I’m fighting a cold for the last two weeks. It’s the right nostril that gives me troubles. The wind, now and then a cold sea breeze, came from the right. The right nostril functioned as a wind catcher. No, this is not funny. At the end it started to hurt pretty bad. I had to plug in some napkins to stop the turbulence. My entire forehead was sore, no joke. Anyway, the big time sufferance is history, because after 3000 k’s desert misery I’ve reached the mountains, thank you Lord!
I’ve met some interesting people on my way to Puquio, a little mountain village in the Andes were I’m based at the moment. All of them were dead. I found them in the cemetery of Chauchilla near Nasca. From the Pan American you take a 7 k long dirt road in land to get at Chauchilla. I had no guide but what I know about the place is that Nasca Indians were buried there 1500 years ago, mummified and all. Archeologists reconstructed some of the Indian graves. There’s where I took this pictures. I don’t practice portrait photography too much but these guys were willing to pose. In fifteen minutes I was done. I don’t care too much about old stuff, I live very much in the moment. I saddled the Guzzi and drove off to Puquio, but stopped after half a mile. I saw that I was practically surrounded by human remains. I walked into the field and saw all this sadness. Chauchilla must be an enormous graveyard; wherever I looked I saw these bleached bones, sculls, more sculls, hair, like if these Indians were taking a sunbath. In fact the sacred place I examined was completely destroyed. The holes in the field pointed out the looted graves. All those people were all over the place. Could be your grandmother lying there. Can you imagine that? I think this is a case for Amnesty International.
(Nou niet denken dat ik me ineens druk ga lopen maken over een paar botten. Ik was al een tijdje op zoek naar een schedel, vraag me alleen niet waarom. Ik hoorde van die begraafplaats, dat het zo’n puinhoop was. Dat viel dus aanvankelijk mee, totdat je op eigen initiatief eens een wandeling gaat maken over het zonovergoten knekelveldje. Ik was dolgelukkig – de schedels waren niet te tellen. Een beetje zielig is het natuurlijk wel voor al die botjes die maar geen rust vinden. Stel je voor dat ik op een dag naar het graf van mijn moeder ga en zie dat een Peruaanse motorrijder fotos van Ma’s schedel loopt te maken – nee, niet netjes. Ik heb de Nasca’s uiteindelijk om vergiffenis gevraagd. Ze zeiden dit te overwegen)
About the Guzzi; she pulled me through the desert. She runs beautiful, doesn’t she, and that after two years of torture? I had to work a little on the bike. I did that at Ica, The mufflers needed to be welded. The connection was worse than Dutch gatenkaas. The guy renewed the connection. In Holland they probably would have advised me to buy new mufflers. I paid less than ten bucks. I also changed the oil. Last time I did that was in Quito. There’s no oil filter inside. Every 3000 k’s she gets new oil. The Guzzi really likes that. It’s like buying a flower for your sweetheart. Mine is a Guzzi, just a machine. I need some knull ruffs.
I know that your time is limited, but just one more thing. I would like to thank a guy, Jordan from Australia. I met him together with his mate Adam, at the Flying Dog Hostal in Lima. Jordan had this Ipod loaded with heaps of good music, more than 15000 songs. When those Colombians stole my computer in Quito I lost all my music. I downloaded 1500 songs from Jordan’s Ipod. Stones, Beatles, Neil Young, Counting Crows, B52’s, Bowie, Fleetwood Max, Lamb, Marvin Gaye, Bela Fleck, Eskimo Joe, Beck, you no name it, I’ve got it. Thanks again buddy. Pretty fucking awesome. We played table football until early in the mornings, heaps of fun. This guy really made me laugh, and if you see the pictures you probably understand why. Aussieland rules the waves. I didn’t see much of Lima. Got sick (nose) and hardly took pictures and the ones I took I lost. Stayed in Miraflores a tourist zone at the Flying Dog Hostal (liked it there). I’ve only got two Lima pictures. It looks like California.