• Heather O’Neal


Hello Adventurers,

The following is part of a message I sent to someone who makes IMAX movies:


. . . I just returned from Peru. You must make an IMAX movie about this place. There is so much fascinating and mysterious material waiting for film throughout that country. I imagine an IMAX screen walking through the corridors of the ancient Incan ruins and looking out the stone windows onto vistas of Andean Mountains.

I imagine the Amazon Rain Forest and rivers filling the screen with all shades of green, neon blue butterflies and more leaf shapes than one can imagine. Vines and birds and sloth high in the tree tops. And footage along the canopy walk, narrow swinging walkways hanging among the tallest branches 100 feet off the ground. The theater echoes with exotic birds, then chaotic insects fill the air and the frogs take over singing to each other in the calm river at dusk.

I see aerial photography from the Cessna airplane looking down onto the Nasca Land Drawings: ancient lines as big as roads forming pictures of spiders, monkeys, birds — etched into the desert floor in grand scale, images viewed only from an airplane — created two thousand years ago long before there were airplanes!

And the Incan streets of Cusco, similar in some ways to Kathmandu. And the famous Incan ruins of Machu Picchu look good at any angle. The Andean music fills the theater as the camera explores the site. I hear high note pan flutes and four-foot flutes for low notes, two guitars and a single drum beat shakes the seat. One band brought tears to my eyes. Their music was so passionate, fitting the Indian culture, the landscape, the mystery, the turns in the Inca trail, the stonework. The music takes over like hunger before a meal.

I see llamas with big ears, long necks and an ability to spit.

Then along the coast there are sand dunes rolling for miles with an oasis tucked inside, palm trees surround a lagoon where a mermaid lives! And a few miles south where it never rains, an ancient cemetery stirs up mental drama of the past. These mummies sit in their tombs. Waiting. They have never been to museums. Everywhere I look, human bones and broken pottery litter the sand — a giant puzzle of an ancient culture. Shattered. No time or money can put it back together.

Islands in the rough sea made of rock where birds, penguins(!) and sea lions roar and swim in the surf and crowd over the rocks. Most beautiful! The caves the rock creates are enticing. The waves are crashing twenty, thirty feet in the air. I want an IMAX camera. My little Sony video recorder (along with my inability to hold it still) doesn’t begin to do the place justice.


Heather O’Neal

Of Globalinterest Adventure Travel

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