In the Andes, the mountains aren’t just regarded as mounds of dirt and stone, but living things. In some cases — such as the snow-capped Ausangate outside of Cuzco, or Illimani, near La Paz — the mountains are seen as powerful spirits that serve as protectors of the people who live at their feet. Many Catholic colonial paintings show the Virgin Mary in the shape of a mountain, a way of superimposing European ritual over indigenous belief. Traveling around the Andes, I couldn’t help but feel that the landscape was indeed intensely, dramatically alive.
I did lots of incredible/fun/amazing stuff in 2012 — but spending two months tooling around this mountain range is the part that sticks with me still…
Best of luck in the New Year. And, as always, thanks for reading C-Mon!