Andes, a Photo Gallery
Photos link to larger images.
Nevado Illimani, Bolivia's highest peak at 22,579 feet, towers almost
two miles above this sheep pasture on the outskirts of La Paz. Three
of the thirteen Andean peaks above 20,000 feet are in Bolivia. Bolivia's
Cordillera Blanca stretches from Illimani northward to Illampu (20,873
feet above sea level), presenting one of the most impressive mountain
chains in the world. (Old atlases have different data.) This view is
from the plateau above metropolitan La Paz, near the airport. Long runways
and special fuel and tires on jets are required here. Even from this
elevation, near 13,000 feet, the mountains seem incredibly immense.
Vicuñas are wild camelids and closely related to alpacas and
llamas. They live at very high elevations. Their hair is exceedingly
fine and in high demand. They were nearly hunted to extinction before
being afforded legal protection. You might catch a glimpse of several
from the Puno to Cuzco train, in the wild or at the La Raya experiment
station, near the highest point along the route. These were at the Cuzco
Rich sunset colors drench a typical altiplano family compound, or wasi.
This home is located above 14,000 feet in Azangaro province, Department
of Puno, Perú. The temperature drops dramatically at sunset.
At this altitude the growing season is too short for potatoes. The area
is well suited to alpacas, llamas and vicuñas.
Alpacas at a regional fair in Juliaca, Puno, Perú. Quality of
fleece is an important consideration when judging these competitors.
Another group of prize competitors at the Juliaca fair. Alpacas with
white hair are the most valuable because their fleeces can be dyed.
Potato harvest on a hillside north of Azangaro. This valley is above
Potato harvest at Malquini, northeast of Azangaro. An
ancient Incan trail traverses this canyon en route to the Amazon drainage
across the Cordillera. The Malquini river disappears into gravel
beds at the mouth of the canyon, trapping trout in deep pools. From
the Inca road one can view into the clear pools and pick a challenge
to angle for. trout fishing and the nearby hot springs made for a
great break from our work routine.
My good friend Cesár Paredes inspects a pile of freshly harvested
potatoes. Local grasses are used to protect the piles of harvest from
the sun and frosts. Cesár taught me a great deal about local
agriculture and customs during our outings to visit prestamos, which
he worked as the bank manager. If you know Cesár tell him to
send me an e-mail. We lost contact years ago.
The colonial church in Azangaro. In the Plaza San Bernardo to the left
of the bell tower, Pedro Vilca Apaza was drawn and quartered for his
role as a General in Tupac Amaru II's attempt to liberate Perú
from the Spanish government. His last words were, "Por este Sol aprended
a morir como yo." After Tupac Amaru II's execution, leadership of the
revolution shifted to Azangaro.
The bell tower is an example of colonial decorative adobe, in this view
much disfigured by rains. Recently, rains caused a collapse of most
of the tower. The gold interior is a magnificent example of rich colonial
art. Recently, colonial treasures were robbed from the so-called 'golden
A street scene in Azangaro from the former office of the Ministerio
de Agricultura office complex where I worked in 1969-70. The complex
was also my home. In the background is the market building. Many vendors
set up in the street every day, and once a week -- on market day --
the streets around the market filled with vendors. Every day several
medicinal herb vendors were found at this corner, near my door. They gave
me my first introduction to herbal properties and the numerous
herbal remedies from the many ecological regions in the Andes.
Brief Note Regarding Campa Medical Practices
In this view the terraces are the remains of Pucará, a former
center of Andean culture west of Azangaro and northwest of Lake Titicaca.
Pucará was part of my work area. It is famous for excellent pottery,
and has been a pottery center for several thousand years. This is also
the site of liberator José Domingo Choquehuanca's famous speech
and dicho, "Con los siglos crecerá nuestra gloria como crece
la sombra cuando el Sol declina."
An adobe building near the Tiwanaku
ruins in Bolivia. There are so many pottery sherds in the area that
the local adobe has numerous fragments visible in the walls. Walking
the Tiahuanaco village streets is also a tour of ancient pottery embedded
in all the walls.
A group of agriculturists are gathering their harvest in the valley
between Puno and Cuzco. It is typical to see groups of people working
the fields in the Andes, where the ayllu custom of community organization
and cooperation has persisted.
Idyllic scenes such as this are the fare of the day for train travelers
between the cities. From Puno the train passes over barren 14,172 feet
La Raya pass, past a research station with large herds of alpacas and
some vicuñas. The transitions continue as the train descends
towards Cuzco. This view is of an area low enough in elevation for many
crops and trees.
An ancient Incan masonry doorway on a Cuzco street. Original Incan
masonry lines many Cuzco streets and can be seen in restaurants, homes
and churches. In a recent earthquake plaster broke from some walls to
reveal previously hidden Inca walls of the Coricancha inside the monastary
of St. Augustine's church.