Monkey looking down from a branch
Colombia,  Pick a Word,  Travel galleries

Gallery: pick a word (March 2023)

What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

For most of us photos are an integral to our memories of life’s events. How we remember them is shaped by the moments we captured. Reading that quote I realised that in my travel photography I am usually juggling two aims. I want to capture the ‘what’, create a documentary record of each trip. But I’m also interested in ‘how’ I record and remember it, striving to create the best images I can.

For this month’s Pick a Word challenge I am focusing on my recent trip to Colombia. To my amazement I managed to find a photo among the many I took there to fit all five of Paula’s words.

As always I haven’t stuck only to Paula’s five words, although I do try to be succinct. This time I’m telling you just a little about each image, as all of them are likely to appear again in longer posts about the different places we visited in that incredible country.

AUTHENTIC

Model of a simple raft carrying people, all in gold

The Muisca Raft, an exhibit in the Museo del Oro in Bogota

This stunning piece dates from some time in the 14th century and depicts the gold offering ceremony described in the legend of El Dorado. In this ceremony the local chief, the zipa, would cover himself in gold dust and sail out on to Lake Guatavita, a crater lake in the eastern Andes, on a ceremonial raft made of rushes. There he would throw gold objects into the lake as offerings to the gods, before immersing himself in the water.


MISCHIEVOUS

Monkey looking down from a branch

A White Fronted Capuchin Monkey in Tayrona National Park

Our guide made the mistake of giving one monkey a piece of guava. This caused a bit of friction in the troop, and they got rather cheeky in their demands for more.


PERSONIFIED

A relief image of a cobbler in bright colours.

On a house in Guatapé

The buildings in this town are almost all decorated with friezes along the lower portion, known as zócalos. The designs usually reflect the owners’ occupation, beliefs or simply something they like. This is, or was, clearly the cobbler’s property.

I shared a street of these houses in one of my ‘postcards’ from Colombia.


RAMPART

Fabric hats in different colours lined up on a stone wall with a man sitting at the far end

Hat seller at the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas in Cartagena

The Spaniards used slaves from Africa to build this fort. Although called a castle, it was never lived in but was built purely as a fortification to defend the city from attack by land.


RONDURE

Stained glass window with a man in robes talking to group of men on the ground

A window in the Iglesia de San Pedro Claver, also in Cartagena

The church is dedicated to San Pedro Claver, a monk who devoted his life to helping the slaves. The window depicts him preaching to some of them.

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