Overland traveling and photographing the Bolivian altiplano is a real challenge. Finding the right place to rent a 4x4 car is vital for such an enterprise. I found the right rental company in Cochabamba. A two days drive brought me to my first destination, Sajama National Park. The primary goal was to explore the wilderness around Bolivia’s highest mountain - Nevado Sajama. This once gigantic volcano, now dormant and dressed with a thick snow cap, provides a majestic view. Driving a full circle around Sajama is an adventure for two reasons. First, the off-road experience; second, the altitude of 4.300 m. The latter brings your respiratory rate and heart rate to levels that make you believe that you are running a marathon, despite just sitting behind a steering wheel. The increased breathing and pumping of my heart went mostly unnoticed during the day a the scenery had my full attention. During the night things changed, the increased breathing and heart rate made it difficult to fall asleep.
I arrived late afternoon at the little town of Tomarapi which consists of a few small houses, an Ecolodge and a historic Spanish church. The cold night and the thin air gave me a sleepless night full of dreams of what next morning would bring. I got up very early morning to find Nevado Sajama covered in clouds. I went out in search of the right composition. The clouds opened their view to the mountain peak at the right moment, just instants before the sun hit the snow. At the end of the shooting I realized that nature gave me an endlessly better image than compared to my wildest dreams through the night.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor