Barreal / Pacaya : Five Years, Two Shadows
In 2007, Sandra and I were in Argentina and made our way to a remote town called Barreal in San Juan province. At the foot of the Cordillera de Ansilta range, with some of the highest peaks in the Andes, we found ourselves in the Precordillera looking across to Cerro Mercedario, with Aconcagua – the highest mountain in the Americas – in the distance. Mighty mountains indeed. As the sun set in the riotous red landscape and we hiked deeper into the hills, our shadows caught the edge of a nearby ridge. A quick shot and one that has become a favourite in remembering that South American adventure.
Almost five years later, as we found ourselves climbing Volcan Pacaya near Antigua, Guatemala the forest began to give way to a barren, ash-strewn landscape. The sun was making it’s descent as we were heading up. Once again, looking to our left at the last of the trees, our shadows found their way following us up a steep pitch. Cresting on a plateau, the scene struck us as a replica of five years earlier. Another quick shot and up we went, continuing up the volcano into the surreal, steam-filled terrain. A record of our time on these mountains…a fleeting petroglyph created exclusively by the sun.
Barreal, San Juan, Argentina, 2007 (above)
Volcan Pacaya, Guatemala, 2011 (below)