When sometimes I see these images below, they seem to be a mere shadow of what I safely keep inside of my mind.
There is a long story behind each of the photos – usually it takes 10 minutes to tell the whole tale.
What you see below: is a kind of highlights: selected, prepared and edited information.
What I see: portals to get me back into the past; to wake up the dormant – both sleeping and dreaming – parts of my life.
If you slow down your mind, take a deep breath and look inside of the photo, then maybe… maybe you will sense the spirit of faraway lands and faraway people, whom I will never again meet in my life.
The first one is from Easter Island. It’s meaningful to me because of a movie.
This is my Fiji Islands… Have you seen the movie Truman Show?
One line from this movie is especially meaningful to me…
You can’t get any farther, because you start coming back
So this is the farthest place I can ever get:
During my trip – as always – really strange things happened. Just by incredible coincidences I wandered to a right place in the right time… just to meet the right people for each and every spot I visited.
Just to name few:
– If you know me you’d know how hooked I am to the movies. When wandering in Hollywood residential areas, I decided to walk to the famous sign. Just when I I was considering how lucky i’d be to meet a (possibly accentric) movie-maker, and… KABOOM! (see below)
– In Easter Island I met some aboriginals who were cultivating their traditions at a volcano next to the world famous quarry… and they let me overnight at the site – this is why I have so beautiful photos of the statues – all taken at the time there are no visitors allowed.
– in a middle of nowhere in mountains in Chile – I met a patrol of Chilean Army. (see below)
– in Machu Picchu I made friends with local Aboriginals (friendly variety) and in gift exchange I got the most precious thing I ever had. (scroll down again)
– and in Chile again, when I wanted to enter a mine just to see what’s inside – my wish was granted! They gave me a grand tour, all attractions included except for actually USING the explosives, I was ONLY allowed to touch and play.
– While in Peru, I was stopped by a police roadblock and… I learned from the officer that… I’m not going anywhere… and can enjoy watching the world famous Dakar Raid. I also make friends with the participants!
* * *
You cannot arrange such meetings. They don’t happen twice. They just wait for you to happen and make you wonder about what plans the universe has for you.
It is a bit like this:
„The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.„
宇宙間神奇萬物俯拾皆是,靜靜在那兒等候我們藉之以增長智慧。 – Eden Phillpotts
Ok, here we go…
No activity is more precious to me than interacting with movies: especially music, stories. Forced to transfer in US, I chose Los Angeles to switch planes. Reason… see Hollywood. I decided to climb up to the famous HOLLYWOOD SIGN. Half way, just when I was daydreaming to meet a movie director or producer or a famous movie star…
My wish came true!
I made friends with a movie producer and her stylish & beautiful car,
…and two little doggies
Of course in this world nothing is perfect. I was not offered a job as co-producer. Snif snif!
Anyway… THANK YOU FOR FULFILLING MY WISH, WHOEVER YOU ARE!
And now for something completely different
Below: my friends from Easter Island – two sculptors. I traded knifes with them – perfect souvenirs for both sides of the deal.
The tattoo on the guy’s chest has a very special meaning in culture of Rapa Nui. It depicts two chief gods of the culture. The best part is that their ancestors came there from Taiwan. It was Taiwanese seafaring aboriginals who settled Pacific islands 3000 years ago.
And as of the road-trip…
This was my battle horse. Made in China.
Below: Halfway to El Tatio Geysers in Chile. More pics here
at 4,200 meters above mean sea level.
Two pics below: returning from geysers to San Pedro de Atacama. To see this view I spend whole day riding my ass off. The views were worth the pain.
Below: My friends from Chilean Army – a chance meeting half way to Chungara lake at altitude of 4000 m above sea level. My best souvenir from Chile goes from them!
Below: and the Chungara lake itself. Barely on time to take this photo – just 20 mins later I had a pitch-black there.
Below: Polish Astronomical Observatory in Las Campanas in Chile.
If you wish to share the feeling of touching the stars, take a deep breath and see this:
There is absolutely no way a mere photo could deliver to you the colors I saw at this moment…
Below: Coastline road in Chile. Amazing colors and not a single blade of grass in 150km.
Below: They let me in into a copper mine. I was having a free tour – one miner gave me a tour which even included roaming in all available corridors and… touching and examining explosives. Later the guy grabbed a sledgehammer and smashed some huge piece of ore to select a beautiful stone for me to keep.
Below: Train Museum in Baquedano, Chile. It was perfectly permitted to walk inside all trains. This photo is so-so. Others that I have are like a SF movie – i spent there over 1 hour taking photos.
Below: a dinner at most friendly miner I ever met. They were sooo poor but also so happy…………
Maybe this is the best & most beautiful picture on this page. The important part (as it often is in such cases, is in the mind of the photographer.
I don’t remember that I was closer to Annares.
„No. It is not wonderful It is an ugly world. Not like this one. Anarres is all dust and dry hills. All meager, all dry. And the people aren’t beautiful. They have big hands and feet, like me and the waiter there. But not big bellies. They get very dirty, and take baths together, nobody here does that. The towns are very small and dull, they are dreary. No palaces. Life is dull, and hard work. You can’t always have what you want, or even what you need, because there isn’t enough. You Urrasti have enough. Enough air, enough rain, grass, oceans, food, music, buildings, factories, machines, books, clothes, history. You are rich, you own. We are poor, we lack. You have, we do not have. Everything is beautiful, here.
Only not the faces. On Anarres nothing is beautiful, nothing but the faces. The other faces, the men and women. We have nothing but that, nothing but each other. Here you see the jewels, there you see the eyes. And in the eyes you see the splendor, the splendor of the human spirit. Because our men and women are free—possessing nothing, they are free. And you the possessors are possessed. You are all in jail. Each alone, solitary, with a heap of what he owns. You live in prison, die in prison. It is all I can see in your eyes—the wall, the wall!” — Ursula K. LeGuin, Dispossessed
For guys in Taiwan: the book is available @ bookstores. The title is 一無所有
Peru – Raid Dakkar. This guy’s motor was broken so he had an opportunity to make friends with me.
Below: Canyon Colca in Peru. 30 years ago a Polish team of kayakers were to be first humans to go inside and… return alive.
Below: The famous Nazca Lines in Peru. here is more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazca_Lines
Below: The unused part of Inca Trail leading to famous Machu Picchu in Peru
And Machu Picchu itself.
Below: Titicaca Lake in Peru. Atitude 3811 m above sea level.
Same lake – this boat belonged to a family which traded with me – I got some tasty fish and they an old coin from Poland.
Below: Downhill bicycle ride on the famous Death Road in Bolivia.
Below: A road at night. When you travel from Bolivia to Paraguay, you get your stamp 320km away from he border.
Before the immigration post the road is completely deserted… and extremely beautiful.
Below: Iguasu Waterfalls in Brasil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iguazu_Falls)
Below: Argentina’s flatlands. You need to get up at 5.00am to see such thing! It’s just seconds before sunrise.
My last pass to cross. This one is most curvy road I ever seen. Nice.
Last six days I spent in US, roaming around.
I saw two major places.
First was the JFK assassination site in Dallas, TX. I suggest you see a movie titled JFK.
Then I rented a car to travel 200 miles north to see Geronimo’s grave in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
You can read more about him here: http://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-geronimo.html
And that’s it! No more photos for you, sugar.
'Sugar’ is how they call you in a steak restaurant in Texas to get a 15% tip for listening to their southern accent.