I was lucky to see these incredibly beautiful and unique mountains on my way in and out of the reserve! In the rainy season you might not see anything but clouds here. There is no other way to get a view like this from inside the park – the sheer cliffs make all the peaks [...]
Archive for 'Nature'
Due to the topography there is so far only this one spot from where you can truly enjoy the park! The other one is at the gate of the park, but that location is outside park. Here you only see the preserved park – all around you! I spent a few hours here, and it [...]
Bromeliads, cacti and a number of other species are living on these sheer cliffs! Defying gravity, wind, water and erosion! During my stay the wind was very strong, making it very difficult to hold my camara still, an the plants were rustling intensely in the wind. Yet they hold on through the heaviest of rains [...]
The valleys are densely forested, but you’re always reminded of the unique environment this is. As seen here the walls are all around you – in some areas they are somewhat far apart, in others they are but narrow gorges. All mammals and humans must use the same routes to navigate their way through this [...]
Here the sand is unable to accumulate due to the bedrock and thus the fast movement of the water. In the rainy season this will be an impassable, raging torrent. Altitude: 973 metres.
The only passable sections of the river is the rocky ones, or where the sand has dried up due to very low water levels as seen here. In many small streams elsewhere I found fish or crustaceans, but this river does not seem to have either at this elevation. Altitude: 1036 metres.
It looks like idyllic sandy beaches, but they are no place for a human! The sand is incredibly fine and like quick-sand. In some places it’s is probably a metre deep or more. Altitude: 973 metres.
It’s amazing how plants are able to survive on the vertical cliffs! Not only is there little nutrients, but the wind is sometimes really strong, and with the relentless rain of the wet season it’s a constant movement that will loosen any grip. Adding to this large chunks come off regularly, as seen here as [...]
Perhaps the most beautiful of all features seen from the lodge! Here you can see holes in the wall – used for nesting by some of the species of parrots living here. What a view!! Over time this red will be dulled by algae, and then again a big chunk of the side will come [...]
The clouds are moving away as the early morning is progressing. The red cliff is there one minute and gone the next. It’s a landscape like nowhere else. Altitude: 1036 metres.
Early in the morning, and the clouds are really low – no sign of red cliffs. Altitude: 1036 metres.
Everywhere you’ll see chunks of mountain missing. It may look artistic or even beautiful, but when this chunk dropped off, everything in its path was destroyed! I saw countless boulders strewn around the valley floor and in the river. Altitude: 1036 metres.
When you first get a glimpse of the red sheer cliffs of the park, you know you are entering something truly spectacular. It’s like a fortress, and because of this natural barrier, even the humans have not established a mobile network here! If you come unannounced, you’d better bring some fireworks, as you cannot reach [...]
I was hoping for a thunderstorm, as the dark and fast approaching clouds looked promising! Unfortunately for me, there was no thunderstorm – only strong wind and a brief shower. Typical of this time of year, before the wet season has really kicked in. It was as the rain was pouring down I startled what [...]
The plateau is of sufficient height to create its own weather, and during the later parts of the dry season the showers appeared like clockwork after noon. The wind picked up, and the sky darkened fast. I was hoping for a thunderstorm! Altitude: 835 metres.
The temperature was very high, and I found it hard to cool down, as the plateau is open and without any cooling shadows. That was until I arrived at the edge of the plateau. Here the updrafts were very strong, and I was dried in seconds! Adding the incredible view I really enjoyed dangling my [...]
From afar the plateau looks flat, but it’s far from it. It’s dotted with strange formations like this one – shaped by rain, wind and sun. If this was in northern Europe I would assume the large rock was left behind by a glacier, but this is in fact a natural horizontal crack in the [...]
This is the first glimpse of the plateau also called Caparu Meseta (Meseta de Caparú). Altitude 734 metres.
At 700 metres elevation you are closing in on the plateau and here you can see the Chaplin lake (Laguna Chaplin) in the distance. To the bottom right, you see one of the lower parts of the Meseta (also called Caparu Meseta (Meseta de Caparú)). As the rainy season is underway, you’ll see rain showers [...]
As you walk upwards to the Huanchaca Plateau (also called Caparu Meseta (Meseta de Caparú)) you will see more and more of the large park, and this is my first glimpse of it! Here you can see the drier pampas in the distance, and the dense jungle closer to the Meseta.
As we were approaching Rurrenabaque the wind picked up considerably and the clouds got ominously darker and darker. It looked as if a bad thunder and rainstorm was underway.
I’m standing on the grounds of the currently abandoned Santa Rosa lodge, and perhaps permanently as where I stand the river has gobbled up a huge chunk of the land and one of the buildings is less than 2 metres from the edge! This is a beautiful place, and I hope it will be able [...]
This lake is a few hours by trail and much faster by boat. The lake is huge compared to Chalalan lake, so you have a much wider view – of which I got a glimpse of as the clouds cleared. Unfortunately the lodge here is no longer in business, and its future uncertain as far [...]
This is Chalalan lake, the pier with the canoes and some of the staff and guests. This is the only evidence of human activity and Chalalan lodge, as there is no opening of the natural green here – for any of the buildings. This is facing east in the diminishing light of the sun setting [...]
My time here started with low clouds, sleet and no sight of the beautiful peaks of Condoriri. I was grateful that the clouds lifted enough to see the peaks before I went back to La Paz and my next journey to Madidi and the Amazonas. I will gladly come back to see more of the [...]
I had many hours in La Paz before my plain to Rurrenabaque, and chose to get out of the city to see Condoriri. I only had a few hours, and it takes about 2 hours by car each way, so I had very little time on my hand and had to make the most of [...]
The much lusher and higher vegetation reveals a constant source of fresh water from one of the many springs. Even though it flows most of the year it’s not flowing over the banks, so the salts are washed away only a very short distance from the stream. I met one of the local farmers by [...]
One of countless volcanic peaks on the Altiplano. If you’re up to it you can easily trek to the top, as there are no sheer cliffs to climb. I didn’t have the desire to go any higher than 4000 metres that day (just a few hundred metres up the slopes), but if I had more [...]
Fortunately the cacti are not disturbed here, so this is one of few places you can see a resemblance of a cactus forest. The cacti are used for firewood and even furniture and ornaments, and as the cacti species grow very slowly (up to 1 centimetre a year), they are all threatened. Most of the [...]
For birds that have a need to build nests above ground, a desert has few options, so they learn to deal with the spines and use them to their advantage. It seems the nests are re-used for several seasons and thus grow each year, as this one which rivals that of a Magpie’s. Altitude: 3716 [...]
Why this island is named fish island is a mystery to me. It does not look like a fish from the air and fish usually belong in the water and not on land. In fact this island is more or less made up of dead corals, so the name should have been coral island. Nonetheless [...]
The enormity of the salt flat is incredible and very hard to convey on a photo, but when you have known elements like two 4×4 jeeps seen here (this view is from Isla del Pescado (Fish Island)), you get the idea, I believe. The salt is very tough on the cars, including the tyres which [...]
You get a sense of the the enormity of the salt flat when you drive at 100 km/h and the distant landmass never seem to get closer, but when you climb upwards (this view is from Isla del Pescado (Fish Island)) and see that what appeared to be the shore is just islands and countless [...]
Only a tiny speck of snow is left on the mountain, but in the winter even this lagoon is sometimes covered with snow and ice. Altitude: 4131 metres.
The color of the water in this lagoon looks so temptingly blue and fresh, but it is most likely undrinkable to humans. From afar though, this is an ever changing work of art. If I only had time, like where I live, I would sit here for hours on end, watching as everything changes. The [...]
This lagoon was by far the most abundant with flamingos. Altitude: 4126 metres.
There are countless lagoons in this desert, and each of them unique in shape and color! No matter how close or wide your view is, this desert provides immense beauty as far as colors are concerned. When you take the altitude into account, it’s quite astonishing that many of the lagoons are brimming with life [...]
This was a foul smelling location, and also high enough for my headache to return, so this was a quick visit to smell, look and shoot. The intense smell comes from sulphur springs dotting the landscape here, and being exposed just a little while is very unpleasant. Altitude: 4859 metres.
This lagoon simply defies logic! Seeing this lagoon for the first time made me think of a chemical spill or some other human made disaster. In the middle of this barren expanse a lagoon with colors ranging from the intense red to the whitest of whites, and in the middle of this – life! Lots [...]
If you ever wondered why many of the Flamingo species are red or pink, look no further! This is the reddest lagoon I’ve ever seen, an eating from it will certainly taint you red in some way or other – just like eating lots of carrots! This mesmerizing red is from sediments and algae and [...]
This is shot towards the low evening sun, and the contrast gives the appearance that he lagoon is just slightly red, and even blue close to the shore. The dust cloud is also made very prominent in this high contrast angle against the low sun. It seems as if the lake is boiling! It looks [...]
A bog in a desert? How can that be? It’s possible due to stable springs. These springs feed small streams, rivers, and ultimately the many lagoons found here. This is in fact no ordinary bog as we know from European lowlands, as much is quite hard to walk on due to the buildup not from [...]
My first sight of this incredible lagoon which is tinted red from the sediments and algae! The white is the mineral Borax (Sodium tetraborate decahydrate), which unfortunately is widely used by humans, and therefore is extracted from many of these lagoons, poisoning the flamingos as well as disturbing them during their breeding season and thus [...]
This lagoon seemed without any flamingos, and it’s probably due to the extensive extraction of the white mineral borax (Sodium tetraborate decahydrate) seen here. Altitude: 4561 metres.
This dust devil came so close to the car that the driver simply stopped and seemed a bit scared of what was going to happen. I on the other hand was very excited and hoped it was getting even closer, as I knew the worst that would happen would be a huge amount of volcanic [...]
At midday the heat of the sun has created a turbulent atmosphere, and here resulted in a beautiful dust devil. One of many during my few days here, but in fact only 3 grew to such well defined tornado-like “suckers” like this one. This is beautiful to watch but is really just an indication of [...]
In a garden of rock formations resembling many different animals I was baffled to suddenly stand in front of this Viscacha monitoring my movements. It’s like I met the only living guardian of that day, and it was checking me out. Apparently I was an acceptable visitor that had recognized what is here, as it [...]
One of the many “sculptures” in this amazing place, that seemed without any kind of face or specific form. Still I think there is a wolf-like head on the top looking to the right. You can sit here for hours and see new appearances in the rock formations around you, and all are changing throughout [...]