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El Tatio | by Mike.D.Green
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El Tatio

The EL Tatio geyser field is famous for being the highest in the World.... except that it's not; not quite. It's high though: 4,200m. There are 80 active geysers there and it is, I suspected and can now firmly attest, difficult to photograph. It's partly down to the fact that the most practical (read inexpensive and safest) way to go there is with a guide on a dawn trip, when the geysers produce lots of steam which is visible in the cold (minus 18C at the time) morning air. The trouble with this (ignoring the extreme cold) is that there are inevitably lots of people around, plus the steam tends to be all-pervasive and not vastly photogenic to be perfectly honest. Yes, you could drive up there alone, but quite apart from not knowing exactly which bits of crust are thin enough to deposit you into boiling mud - not good; people have died that way - all the 'normal tourists' turn up before dawn to see the steam in the morning air anyway - so it's hardly deserted :-\

 

It's a spectacular place however, and well worth a visit, plus the guides have an entertaining habit of making boiled eggs for breakfast by leaving a dozen in a geyser pool when you arrive for later collection, cooked. This shot captures the atmosphere of the site reasonably well, I hope!

 

Some thoughts on pre-visualising too much:

Musings on: the futility of [over-]planning

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Taken on June 28, 2012