This photo-blog is designed to work either as a standard blog with images or - by clicking any image - a photo-album. To see an image in full resolution click to the left or right of an image in blog mode. The images were generated from video to give the best possible view of the journey.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Adam, Heath and Chris in the backpackers hotel in Lima

In 1999 four of us converged on Lima to begin a transit of the Andes and Amazon to document human impact on the greatest boiodiversity hotspot on planet Earth. My son Heath and I (Chris) arrived together at night from California, Adam flew in from New Zealand shortly after and finally Jane arrived on a later flight from the US. We had quite a job managing to find one another in the crowded airport at night.

 Looking up the central well in Hostal España

We stayed at the Hostal España a sentimental backpackers which at the time had rather empty rooms and halls full of classical and religious sculptures and paintings with a rooftop garden restaurant which was a pleasant place to hang out.

Adam and Heath settling into their new abode

We had come together to make a tortuous journey, first south to Bolivia where we planned to visit the ecofeminist ecologist Teresa Flores and try to film the burning season there, before attempting to make a transit for the Andes to a high point in the Amazon basin to traverse the river to Rio where Heath and I had an ongoing flight out again.

As luck would have it there was an old second hand version of the Peru Lonely Planet (we had only the South America version) on sale in the España book locker, which I decided to buy for $11, which proved pivotal in the entire journey.  The Peru book included more detail and in particular a section on how to go down the Pongo de Manique by dugout canoe to enter the Ucayali via the Urubamba the river flowing through Cusco and Michu Picchu. This became out pivotal route after the Bolivia circuit.

The rooftop garden at Eapaña

Here is a gallery of some of the art works in the España at the time. Of course the whole place has been refurbished since then and looks a more racy modern hotel.

The España was renowned at the time for a cramped bunch of animal cages in the roof garden.

Native pottery exhibits

Here are a series of images of central Lima in the area round the España.

Images of the cathedral.

This was a millennial trip so we spent some time visiting the churches and cathedrals to document the somewhat tortured nature of South American Catholicism.

Images around the central square

The central square in Lima

We also visited the museum of the inquisition, which provided an additional vista on the tortured way Christianity imposed itself on the native American populations.

Water torture

Being torn apart by four horses

The Templars were victims of the Inquisition

Auto de fe burning to death

The españa was also only a short distance from some of the ghetto areas on the outskirts of town where there were markets and alleyways which gave an idea of the life of lower class Lima.

A market near the hotel where Adam had a leather bag made for traveling

Views inside another church in the evening