Sunday, May 13, 2012

Photos: The High Desert of the Atacama


Sunrise at the highest altitude geyser field in the world is worth the very early departure to reach this location high in the Andes of northern Chile.  The geysers erupt only in the morning for a few hours, and the steam hitting the below-freezing air adds drama to the scene.
Although the Atacama is the driest desert on earth, there are some lakes in this rather desolate terrain. The evaporation of the water in this dry climate leaves a crusty ring of salts and minerals around the shore of many of the lakes, which adds a nice accent to photos like this.
This is a close photo of one of the bubbling geysers.  It is possible to walk right up to, and step over, some of the geothermal activity.
This geyser has bubbled up long enough in the same place to leave a cone of mineral deposits.A few flamingoes examine the shallow water for brine shrimp or other morsels.  It is remarkable to find water fowl living in the middle of a desert.

5 comments:

JM said...

There is so much drama in this area of Chile, I will never forget it. I went up to 5000+ m for the second time in my life and I will never do it again, but I just had to. :-) Gorgeous shots!

glenda said...

This is truly an amazing place to visit. Great photos!

Cezar and Léia said...

Crisp desert images! I've never visited one...
God bless you!
Cezar

Irina said...

Simply unbelievably beautiful.

Memphis MOJO said...

Your photos make me want to go visit the area.

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