Eternal Lovers - Pomerape and Parinacota from Laguna de Cotacotani, Parque National de Lauca, Chili
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Technical: Nikon D3x, CPL, 0.45x GND HE, 2.5s at f16, 28mm
It is always a privilege to witness nature's grandeur at it's best. The majesty of these two volcanic peaks throning above 6,000m in the Chilean altiplano ranks amongst the most epic and pristine landscapes on earth.
My plan was to find a vantage point for some golden hour light shots and then head off for a different viewpoint for sunset. When I hiked to this place and found my composition I new nothing would make me move even the cold wind. You see I left my polar and headlight behind, figuring I would be back and ended up keeping my backpack as a windshield. The sun sets quickly at these latitudes and it was an adventurous scramble to make my way back. I had a warm cup of tea and thereafter a smile which, had I captured it, was probably equal in glow to that of the peaks under last light, producing a subtle pink hue.
All did not start so well as when I started my hike in this area which I roamed 4 years ago I noticed that the lagunas had significantly receded and some had even evaporated. Impact of global warming, mere cyclical change or excessive exploitation of phreatic water. I do not wish to stir a debate, suffice to say I was sad and living that in the flesh is disturbing. That theme would stay with me for the rest of my trip.
When I found my spot and the light started to play magic, I confess that my mood followed. Humbled and awe struck I clicked away as the light sublimed these Eternal Lovers. One local Aymara legend has it that Pomerape and Parinacota (together the Payachatas) were a Prince and Princess whose forbidden love had them transformed for eternity.
I had this sight to myself, not a tourist in sight, not even a flamingo.
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Check out the set as it grows:
What do you think?