In August, I took a trip to the area where Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia meet. Ever since then, I’ve been considering whether to write this post because it was not the greatest of trips. I started out sick with some kind of cold and flu, suffered stomach problems at the beginning and end, and was freezing cold during a significant part of the trip.
But that is a lot of complaining, so I did not write it.
I did, however, take beautiful photos. A lot of them. People liked the few I put on Facebook, so I have created some albums to share more of them with everyone, including readers who are not on FB. The links are at the bottom of this post or can be linked to from the photo albums main page. And here’s a video by one of the guys in my 4×4 in Bolivia. (I wasn’t with him for most of his trip, but the majority of the video is of Uyuni and I also visited the other places featured.)
This area is desert and its beauty is various shades of brown seen in the hills and mountains. The National Reserve in Bolivia had these and also lakes of different colors. The salt flats in Argentina and Bolivia were stark—their beauty lies in the textures of the salt and the mountains in the distance. But during these various outings, I was ready to move on after a short period of time. The vistas were similar and after a few minutes of appreciating them and snapping some photos, I was done.
Not so my traveling companions. According to two different tour guides, tourists from Brazil and Asia (especially China) have reputations as over-the-top photo takers—they take the longest amount of time at every stop, want to photograph every pose possible, and use the most selfie sticks. The two Brazilians in my 4×4 in Bolivia lived up to the first two stereotypes and kept us at some stops long after I was ready to depart. In hindsight, I appreciate the fun of some of these photos.
Now that I have visited different parts of Patagonia, I also have realized that I am just not as impacted by the desert as I am by snow-covered mountains. I look at my Patagonia photos and see how, to others, the vistas might all look the same. (I admit that my evaluation of the how great the Patagonia trip probably was positively impacted by being healthy and not as cold.) But I loved the winter landscape and did not want to get on the bus and drive away a few minutes after arriving. In fact, Patagonia is the first trip that I finished with thoughts about when and how I can return.