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Created 9-Apr-20
31 photos

The Altiplano, or the Andean Plateau, extends from Chile through Bolivia and into Peru to the northwest and Argentina to the east. In March 2020 I traveled to the Bolivian portion of the Altiplano and photographed this amazing landscape while the world changed around me. Towards the end of the expedition, the Coronavirus caused the surrounding countries to close their borders, and municipalities to impose lockdowns and quarantines. Flights were cancelled and airports shuttered. Luckily, we were able to fly home on a circuitous route full of flight changes, Skymiles redeemed, and one complimentary upgrade to first class. Looking back at the trip from the comfort of home, I can honestly say that at first, our main concern, was acclimatizing to the high altitude of the Altiplano. But at the end of our trip our concerns shifted to the health of everyone. We we were extremely careful not to catch the Coronavirus and thankful to have been able to travel safely from departure to return.
Of course we returned to a world that is new. Fitting, perhaps, because to me, the landscape of the Altiplano appears as if the Earth were new. Volcanoes are everywhere. The lakes are salty and wonderfully colored. The animals a little strange. So, too, is the world that we find ourselves in now. Familiar, yet somehow not quite the same. Social distancing has kept us at home. Masks cover our faces. And communication as gone virtual. But the humanity in us all remain. I hope these images touch that humanity, and replace the stress of these uncertain times with the beauty that I found in a world that is a little off and a little new.
The journey through the Altiplano was a 10 day road trip in a Toyota Landcruiser. We left the pavement sometime on day 4 and didn't ride on asphalt again until the middle of day 9. It was a tough trip, but incredibly rewarding. The Altiplano is quite simply one of the most stunning landscapes I have ever seen. Easily top 5 in my all time list. If you have any questions on the itinerary or logistics involved in the trip, please email or message me. I worked with Sergio Ballivian of Sergio Photo Tours and Explore Bolivia in the planning of this trip, and I am happy to pass on his contact information to you. If you are considering a trip to Bolivia, GO (once this madness ends). We found the Bolivian people to be friendly, the cities supremely interesting, and the scenery simply spectacular.
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The Bolivian Altiplano, Part 2 takes us from Laguna Colorada to Colchani, a village just outside the town of Uyuni.
Aloha, Lee

The Feeling of Flight

The Feeling of Flight

Walk the Line

Walk the Line

The Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve

The Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve

A Gentle Curve

A Gentle Curve

One of the Prettiest Places I Have Ever Been

One of the Prettiest Places I Have Ever Been

When the Earth was New

When the Earth was New

A James's Flamingo Glides By

A James's Flamingo Glides By

An Altiplano Idyllic

An Altiplano Idyllic

Training

Training

Walk on Water

Walk on Water

Boiling Mud

Boiling Mud

Hey There

Hey There

The Altiplano

The Altiplano

Storm Cloud over Laguna Colorada

Storm Cloud over Laguna Colorada

All the While the Flamingos Danced

All the While the Flamingos Danced

Run to Flight

Run to Flight

Burnt Mountain Sunrise

Burnt Mountain Sunrise

Siloli Desert

Siloli Desert

A Crown of Clouds over High Mountain Peak

A Crown of Clouds over High Mountain Peak

Viscacha! (Quarantine Got Me Feeling Like)

Viscacha! (Quarantine Got Me Feeling Like)

Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:South America
Subcategory Detail:Bolivia
Keywords:Altiplano, Andean Plateau, Bolivia, Explore bolivia, South America, Travel photography, nature, nature photography, outdoors, road trip, surreal, the natural world, the surreal planet, travel