It’s not every day that you get a tattoo while 3,000m up a mountain. My tattooist was a delightful little Colombian named Maruja, and her simple tools were plucked from the Andean mountainside, just as they had been for centuries: a plant, and a pinch of soil. This was no ordinary traveller’s tattoo: this was a Muisca tattoo
At five foot ten, Juan the shaman was unusually tall for an Aymara indian. He lived alone in the forest under the dense canopy of a mahogany tree, alongside the jawbones of his long-dead ancestors.
The Amazon at night is an ebony underworld, a place where strange creatures awake while the rest of the world slumbers. The faint jungle hum that persists throughout the day reaches a squealing crescendo at dusk.
Laguna Cuicocha – a bottomless lake in the high Ecuadorean Andes, is a sacred place where even the most cynical westerner can feel the spirit of Pachamama – the Inca Mother Earth.