26 December 2011

Sunrise on the Salar de Uyuni

A 4:30 a.m. start followed by a steep climb up the flanks of the volcano wasn't easy, but we arrived on time as the first sunlight touched the summit. We watched while the warm light crept down the mountain and thought ourselves lucky to have a guide like José, who knew how to persuade us to rise before dawn, knew how to time our arrival perfectly, and knew we'd appreciate the effort.

That's neither cloud nor water down there — it's salt.

[23 October 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 100 mm, ISO 400, 1/320 at f8]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor


The Elephant's Child said...

Beautiful and eerie both. Thank you.

Zhoen said...

I was thinking sand, until I finally saw the last line. This photo makes it all look soft and fuzzy. Which seems unlikely.

wf: nocat

robin andrea said...

I've never seen salt look so crazy beautiful. The light in this photo is perfectly stunning. Worth the 4:30 am start.

pohanginapete said...

Elephant's Child, thank you.

Zhoen — didn't take long before it turned such a brilliant white that sunglasses were mandatory.

Robin, in the mornings and evenings the salar took on gorgeous colours — not always conventionally spectacular, but always beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Salt. What an amazing thing. Years ago I watched a beautiful movie about salt.... Maybe you have seen it? Here is a link to a review of it: http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9502EEDB1F30F931A15754C0A96E958260 This place seems magical. Like a mirage.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the link didn't work. The movie was called "Saltmen of Tibet" - reviewed by the NYtimes

Leonie Wise said...

What a treat to indeed to have someone show you this treasure.

Beautiful light Pete.

Relatively Retiring said...

Very beautiful in such gentle light.
Salt is a wonderful material. In the underground chapel in the Polish Wieliczka salt mines it appears as floor-tiles, statues and crystal chandeliers....all that and edible, too!

pohanginapete said...

Maureen, thanks for mentioning the movie — I'll see what I can find. I also recall someone wrote a book about salt and its importance in human history.

Leonie, we were lucky to have such a good guide. He fed us well too!

RR, we stayed in salt hotels a couple of nights, and the jokes about food were inevitable... ;^) You're right, though — it is a remarkable substance.