Journey to the end of the world
They call it La Negra (The Black) for a reason. Ania and I watched the sky turn an apocalyptic gray as we passed through Northern Chile’s mining districts.
The region produces a large portion of world copper supplies and the result is eternal, but secluded, doomsday scenery. Everything that doesn’t move is covered in layers of dust - something reminiscent of a snowstorm, only black and constant.
I hopped out of the truck at a gas station and noticed the way soot lined metal fences and covered the limbs of trees that had died a few decades ago. The texture of sand accompanied each breath of air.
At some point, Ania came out of the service area with an empanada and we ate it in front of a dirty gray dog while staring blankly into the sunless sky. The stale dough and old hamburger meat felt like dust in my mouth. When I swallowed it, I somehow felt less alive.
La Negra, Chile - © Diego Cupolo 2012