In the course of this four month journey I crossed paths with fisherman, bullfighters, witch doctors, coca leaf traffickers, bureaucrats, religious fanatics, gauchos, artists, Mennonites, Aymara Indians, long suffering tin miners. Travelled down the Pan-American Highway, crossed the Bayovar dessert, up into the high Andes range, from west to east retracing the very path that Francisco Pizzaro , the Spanish Conquistador took to apprehend and eventually executed the Inca emperor Atahualpa, at heights of up to 4000 + meters above sea level, down through the Amazon jungle in Peru and Brazil - witnessed strange Indian purification rituals, on to the Bolivian Altiplano - home to the little known but spectacular Oruro carnival and the remnants of a once thriving tin mining industry. Onto the Paraguayan Chaco, and finally the Uruguayan “pampa humeda”. From wakes to burials, weddings to carnivals, I witnessed a patchwork of South America which gives the continent its enduring strength and magic. Commissioned by GEO magazine.