South American Scenes is the story of a four month journey that illuminates not only the joys and difficulties of travel, but the rich histories and current affairs of the continent. From Sao Paolo down to Punta Arenas and back up to Cusco with an interlude on Easter Island, this is an in depth look at a continent through the eyes of a traveler motivated by the excitement and liberty of the open road combined with the desire to make a journey last beyond its completion. Rittenberg''s account of his travels in South America makes use of his first hand experiences as a springboard into the culture and history of the continent.
He is eager to relate the present to the past and find something of the past that one would not necessarily assume relates to the present in the hope of bringing clarity to a place once foreign to him. He writes in a vivid style not only with the aim of enabling the reader to see what he has seen but in order to make them feel they are also on a journey discovering new cultures and other states of mind.
Along the way he encounters preachers, protestors, glaciers, the spirit of poets, the ruins of an empire, the relics of a civilization, an ever changing landscape and an abundance of solitude that enables him to come home with a clear picture of a continent that for so long had fueled his curiosity.