Archive for 'Nature'

Dusk over Madre de Dios lake

This oxbow lake on the land of the Amazon Research and Conservation Center (ARCC) provides amazing opportunities for observing wildlife of this remote region of the Peruvian Amazon – Madre de Dios – as it’s an oxbow lake, once part of a river, but now separated, and thus a calm and protected lake. Only in […]

Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park

This my second day here and thus another panorama (large image – click to see) of the incredible formations named Cidade de pedra in Portuguese, and this is one of the most spectacular natural wonders I’ve seen and should be a UNESCO World Heritage site! Getting here is very difficult as the park authorities only […]

Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park

This is a tiny fraction of the plateau which is the water source for Pantanal in Brazil – the largest wetland in the world. A major reason this has managed to stand against the forces of agricultural interests is the incredible rock formations and sheer cliffs, of which only a tiny portion is seen in […]

Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park

The park is a tiny fraction of this plateau, which is a rainmaker responsible for one of the natural wonders of the world – the Pantanal! It is a geological formation easily seen from space – chose “satellite” on the map here and you’ll see what I mean. If this plateau did not exist, the […]

Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park

This is a tiny fraction of the plateau which is the water source for Pantanal in Brazil – the largest wetland in the world. This is looking west towards the city of Cuiaba. A major reason this has managed to stand against the forces of agricultural interests is the incredible rock formations and sheer cliffs, […]

Itatiaia National Park

Wherever there’s a crack in the rock plants grow, albeit stunted and bonsai-like as seen here. Do you see the Caracara? Altitude: 2460 metres.

Pico das Agulhas Negras

The plateau is at around 2400 metres altitude and is very wet, soggy and bog-like, as you can see from this picture there is lot’s of water during the rainy season, and also quite moist in the dry season due to all the moss and vegetation that act like a sponge. During my two days […]

Pico das Agulhas Negras

Even though I never got a full view of the peak I was not disappointed as the clouds gave it an even more dramatic look than with a blue sky!

Cristalino Jungle Lodge canopy tower

Cristalino Jungle Lodge has invested in two excellent and tall towers, one east of the Cristalino river, and the other on the west side, where the lodge resides. As you can see from this panorama, which consists of 25 images, there’s no man-made structures as far as the eye can see. Although you have excellent […]

Pantanal (Pousada Xaraés)

The sun is setting behind the trees, and dusk is fast approaching. This vista is typical of this part of the Pantanal. Lush green even at the end of the dry season, the jabiru storks are still finding plenty of food in the myriads of pools, and here and there you’ll come across fences seen […]

Iguaçu Falls (Cataratas do Iguaçu)

Iguaçu Falls is impressive in daylight, but in a moonlit setting like this it’s simply something you’ll never forget! The Moon is high on the right, and Venus is the bright star. The mist from the falls sometimes clogged up so much that it seemed completely cloudy, only to be completely gone a few minutes […]

Iguaçu National Park

This park is huge, but only a tiny fraction is open to public, one of which is the Hotel das Cataratas. For those who want to see the splendor of this park with as few people around as possible, this is the only way. If you stay outside the park, you can only enter from […]

Iguaçu Falls (Cataratas do Iguaçu)

This awesome sight is only available to those staying at the hotel inside the park (Hotel Das Cataratas), as the park closes all access long before sunset! It’s amazing to stay out here after sunset, as there are hardly anyone else here to see this!

Iguaçu Falls (Cataratas do Iguaçu)

It’s very hard not to say wow out loud when you see and hear the falls for the first time! When the sun is in the east up to zenith, the mist is not so prominent as the light moves from my point of view. But when the sun is moving ever closer to the […]

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

This tiny building in the middle the small green lawn is the lodge! Altitude: 1397 metres.

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

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 […]

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

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 […]

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

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 […]

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

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 […]

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

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.

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

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.

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

The incredible red cliffs are like nowhere on earth – beautiful and insurmountable! Over the aeons the mountains have slowly lost grains of red and deposited it on the valley floor and in particular around the rivers and streams. It looks like idyllic sandy beaches, but they are no place for a human! The sand […]

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

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 […]

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

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 […]

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

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.

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

Early in the morning, and the clouds are really low – no sign of red cliffs. Altitude: 1036 metres.

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

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.

Refugio Los Volcanes, Amboró National Park

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 […]

Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Huanchaca Plateau

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 […]

Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Huanchaca Plateau

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.

Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Huanchaca Plateau

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 […]

Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Huanchaca Plateau

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 […]

Noel Kempff Mercado National Park – Huanchaca Plateau

This is the first glimpse of the plateau also called Caparu Meseta (Meseta de Caparú). Altitude 734 metres.

Noel Kempff Mercado National Park

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 […]

Noel Kempff Mercado National Park

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.

Leaving Chalalan

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.

Tuichi riverbend

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 […]

Santa Rosa Lake, Madidi

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 […]

Madidi National Park

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 […]

Condoriri

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 […]

Condoriri glacier

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 […]

Altiplano stream

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 […]

Cerro Tunupa

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 […]

Isla del Pescado (Fish Island) and Salar de Uyuni

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 […]

Cactus nest on Isla del Pescado (Fish Island)

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 […]

Isla del Pescado (Fish Island) and Salar de Uyuni

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 […]

Salar de Uyuni

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 […]

Salar de Uyuni

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 […]

Laguna Cañapa

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.

Laguna Cañapa

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 […]

Laguna Hedionda

This lagoon was by far the most abundant with flamingos. Altitude: 4126 metres.

Siloli desert lagoon (unknown name)

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 […]

Sol de Mañana

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.

Laguna Colorada

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 […]

Laguna Colorada

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 […]

Laguna Colorada

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 […]

Altiplano bog

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 […]

Laguna Colorada

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 […]

Laguna Capina

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.

Dust Devil

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 […]