Mountain Power (2)
It seems that the theme of mountain power was still following me as I journeyed on from Peru into Bolivia.
There we were looking at a small lake the colour of emerald, with our guide explaining to us how the extraordinary colour comes from the minerals in the ground. I found my attention however being drawn to the mountain which stood overlooking the lake which we were pondering. As I carried on looking at the mountain, I became aware of feeling something very calming. It was as if a special friend had come along and had laid a comforting hand on my shoulder to demonstrate “I’m watching out for you now”. I felt myself filled with a great sense of comfort and of being “cared for”. And then it was time to travel on and cross over the border into Chile.
We passed through the immigration building standing on the windswept desert and arrived in Chile, waving goodbye to our guide and driver and passing across to meet our new guides. It was quite a filmic moment.
The contemporary architecture has designed the hotel to meld in with the desert.
( You can just see my mountain in the background)
Having eventually calmed down at the luxury of our hotel in the Atacama desert (our Bolivian desert hotels had been anything but) we went on an excursion the following morning to an archeological site of an old indigenous village nearby called Tulor. The people of this village had twice withstood attacks by the Conquistadors in the 15th Century before being finally overcome. Then I received quite a surprise. We were shown into the replica of a typical village house, stooping low to enter the doorway and settling ourselves on a low stone shelf covered in sheepskin rugs (an equivalent to our sofa). Our guide instructed us to look out through the doorway and to my huge delight we were looking straight out at my old mountain friend. We were looking at it from the Chile side as I was told it stood half in Bolivia and half in Chile. So, just as in Machu Picchu where the buildings were carefully positioned for spiritual reasons, so was the case with this simple little village, (it was interesting to discover that this was the region where most shamans stayed also before the visitation from the Spanish invaders). Here the view was of this beautiful Licancabur Mountain, which again we were told was called “Grandfather Protector”. How marvellous to be sharing my feelings for this mountain with a long dead people .
Back at our hotel, I stood on our private terrace and looked out at the desert … only to realise I was gazing out at my mountain friend. What an extra gift.