubbed in the wound.
And I feel a little bit high, in a good way.
Let me get one more.
You got it that time?
Did you get it that time?
Good, yeah, everybody make sure they touch it.
Juan then reapplies the poison jelly to my wounds.
Reapply to the other wounds while you're at it.
Please fan me?
If they need to give me a thousand of these
I'll fucking do it.
Now there's a new sensation taking over the arm like it's
Like a pins and needles sort of sensation.
And it's happening in both of my hands.
I'm losing sensation in both of my hands.
It's feeling more sinister now.
It's very strange.
My mind is saturated with a distinct drunken weirdness.
Part of me wants to lay down.
Just lay down in the hammock or something.
Ah, gracias, gracias, gracias.
I feel like a frog.
The people that surround me fan me like I'm an emperor.
I lay shirtless on a plastic tarp.
My stomach is in excruciating pain.
The frog and me exchange a glance.
If they think I should do another one, I would consider
doing another one.
I request a fourth burn--
more sapo than The Captain.
Who's the mujer now?
Oh, wow, yeah.
Feeling it much more strongly in my head now.
MALE SPEAKER: Oh yeah?
The drunkenness in my head is very strong.
There's some mild, closed-eye visuals.
It does feel slightly psychedelic.
I think it might be best for me to lay in my hammock now.
Unless they think I should wash my wounds.
I'm feeling extremely woozy.
HAMILTON MORRIS: The captain insists that I submerge myself
in the shit river in order to sober myself up.
I say I don't want to.
There's no pharmacological reason that getting wet would
clear the venom from my bloodstream.
But he insists, so I let him pour gasoline jugs of piss
over my head.
HAMILTON MORRIS: As the frog is returned to a tree, I lay
down in the boat because I'm feeling extremely nauseous.
The poison that was still in my blood begins working its
The captain takes me out to a private clearing on the edge
of the river.
For most people, the frog causes
But I did the frog on an empty stomach, so in my case the
purge came the other way.
Aspects of the experience were euphoric and I would consider
But I'm pretty certain I could achieve the exact same effects
by rubbing the jelly inside my nose.
Neither the water nor the purging made me sober.
And I lay in my hammock feeling disassociated and
nauseous for the next three hours.
I feel really fucked up.
Really exhausted, like I just ate a pound of Valium.
And I don't feel too great.
I think I could still vomit at any moment.
My stomach is just in awful turmoil.
I wake up today feeling like shit.
I do not have supernatural powers, nor do I have a
resistance to thirst or hunger.
How these drug rumors get started, I have no idea.
I eat an egg for breakfast and pet the monkey orphan's head
one last time.
Goodbye little monkey.
I wish him the best.
I hope he grows up big and strong, and that he's treated
like a child.
Then it's time for gift giving.
We give the shaman's family our hammocks, our boots, as
well as an erotic porcelain statuette of two pigs making
love which they seem to cherish.
I like them.
So we got what we wanted.
I did the frog.
It was insane.
I have the scars right now which are starting to heal.
But we also went to the jungle and got a giant bale of
And it left me a little hungry for some ayahuasca.
So once we get back to Tabatinga we're
going to look around.
Apparently it's very common to find the DMT containing leaves
and we'll mix up some ayahuasca on our own.
Returning to the city fills me with an incredible joy.
My mosquito bites become less itchy, my sunburn's less
peely, and my intestine less colonized by parasites.
The skies are clear and the banks of the Amazon are
Tomorrow I will prepare the magical brew.
Tonight, I rest.
We're back in Tabatinga.
And we're on our way to meet the ayahuasca shaman who's
going to give us something they call tue, which I think
is the DMT-containing plant.
Because when we were still in the jungle, the shaman there
only gave us half of the ayahuasca brew.
So now we're going to get the rest and we'll mix
it up at the hotel.
We arrive at the shaman's house, and I'm surprised to
find it's a wizened old woman wearing an all pink outfit.
We asked her if she has tue to sell to us.
She tells us she does, but that if I were to drink it I
would permanently lose my mind.
HAMILTON MORRIS: Can you ask her if tue has other names?
HAMILTON MORRIS: She leads us through her house, and then
out to her garden of medicinal plants.
She brings us to a plant and tells us that is tue.
This is the tue, I'm assuming.
Some people are calling it the Colombian Devil's Breath.
They call it a Angel's Trumpet, Devil's Trumpet.
It's the deliriant that will give me a
miserable nightmare trip.
And this is what the shaman was telling me that I needed
to get, was this Devil's Trumpet stuff.
It's good we cleared that up and he didn't have any on him
at the time because that would have been really
unfortunate for me.
She then brings me to another corner of her garden, where we
see a small tree with lush, green leaves.
HAMILTON MORRIS: Fantastic.
This is the chacruna, or psychotria viridis plant.
It contains DMT and pretty much nothing else.
This is, I think, the gold standard for
ayahuasca and brewing.
We pay for the chacruna, and leave for our hotel with all
the ingredients needed to brew ayahuasca.
Our hotel was nice enough to let me use their kitchen
brewing ayahuasca for the rest of the afternoon.
In two hours I'll strain what's left, and
that will be that.
Here we are at our hotel room in Tabatinga, and I just
finished brewing the ayahuasca.
This is the MAOI, it's the ayahuasca vine.
Definitely the worst thing I've ever tasted, and I've
tasted a lot of terrible, terrible drugs.
But I'm going to try and get through about half of this.
Here I go.
Oh my God.
Little sips, it's too difficult to swallow big ones.
Around sunset I start drinking the vine.
It's truly the most awful-tasting substance on the
planet, and each sip takes me within a nano-gag of vomiting.
Sip, gag, sip, gag.
The vine hits me like a tsunami of warm milk.
I've never been so drowsy in my life.
I then drink the chacruna leaves.
I fall asleep and have strange, apocalyptic dreams.
As I fall deeper into an ayahuasca induced trance,
strange visions and dark premonitions overtake me.
In the midst of these visions, I realize that the sapo is
only one amphibian enigma in an endless jungle of mind
There's so much territory left to explore--
hypnotic giraffe bone marrow in Sudan, sedative sea sponges
in the Caribbean, dream fish of the Pacific Ocean, narcotic
silkworms in China, and unknown synthetics from
magical laboratories across the globe.
Oh my God.
The ayahuasca makes me extremely tired.
I take a Ritalin to combat the sleepiness.
I guess it's time for a walk.
It just made me into a thousand year old man.
I got a boat.
It's really just like the boat we were in.
It's the exact same boat, only it's a lot more feathers than
the boat we were on.
And that's one hammock in the middle--
it's a one-person.
The frog was good.