Silke Gondolf // America

2013 USA

New York, Brooklyn
I often go back to the former home to get inspired. Breathing in the different speed and the energy of NYC. I am glad I have moved away. I am able to come back and be a guest.

2010 Argentina

Bariloche, Esquel, Tierra de Fuego, Ushaia, Isla Martillo, El Calafate, Strait of Magellan, Bajo Caracoles, Nahuel Huapi Lake, Ruta 40, Ushuaia
Gaucho country, endless fields, endless lakes and skies. This country invites you to breathe and open your view. Best steaks ever.

2010 Chile

Santiago de Chile, Osorno, Chanaral, Pan de Azucar, ESO Paranal Observatory, Torres del Paine, Porvenir, Iquique, Humbertstone Salpeter Mine
ESO, the biggest observatory in the world, is in Chile. Seeing the full length of the Milky Way with my bare eyes was a very touching moment.

2010 Peru

Atacama, Lima, Cusco, Tacna Sibayo, Chimbote, Chiclayo, Sipan, Piura, Lambayeque, Arequipa, Nazca Lines, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Tacna
The Atacama is endless. I swore I will hug the first tree I see, after days of driving through nothing. But then I visited a guinea pig restaurant in Lima.

2010 Ecuador

Quito, Guayacil, Sigsig, Macará, Cuenca, Catamayo, Cajas National Park
Caja National Park has an average of 4,000 meters of altitude – it’s a Tundra. The air is so clear, that you can’t judge distances.

2010 Panama

Panama City, Colon, Pacific & Atlantic coast, Darién Gap, Yaviza
The little villages along the Panama Canal are completely untouched, people from those villages work all for the Canal. The Darien Gap, a muddy Isthmus between Panama and Colombia, is called one of the most dangerous places on earth. It is a drug and people smuggling highway, commuting through the dense, uninhabited jungle.

2010 Costa Rica

Golfito, San José, Piedras Blancas, Canoasv, Monteverde National Park, Gulf of Nicoya, Tamarindo, Langosta Bay
Living in a treehouse. Sleeping at eye level with toucans and listening to the night sounds of the jungle. Zoom on long steel zip lines through the jungle of Costa Rica, to the next tree house.

2010 Nicaragua

Border El Espino, Somoto
I got in contact with the wrong sort of Sandinistas, the ones that were, after elections, no longer supported by the newly-appointed government – and since then I am an enemy of the state and I am not allowed to ever travel in this country again.

2010 El Salvador

Sunzal, San Salvador, Tazumal, La Libertad, El Amatillo
I had armed guards with me at all times, even when buying an ice cream. The guards didn’t want to be treated for an ice cream, because when they share an ice cream with you – they cannot fight off attacks.

2010 Guatemala

Guatemala City, La Mesilla, Huehuetenango, Panajachel, Reserva Los Tarrales, Quetzaltenango, Atitlan, Antigua, Volcano Pacaya, Las Chinamas, Finca Santa Isabel
The sound of liquid lava is like that of breaking glass. On May 27, 2010 – 3 month later – the Pacaya volcano erupted, followed in several tremors.

2009 Mexico

Mexico City, Nogales, Hermosillo, Copper Canyon, Creel, Cerocahui, Mazatlan, Jalisco, Guadalajara, Tequila, Mexiko City, Teotihuacan, Puebla, Popocatepetl, Oaxaca, Juchitan de Zaragoza, Huatulco, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Palenque, Sumidero Canyon, Chiapas de Corzo, La Mesilla
Mexico being in the news for no good things is actually a very interesting, cultural rich and welcoming country. They are the nicest people!

2003 USA

Tankman, building the watertowers of Manhattan.They stand at the crest of the New York skyline like rustic, weathered sentinels. Their design has changed little in more than a century, and though they resemble a relic from a forgotten time, wooden water tanks remain a fixture of the cityscape.

2003 USA

Utah: Bonneville Salt Flats
Filming old men with fast cars. Motorcar racing has taken place at the salt flats since 1914. Racing takes place at part of the Bonneville Salt Flats known as the Bonneville Speedway.

2001 USA

San Francisco
Berkeley, Muesli and hippie town. Going everywhere with a car. Hiking in the mountains. Too scared to get on a flight to NYC, after Sep 11th. The terrorist attack on the WTC had changed everything for me.

2000 Cuba

Havana, St. Lucia, Guanabo, Matanzas, Vinalae, La Palma, Cigar Factory, Malecon, Trip to the Beach, Matanzas

The US didn’t let me fly from New York directly to the “enemy” in 2000. I had to fly first to Canada and then to Havana.

1999 Belize

Hopkins, Ambergis Key, San Ignazio, Blue Cave, Punta Gorda, Dangriga, Belmopan, San Antonio
The Chicleros, the bubble-gum harvesters, took me through the jungle to collect rubber from the trees. The horses ate oranges.

1997 Argentina

Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Trelew, Palmar National Park, Gualeguy, Calafate, Punta Tombo, Puerto Madryn, Chacabuco, Gualeguaychu, Corrientes, Posadas, Puerto Iguazu
Buenos Aires has the best ice cream ever, thanks to the Italian immigrants. The traffic is a nightmare. My similarity with someone famous in Argentina made people stop and stare. I don’t know whose lookalike I have been.