One of the first things I noticed after arriving at Santiago airport was a photographic display panel accompanied by a sentence stating ‚Chile is a country of contrasts‘. Immediately, I thought of the colours I could shoot, but what I did not realise is that those words could also be a warning, like ‚enjoy in moderation‘.
José de Maipo was about two hours by car. After that point, I did not pay more attention to the time, after all, we were on a dirt road towards the Cajon del Maipo, full of magnificent landscapes that surprised us at every turn.
The temperature dropped sharply and icy wind that raised dust bordered on unbearable as we walked. The humidity was low and as we climbed, the typical symptoms of altitude arose. Headaches, shortness of breath, dry eyes, nose and mouth among other strange sensations. Nevertheless, I did not want to miss any detail. I wanted to photograph.
Gradually, I emptied my pack: coat, scarf, cameras, water, food. The landscapes were indescribable and magnificent, revealing a surprising diversity. Valleys, streams, springs gushing water, makeshift bridges with wooden slats, snow (at a time which does not usually snow), ruins, cliffs, among many other things that made photographic experience to be painful but unforgettable.
In short, pain, crazy symptoms and lush landscapes. That’s how I discovered that Chile is truly a country of contrasts. And that’s precisely why I want to return, and precisely why I needed to visit Santiago hospital the next day.