Colca Canyon

June 29th, 2010 § 1 comment

Colca canyon was dusty and rough. Like many places in Peru, lifestyles and wildlife are preserved for tourists. As a voyeur, I am grateful but I’m also saddened by these people frozen in time.

The roads are full of pockets. As our van tumbles over rocks, I try to comb out my emotions and memories. It doesn’t work. I get out of the bus and the dry wind tangles my hair and all of my mental work.

The sun beats down and leaves it’s mark on ruddy cheeks and wrinkled faces.

I sleep in between leg cramps.

The only people that flat out ask me for money are two giggling girls that are coaxed by their mother. They don’t remember me from yesterday, when I gave them a sol for their photo.

I’m always cautious of making a photo of someone I met ten seconds ago, I feel like I’m sucking out their energy, using them for my memories and picture books.

As it is, I don’t like being photographed, I can’t imagine being a novelty to a stream of different cameras, day in, day out.

I see lambs skipping around their mothers and I stare into a cow’s eyes and now I’m sticking to spaghetti and boiled vegetables in a country that serves guinea pig and alpaca. I don’t want to be a full time vegetarian.

In the night, the high altitude makes me take shallow breaths and I dream of my office. I think it’s my brain’s way of calming down. The Larry Towell black and white on my wall and the towers of now archived photos.

The act of travelling brings up a lot of things in my head that gets avoided when I’m “busy” with being in one place; cooking, yoga, friends, working, photographing. Now I’m just being.

It’s such an interesting feeling, this longing for stillness and some lesser version of sadness. I think it will dissipate but don’t know what’s next. Honestly, I’ll have to be a pretty lame bitch to keep this fear of the unknown stop me from having fun.

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