I posted this image a few days after taking it in Quito two years ago, but since I’m the arbiter of the Pic du Jour rules, and this one, which today serves as the site’s 1,159th straight, is of my favorite images from the past few years, I’m posting it again today, exactly two years after it was taken.
There’s a lot I like about this image. On one level, the woman’s gaze as she’s stopped in traffic. On another, the connection between her and the logo on the bus. For some context, allow me the indulgence to paraphrase from the original post:
Atahualpa, the last emperor of the Inca Empire, was very much a Quiteño. His father, the Inca Huayna Capac, was from Tomebamba to the south; his mother, the princess Pacha Duchicela, from Caranqui, to the north. By most accounts Atahualpa was born in Quito. His palace ruins lie deep beneath the Church of San Francisco and its eponymous square.
When he accepted Francisco Pizarro’s invitation to a feast in his honor in the small Peruvian Incan town of Cajamarca, he was ambushed upon arrival and imprisoned, his men slaughtered. Appealing to the Spaniards’ greed, Atahualpa offered a room full of gold and silver in exchange for his release. Pizarro agreed, only to have him executed after the ransom, the largest ever demanded, was received. That was August 29, 1533, effectively marking the end of the Inca Empire and the birth of European colonization in South America.
Atahualpa’s 518th birthday will be celebrated on Monday. The buses will be full.