The story behind the pictures I took for the Disposable Heroes challenge is dedicated to my country, its traditions, culture and geographical beauty. Peru has a millennial history, and its hundreds of trails that connect this huge area were a key part of it since the beginning. For us, mountain bikers, that sounds more than inspiring – thousands of unexplored ancient trails in a remote location.
My daily routine is based in the mountains. As an outdoors photographer, living in Cusco is the best spot where I can develop my photography and my soul, surrounded by my family, dogs, friends, pristine mountains, unexplored valleys and rivers, tons of outdoors beauty and the most amazing raw-trails that anybody can imagine.
The Andes Mountain Range is the spine of Peru and, as I said, it is entirely connected by thousands of kilometers of trails. Peruvian people have a pedestrian culture. There are many remote little towns, each connected by a system of trails that were built for bartering commerce and communication. Those ancient trails were the main “highways” of Peru and nowadays, we, mountain bike riders and hikers, are using them for our full enjoyment. That sounds exciting for us, but strange for the local people, therefore some of us are often visiting local communities to introduce our craziness and share our passionate lifestyle.
During August, we went to the monthly meeting of Huanco, a faraway village in the surroundings of Lamay, were we live. Highland peruvians are very conservative, they don’t open up their thinking and feelings often, and even less with people like us, as we’re seen as foreigners proposing new ways of seeing their environment and the outdoors. For them, mountains are sacred, the soil and earth is from where they eat and live and the trails are the only easy way to get to their farms and their venerated gods. So, we totally understand – and most importantly – respect their culture and traditions.
The mountain bike community in Cusco is tiny in comparison to the number of trails that surround us. We are not more than 100 people and each of us are trying our best to conserve and promote mountain bike riding in this area. We are always thinking of riding and exploring and how to get more people involved – including our sometimes less-than-undestanding families 🙂
Mystical people that live next to us say that the gravitational point of the planet earth is changing from the Himalayas to the Andes, and we are getting prepared for that … there is a lot of future in this area, and you are welcome to start this change with us!!