Sunday, February 19, 2012
Photos: The Lands of Atacama
This is a a very early morning scene of a high altitude lake in the Andes. Water in the Atacama is scarce, as it is the driest desert on earth. Although we were there in the late Spring/early summer of the end of November, and the daytime sun was intense, it was below freezing up in the mountains. and there was a crust of ice on the surface of the water in the places where the water was still.
This photo shows the setting of the Explora Lodge where we stayed in the town of San Pedro de Atacama. It is in the broad plains below the high altitude moonscape of volcanos and rocky mountains. I took this photo from the roof top observation deck above the lobby building.
This is a close photo the water and calcified deposits on the edge of the highest altitude geyser field in the world. There are places where you can walk right up to the gurgling and spraying steam. One of the geyser fields is open for people to walk where ever they want, unlike geyser fields with marked trails and guard rails. The lakes in the Atacama have the equivalent of a bathtub ring around them. The lakes are high in mineral content and the water evaporates, leaving crusty salt deposits around their edges, which accents the shore in the photo.