Orange shores of a turquoise ocean

arrangement in orange

Arrangement in orange

I had already left the part where the Ilo river meets the ocean. I wanted to walk a bit more before the lunch, just because I prefer to use my legs to know the world. This is the chronicle of that walking.

Orange land
Wave slap!

wave slap!

Ilo city has the most beautiful sandy beaches of the Peruvian south, but they are here and there; mostly the shoreline is rocky, mostly a kind of orange, they resemble prehistoric animals coming back to the sea.

last days of winter

Last days of winter

In the bottom

in the bottom

dinsoaur egg

Dinosaur egg

Solidness

Solidness

Green and black

Green and black

Fracture in the landscape

Fracture in the landscape

I hear all of you

I hear all of you

Machines to hear the sea…

Say me blue
Four against the waves

Four against the waves

The sea in Ilo is strange. It has turquoise mainly, but also sometimes it’s a milky silver, a pure blue, the sunset gives to it other palettes. It’s usually pacific.

Enduring

enduring

Those days of winter, the water seemed made of ice, you could think in an iceberg melting.

Prepare for impact!

Prepare for impact!

Waiting the sun of the west

Waiting the sun of the west

Park of rocks
Little head seeing the bit of open sky

Little head seeing the bit of open sky

Time runs so I walked till this park, it’s designed with emphasis in preserve the natural rocks.

Glimpse to  the ships

Glimpse to the ships

The artisanal ships of the fishermen crown the line of the sea. They can come so far as 1700 kilometers (one thousand miles) from the North of Peru.

Line of ships

Line of ships

inside the kingdom of rocks

Inside the kingdom of rocks

End

So it was time to lunch. I went to the fishermen terminal where the fish is fished the same day.  Even more if you are a fisherman or fisherwoman you can bring your own fish to be cooked there.

from the sea

From the sea

A road from the end of a river until the shores of a sea – Ilo city.

Silhouette framed by a wave in turquoise

Silhouette framed by a wave in turquoise

Ilo city has its river. The place where it ends to blend soft and silently into the sea is called ‘mouth of the river” and it’s plenty of life. Birds are used to paparazzi, fishermen or just walkers so they aren’t shy of cameras. This place makes me remember those old illustrations of the limits of the universe (our planet) where it’s a flat surface with the sea ending in a border and wooden ships falling from it…

Bird’s eye view
Life in the border of the sea

Life in the border of the universe

Those are some birds I had never seen, but my knowledge in birds is so poor that I don’t even know the name of the ones I already saw, except a pair as the Peruvian Pelican.

White king and soldiers

White king with soldiers

The exiled

the exiled

It’s part of the nature of human to tend to think in animals as beings with human desires, as proof there are several religious stories, myths and fables. I cannot avoid to imagine stories. I wonder if they pay us with the same coin, cats seems to think that we’re their pets…

Free to fly

free to fly

Under the bridge

I photographed this place in August, in our winter; but that day the sky was blue and sunny, a little summer. The only signal betraying the winter was the yellow grass.

bridge over the end of the river

Bridge over the end of the river

There were rocks for foundations around it, I guess they are going to make a park or something, I guess it’s forbidden to build an edification in a so sensible area for the species. But sometimes there are people that says is poor and need the space (and when they’re investigated usually have even two properties…)

Survivor trcrawling to  the water

Survivor crawling to the water

stoned crowd

Stoned crowd

Shores painted with dinosaur eggs of several colors. Every time I see a river of tranquil waters I think it’s a little Ganges.

Mirror in blue

Mirror in blue

I can scape!

I can escape!

River vanishing in a sea of light

River vanishing in a sea of light

Ocean

So I walked the Ocean (not on it, along its shores I mean, otherwise I could start a new religion :P) That’s a story for another day but here there are some views just a meters close to the river:

Philosophical bottle

Philosophical bottle

Ship almost falling into the border of the world

Ship almost falling into the border of the world

Drinking an ocean

Drinking an ocean

Shapes and shadows of Santa Catalina…

Come in, I'll show you the bluest world possible

Come in, I’ll show you the bluest world possible

Weeks ago I had published some photographs in film about this monastery in a visit with my friend Melissa (they say this monastery is the biggest on the world, probably because it certainly is a small city)

I process my photographs to match what I see and what I feel, sometimes I’m driven by a certain color or meaning, shooting at the same time with film helped me to understand better the colors. I hope you enjoy the trip.

Built with blocks of blue sky

Built with blocks of blue sky

Some of the buildings have a blue so intense that even the sky with its intense blue of the desert can appear almost invisible.

Sometimes a heart of flowers can be harder to break than a chain of iron

Sometimes a heart of flowers can be harder to break than a chain of iron

I wonder if that heart is product of a sensible gardener, or just product of my imagination…

Head portrait

Head portrait

There is a trend to use HDR techniques in photographs; put it in a quite simple, and unfair because it can get nice and natural images, way it’s a technique to get the most of details in shadows and highlights. But I love deep shadows, and under the sun of the desert in Santa Catalina the shadows are almost solid, turning the architecture in a sort of old watch pointing the path of time in the slow procession of the shadows.

feline eye

Feline eye

A city without windows

A city without windows

It’s a crowded place with tourists, as I was in that moment, but being a city covering a large area there are always moments of ancient silence, that language that the ashlars of volcanic origin whisper after the heat of the day.

The photographs were shot in July, in winter; the season in the desert means clean blue skies.

If the ashes could talk...

If the ashes could talk…

I love kitchens, they are the place where a home has the strongest amount of familiar memories, conversations, moments, true life.

A red color trying to cross the blue wall

A red color trying to cross the blue wall

The photograph lines below is a place I’ve taken before so it could be familiar to you. But what I can say, I like it a lot and certainly to me it would be a wonderful place to read or just simply rest to the warm of the afternoon.

Enjoy the light and take a sit

Enjoy the light and take a sit

volumes and shapes of santa catalina

Volumes and shapes of Santa Catalina

blue and white

Blue and white

And that’s all, in a certain way it’s a sort of street photography of a city whose life now endures in a little (although quite comfortable and modern) corner. Although that’s good, I think it was a sad destiny to be in such a beautiful place but not by choice but for the cruel rules of tradition. In colonial times rich families used to send one daughter to buy influence from church. Now fortunately seems that heaven doesn’t need money ;-)

Remembering a time when it had fire

Remembering a time when it had fire

Pampa Cañahuas (Or when Qhapaq meets Melissainthemiddle)

Golden lines

golden lines

Previously in Melissa in the middle

The secret bounty hunter has traveled around the globe in search of dangerous fugitives with her faithful motorbike, a silver cross and her travel blog as a façade to hide the real reason of her travels. Hired to hunt the most dangerous South American guy she is prepared to return home believing him death, until she discovers in the DNA of an eyelash that her enemy is not only alive but he’s actually her blogger friend Qhapaq, launching his ultimate plot in his secret headquarters in the core of volcano Misti 4000 meters (13 123 ft.) above the sea. Is the former spy going to catch to Qhapaq? Is friendship going to be more important than the millionaire reward?

Previously in Qhapaq

Francis is the Machiavellian genius behind counterfeit companies as Poma, Zony, Mitsusushi, Coca Loka, et al. Losing the memory after an explosion he started again as a blogger in Qhapaq, unknowing his past until now when the smell of the gunpowder in the morning triggered his memories! Inspired by the movie Superman I he is going to sink the Peruvian coast into the sea after buying cheap lands that will be the new coast giving him a lot of happy cash :P In the core of the volcano a cold heart waits without knowing that a lady is crossing the desert to bring him to the justice. Will he succeed?

(All this happened three months ago)

PAMPA CAÑAHUAS

Walking in shadows
Majesty

Majesty

My blogger friend Melissa visited Arequipa and I was happy to met her. We tried to don’t turn the visit into a typical touristic trip, you know: “let’s take a scheduled car and from there let’s take the same photograph as showed in the postcard,” instead we walked places we both didn’t know. She chose Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Park, so we took a cheap bus with the intention to walk. I’m so sorry to say that although an enjoyable trip I didn’t search well and I exposed her to intense cold in a high altitude :-(  One always wins from the experience but I’d like to don’t have exposed her to such a harsh environment.

Elemental shapes in the highlands

elemental shapes in the highlands

Pampa Cañahuas is near Arequipa city at 4000 meters above the sea (more than 13 000 ft), more or less the altitude of the city I was born so my physiology is adapted to it, instead I suffer to walk in the coast. Melissa do it quite well, she just would need more clothes I think. In the beginning we walked under the shadows of lonely clouds and blue skies.

In middle of an infinite

in middle of an infinite

The mountain in the photograph above is called Chachani, it is a volcano and the name in Aymara language means “gallant”.

families ties

Family ties

We saw vicuñas. They are wild camelids; our ancestors domesticated alpacas and llamas but vicuñas have to remain wild in order to get their fine wool (one of the finest along our chinchilla, also a wild animal) It’s in the symbol of our national coat of arms and in the beginning of XX century it was forbidden to take without authorization to foreign countries.

The warming sun
clouds migrating the blue

Clouds migrating the blue

In the highlands under the shadows it’s cold, so it was a welcome change when we walked under the sun. I proposed to walk until a hill, and we walked but it was so far away! even worse it ended being two tall hills.

White line of alpacas

White alpacas in a black line

There are flocks of alpacas with eternal shepherds in the distance. Alpacas are domesticated and are the equivalent of sheeps.

White line of alpacas

White line of alpacas

The alpacas were so far away! if you couldn’t see it then above is the closest I could get with my zoom. Walking to there wasn’t an option as the shepherd dogs and the long distance were a barrier.

Starships in the countryside

Starships in the countryside

Fallen king in a green checkboard

fallen king in a green checkboard

Black eyes

black eyes

Do you see the hill in the photograph bellow? well, it took us almost three hours to get to the top :/

Vicuñas lost in the ichu

Vicuñas lost in the ichu

In the top of the world
a chair for one

a chair for one

We reached the top near five o’clock. Near the equator days don’t last so much so night was just one hour ahead. In the worry I’m afraid to haven’t paid to the Earth, I paid it days after in my house but I felt guilty. It’s simply to give her the first try of pure water or liquor in a way to say “thanks.” We saw the volcanos and returned using a little road to avoid accidents walking blind. As her safety was priority (being myself responsible for the wrong decisions) we walked to the highway and I didn’t take more photographs.

traveling to a safer world

traveling to a safer world

The photograph above to me was quite evocative, I thought in the happy ending of Blade Runner, the one used with fragments of other movies and the voice on off of Deckard.

Monumento

monumento

little bird standing in the shadows

Little bird standing in the shadows (it’s the little silhouette in the center above the shadow of the rock)

unlimited world for three stones

unlimited world for three stones

A cloud following her

a cloud following her

Trophy

trophy

End

And that was all. We saw a view few people see. I know it because there weren’t neither garbage nor drawings in the rocks as usually our national vandals/tourists love to drop. Annnnd this is the view ;-)

esplanade of the council of mountains

Esplanade of the Council of Mountains

(The funny thing is we hoped to see a lake XD)

Oceans of blue, Oceans of stars

so many stars

so many stars

Yesterday I wrote about the stars in my city. Juliaca is at 3824 meters above sea level (12,549 ft.) and usually the sky is almost transparent. It’s so high than some tourists can suffer the thinner atmosphere with less oxygen. We evolved to this having bigger lungs and a higher account of red blood cells, so our cheeks are usually red. We know this thanks to the studies the famous dr. Huxley made in XIX century and that were commented by his friend, Darwin (I read it in his book The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex) When I am in the sea there are no stars so I like to live around the sea, to have an infinite to see.

dreamy twilight in the port

dreamy twilight in the port

And this is the sea I like to see in the coast, I remember to have seen just a few stars a very few times.

Our society in the highlands, despite the high altitude, always had a tradition of sailors until today. So for example in the market they ask you to add some ingredients of the highland because we eat a bit different from the men of the coast. But that’s story for another post.

Santa Catalina – An adventure in color

another tale of another princess in hope of a green prince

Another tale of another princess in hope of a green prince

The photographs of today were made with a film camera, a Samsung ECX-1, and a roll of Kodak Ektar 100. There aren’t skilled laboratories around me so I had to take a photograph of the negative and invert it in a special program, because if you just invert it simple turn to a bluish image. It take a lot of time and it’s my first processed roll, I hope you find one of your taste.

taking a sunbath in the patio while talking about old times

Taking a sunbath in the patio while talking about old times

These photographs were shot inside the cloisters of Santa Catalina de Siena Monastery, a colonial small city for the aristocracy. It’s said it’s the biggest of the word but I cannot find references to confirm that data.

blue bliss in the light blessing the stair

Blue bliss in the light blessing the stair

Among the several rolls of film Ektar 100 is the most saturated so ideal for colorful compositions. Santa Catalina is a place of walls, mostly reds and blues. as a religious building I think it success in transmit an idea of peaceful meditation.

a carpet made with a shadow a wall made with trees a sky made with red and a space in blue

A carpet made with a shadow, a wall made with trees, a sky made with red and a space in blue

The little city, with its streets and plazas is a touristic attraction. The monastery still works but in a smaller corner. You know, there are no much demand to be nun these days. In colonial times people to get influence used to send their children to the church and the military, so it was mostly a monastery for the aristocracy.

a beautiful photographer in fields of a blue poem

a beautiful photographer in fields of a blue poem

And I saw this woman with red hair contrasting as a flower against the blue sky; so I felt in the urgency of take her portrait for, err, academic purposes. And this beautiful girl was for coincidence my friend Melissa! you can follow her chronicles in melissainthemiddle across the world in a way not so touristic and instead more experiential.

my respects jk

My respects (j/k)

I took the obligatory selfie but in a more original (I hope) way, a shoelfie! XD

mystic red

Mystic red

The whole city is built with ashlars of volcanic rock, painted with special paintings with eggs in the colors and with ship skin as a brush.

and one day the mankind simply vanished

And one day the mankind simply vanished…

butlers of blue uniforms and white shoes

Butlers of blue uniforms and white shoes

say o with me

Say “O” with me

there is no more food please somebody help me

There is no more food. Please, somebody help me :/

chiaroscuro of savage with red skin and green crown

Chiaroscuro of savage with red skin and green crown

three caravels navigating a blue ocean

Three caravels navigating a blue ocean

I shot two horizontal photographs to stitch this and get away of limitations of format.

the forbidden city of the red walls

The forbidden city of the red walls

And well, there were some more photos but this publication is already longer so see you another day ;-)

Juliaca A – Life in a city close to sky.

Building in middle of heaven

building in middle of heaven

Juliaca is my city, the place where I born and the place that define part of who I am. I want to dedicate this post to my friend Dan in the far Romania for whom I hope this can show a bit of what probably is an exotic city even in Peru.

Our city is at 3825 meters above sea level (12,549 ft.) in the Andean plateau, in a region near Bolivia and the old lake Titicaca. Among the several civilizations coming from the deserts of the coast, the highlands and the jungles the main and more numerous are the Aymara (my group), the Quechua and the Westerners from the coast. If I had to abstract the city it could have the following parts.

The heart: Apu Huaynarroque
before the dances

before the dances

Can you see the almost triangular hill? That’s the Apu (sacred hill) Huaynarroque. This is the heart of the city for at least three thousand years. Probably the name was originally Xullaca or Hullaqa with the meaning now long time ago forgotten. We were a city usually under the domain of several Empires and Kingdoms, first Uros civilizations, after that Aymaras Empires, Kingdoms of Collas and Lupaqas, the Inca Empire, after that the invasion of Spain that couldn’t erase us, after the independence we still grew and with the arrive of the train the city recovered the richness of old times with trade.

But the connection across those ages always was and is the Apu Huaynarroque, the sacred hill with two peaks because the unity has inside symmetries, one, two, three, until seven symmetries…

morning upon the apu

morning upon the apu

With Spaniards came the Roman church, with their figures of a Christ with blood and suffering, their divinities saying that the guilt is genetic and the pleasure is forbidden until the afterlife. So different to our religions where life is enjoyed and we say thanks to the Earth and to Sky and everything is connected and we are made to be happy. So Spaniards imposed a big cross in the top of our Apu and centuries after when Spaniards were just in History books their descendants made a sculpture of Christ, a big one in the top of the sacred hill.

praying to the image and praying to the clouds

Praying to the image and praying to the clouds

I went there several times, once per week, but not for the sculpture but because the hill. There are always two or three persons praying. I go because the sky looks even closer to us.

Apu's shadow

Apu’s shadow

The shadow over the city…

Spectacles of light

spectacles of light

party time in the sky

Party time in the sky (published before)

Being the most sacred place this is where the most important parties for our civilizations always occurs. Our muted colors are dressed with intense colors. But my favorite ones are the colors of sky at dusk.

a warm farewell

a warm farewell

The muscle: Trading
See! a fair deal, lady

see! a fair deal, lady

Everybody in Juliaca works trading because we are connected with the coast the jungle and near countries, so people sells hundreds of varieties of potatos, corn, exotic fruits and animals from the jungle, fish from the lake Titicaca and the sea, fine clothes from Bolivia and made in the old cities, laptops, photographic cameras and products from the black market that are impossible to get even in the capital. Sadly there is this side of the illegal trading too, in part because the State (except the tax office that is the only efficient organism) is a distant rumor: we are not only in the geographic frontier but in a social frontier. Everything works like in a parallel side without government.

In the streets and public parties there are always people selling food:

stop a moment

stop a moment

Trucks stop in middle of their long travels to sell fruits like pineapples or in this case bricks:

every brick a piece of a desire

every brick a piece of desire

And the night is illuminated by business and street sellers in extensive sectors of the city:

spectacular sky

spectacular sky

Since the origin of the city thousands of years ago until our modern days we always have preferred as a symbol of status products of brilliant colors, usually in our historical tricycles:

choose your color

choose your color

And frequently we see new ways to sell, as these news seller traveling the city:

morning news

morning news

The blood: Transport systems
HPIM4006_DxO-XL

ephemeral heart (previously published)

The train is what made the explosive growth of Juliaca possible. The English engineers came and go and after them at the beginnings of Twentieth century Italians came and developed the trading of Alpaca wool, recovering something of our previous richness, according to colonial documents after the Spanish invasion some particulars could have 20, 000 heads of Alpaca livestock. The train connect us with Cusco and Arequipa, still is used by tourists but mostly for enterprises.

Also we have an international airport so our sky also is filled with the noise of planes and some times the fighters of the Air Force:

across the blue

across the blue

Bicycles still are widely used, specially in the corners of the city, but cars are being seen as more prestigious:

a hat for a hat

a hat for a hat

Motorbikes and modified motorcycles are gaining much popularity because the city with near a quarter of million of population is quite big for use the old tricycles:

morning in the plaza

morning in the plaza

race

race

red city

red city

Aguayos, they are textiles where ladies carry merchandise or babies in their back, it’s my favorite way of transport (but I’m not a baby anymore hehe) and the patterns indicate the city and region where it was woven, they are in the places of the Inca Empire but in Juliaca still you can see more than other cities:

Red will

red will

But the pillar in our city is the tricycle, the city surrounding the Apu actually is a flat surface so they don’t require a big effort. In the beginning they were used mostly to move merchandise but they evolved so they could take passengers, I like much more to use tricycles than closed cars or mototaxis. It feels to me so free and noble to be moved with the force of a human being.

you can't take me to where I'm going to go

you can’t take me to where I’m going to go

I know that it’s not the best of the photographs (I was trying instead to portrait the lady and her shadow) but it’s just an introduction to the following post in the following weeks.

***

A little rant

Usually to westerners (and not just the foreign visitors that need to travel to Bolivia, Cusco or Arequipa but also Peruvians from the coast) Juliaca has the fame of an ugly city. Actually it’s not a touristic city, we are forgotten by the governments because we are seen as wild natives, and a big percentage of population came recently from the countryside without knowing that the city is different creature to their communities in the nature (for example they drop garbage to the street thinking it as an “outside”), so the city grew without urban planning and without professionals to educate. But there is the mistake to consider us as a kind of inferior people. With education we can reach high levels as any human on the Earth. But prejudices win and we, once a high culture with interest in genetics, continental trading, mystic philosophy and a diverse society, are considered like wild people that should be banned to another country, the city nuked and replaced by the noble and Westerner culture from the coast… while they respect and worship their robbers and dangerous people as heroes just because they are Westerners as well (in USA it could be similar perhaps to gangsta music I guess, I hear it but I don’t share the message in those songs of inevitable fate for born in a specific place)

Fortunately we don’t have two plagues:

  • American, European or government “help” in the form of donations that turn the towns around us in pools of poverty because people find easier to find an excuse to survive without work (for example they sell the jackets donated to them in winter) and no one reason to get education.
  • Tourism: tourists want to experience the “real” life so we should use our party clothes every day, we should just live in adobe homes (and not from the Imperial style but that Spanish kind that wasn’t appropriate to us for climate differences) and we shouldn’t have TV’s, tablets or cell phones with touchscreens and if we don’t take a shower the better because that way we look darker and wilder to the lenses of the photographers (as the guys that come from the capital) so they can appear as sensible people touched by the poverty (LMAO!).

If those two plagues had been in my city instead of a person capable to understand you dear reader I had been a young man asking you one dollar to survive with a disguise living in the worst conditions. For that reason every time when I read in internet travelers about the ugliness of our city (and I respect the right to say that because it’s the truth) I always feel the need to explain why my city, and I’m proud of it, is ugly, I’m not to alter the post to show it as a beautiful city, it’s not, but also I’m going to show that there are nice places too. And I hope to give an answer to the occasional reader that could come looking for data :-)

But until then a piece of beauty from my parents’ garden ;-)

A rose above the clouds

a rose above the clouds

Succa Aya – Memories from the countryside

long afternoon

long afternoon…

In quechua language Succa Aya means “Field of Sepultures”

The pre-Inca cemeteries are memories from the past, today it’s a district of Arequipa city and the name changed to Socabaya. Today I want to show you some views of these place ;-)

A road in middle of the fields
Tell me where can I go to

tell me where can I go to…

 

I had a customer there, so I needed to go several times to see his property. There is no many people walking the road, usually just the road… I walked several times those distances filled of farms, giant towers of high voltage and plenty of solitude, with that slow time until I decided to take the public transportation to my lair in that city. This is what I used to saw:

At day…
White ashlars

white ashlars

The white ashlar in Arequipa has volcanic origin, it is used from to delimit the farms to built palaces and banks, actually to cover them, in a seismic place is not good idea to have massive buildings.

Mathematical hill

mathematical hill

Try to cross

try to cross

Some trees…

Halloween

This is Halloween, this is Halloween ♪♫

At the end the light

at the end the light

And some horses…

meditative houyhnhnm

Meditative Houyhnhnm (published before, shot with a defective film camera)

Head of horse

Head of horse

Before the night…
Another day ends in the green countryside

Another day ends in the green countryside

Socabaya or Succa Aya is relatively far from the center of the city, so to go there I needed at least one hour and half of travel for the price of, in equivalence, thirty cents of US dollars. So it was not infrequent to end in middle of the sunset, always hidden behind the hills. But it’s a quite calm place to walk, and there is no more the heat of the day…

Line of gold

Line of gold

2D Tower

2D Tower (published before)

Alone in the dusk the light starts its electrical song

Alone in the dusk the light starts its electrical song

The faraway lights

The faraway lights

Beyond the farms…

light my fire

light my fire

The district is bigger than the farms, there are places with houses of low and middle social-economic levels mixed with industries, so it’s not so peaceful as the farms habited by traditional families. They come usually from smaller cities and near is the penitentiary so it’s not so safe. In the public transport I’ve seen relatives of the inmates, sometimes they are dangerous too.

cusqueña

Cusqueña (published before, shot with a defective film camera)

Point of energy

Point of energy

So the landscape is a bit desolated, with stray dogs silently walking and warden dogs barking the strangers (what includes me); dust and a desert without vegetation being replaced constantly by a desert of bricks. But the sunset also comes to give a bit of color to this part of the city:

Colony in Mars

Colony in Mars

Night

The day ends and the nocturnal life starts… But usually I was already in home given my report to my customer, but I got a pair of shots ;-)

Blue night

Blue night

Searching in the stars

Searching in the stars

The spectacular death of a brief Giant of Fire

map of an island called atlantis at the moment of being devoured by the fury of volcans in a black sea

Map of an Island called Atlantis at the moment of being devoured by the fury of volcans in a black sea

In part building castles in the air is an art. Of course castles in this context doesn’t mean a building of stone with kings and princess but a structure made with reed designed to contain the armature of fireworks. It’s a Peruvian tradition but I don’t remember see it in TV in another country. It’s used for middle size celebrations, usually neighborhood anniversaries. A way to remember the creation of a group destroying with fire a figure.

Building a giant to conquest the world

Building a giant to conquest the world

The art of destroying castles with fire requires skill and imagination from the master at charge. It’s assembly the same day of the celebration because it’s in the public street, so I guess it’s mildly legal and more something authorized by tradition. As it’s a celebration food, beer and a priest is important. I don’t follow any religion and I dislike beer since kid so I just go to see the castles. Every year it’s chosen a different family from the neighborhood to hire the master of castles to the next year. This castle is in a little block of Arequipa city.

Abstract and natural

Abstract and natural

As you can see above they’re not simple creatures. The spectacle has to last at least near half an hour so it requires several levels, a little theatre of lights with different colors exploding one after the other.

Goldie in fire

Gold in fire

The spectacle starts, the master choose first a rain of gold (that last should sound good but sadly means another thing too xD)

Electrical language

electrical language

The colors starts to fire the song of an electric angel, turning into silhouettes to the assistants.

Smog and Fire

smog and fire

Like a slow breathing before a new fireworks show the giant have a little pause. The silhouettes are humans again for a while.

Look at me! Are you not entertained?!

Look at me! Are you not entertained?!

Now the fireworks yell intense colors in his body of six hearts.

Feathers of phoenix

Feathers of phoenix

Always the fire shine more when its final is closer. There is a jewel in the night and as a sunset it’s going to be unrepeatable (so I’ll take some pics :P)

Zeus unbounded

Zeus unbounded

A last robe of white color. so in that way the spectacle ends. But the party continues so the fireworks are send to the sky to explode in roses of several colors, messengers lost in the night.

Night's Spirit flying to the borders of the space

Spirit flying to the borders of the space

But the beer is going to last until the next midday and even after that the body says (perhaps) enough.

Geraniums

Trois couleurs

Arica – A glimpse of Chile

Playing with infinite blocks

playing with infinite blocks

Some weeks ago I mentioned to go to Arica in the Chilean North. I didn’t go, I felt so tired, like a mountain in my eyes so I opted to slept… I believe that we don’t have to force things, everything is going to come in its time, although also is good to put always an amount of effort, but my instinct said me that it wasn’t the best of the moments.

Nevertheless I created an expectative in my kind readers so, although it isn’t the same and certainly when I shot these photographs I barely knew how to use a camera, even the little compact camera of that moment, I hope to show a glimpse of this little city.

Greens and the Morro Solar

greens and the Morro Solar

Arica is in the North frontier of Chile limiting with Peru. But not always… it was Peruvian until a war in the XIX century with the English support to Chile ended with lot of territory lost, but reviewing objectively the History I conclude that the fact that we’re a country with several nations separated by enmity and the high corruption of the politics of that age made us lose the war. Said that to me is a meaningless detail, we cannot own ground, trees, seas, skies… those are artificial limits and we cannot lost what we never had; and usually our governments play that fake patriotic card to distract the public opinion when economy doesn’t march well or there are news about corruption. I don’t like to classify people by nationality and certainly I consider childish to believe the country where causality made us born can be superior to the others. In fact I consider the Arica people very polite and kind.

The Plaza in the second photograph is in a special place because the hill, called “the Morro Solar,” was the scenery of an important battle between our nations. Beyond that I guess it just exists to inflate the ego.

Children of the Morro seeing the horizon

Children of the Morro seeing the horizon

It’s in front of the Pacific Ocean. But it’s so different to our coastal cities in Peru, it’s so Europe, in fact Chile is the closest country in the continent to be a first world nation. There was a taxi driver that said us to me and my father, among other things, that he was a Mapuche native. Certainly that was clear in his race but not in his culture: he was completely westerner. I don’t write it as something negative, simply to show my surprise that the culture there was (in comparison to Peru) so European.

Once upon a time a crazy wall

once upon a time a crazy wall

 I read the report of two different travelers. They said that crossing from Peru to Chile gave them relieve because Peru is so chaotic and Chile in comparison was tranquil and more civilized. I think they’re right, I was observing the young “rebels” and in my country they would be considerer peaceful hobbyists, even more I saw this graffiti, I guess the owner see it as a vandalism (and technically it’s because it’s private property) but in my country it would be almost a work of art in a country where our walls just express without imagination loves and football sympathies.

But precisely that was something I didn’t like about Arica, the travelers I mentioned came from USA or Europe, instead I’m Peruvian and to me so much calm in a city is something like a dead body, I couldn’t understand why the business in Arica would open so late and close to go to eat, why in a little city even the markets were empty of crowds. Why everybody, although polite and kind at the same time seemed so uniformed, like a regular army. That was a reason why I was not so much enthusiastic about visiting again the city. Am I a kind of savage for think in that way? perhaps… Or perhaps the different civilization there is beyond my comprehension.

Soft light for a white building

soft light for a white building

This was one of my favorites buildings there. It’s a public building for the management of waters. It clearly has influence of Frank Lloyd Wright, specifically his Fallingwater house or Kaufmann residence. But it was a very kind building in a city with so much formality.

The kiss

The Kiss

And to the end this monument. It seems to be a military one, but I cannot avoid to think instead in abstracted lovers about to kiss. I would like to go in another chance to get better views, I think Arica has to have more interesting places, perhaps in the desert or walking around the sea. But I remember my stronger impression was to find a place so different just crossing a few kilometers outside the border.