Across the heart of the frozen highlands.
Chachani in Aymara language means valiant, brave… It’s an active volcano near Arequipa city in the Peruvian south. It’s located at 1,963 m (6,440 ft) above the sea level and its height (measuring from base to top) is 6,057 m (19,872 ft) But those six kilometers are easy to climb, I would make it but I prefer rocky mountains. It’s not the tallest volcano in the region but it’s nice to see, specially at afternoon.
Closer to him
This is what you would see from the desert in the morning, if you’re coming from Lima city.
When you see the ichu (the yellow grass) is signal that you are quite close to Arequipa city.
And if you distant traveler come from the highlands this is your view of the Chachani, it has a dry beauty and a cold hug.
These photographs are longer pictures.
And that’s all. If I have so many photographs is because the Chachani is always there so close to the city and the roads, it says you where you are and how much it takes to go to your destiny.
Previously in Melissa in the middle
The secret bounty hunter has traveled around the globe in search of dangerous fugitives with her faithful motorbike, a silver cross and her travel blog as a façade to hide the real reason of her travels. Hired to hunt the most dangerous South American guy she is prepared to return home believing him death, until she discovers in the DNA of an eyelash that her enemy is not only alive but he’s actually her blogger friend Qhapaq, launching his ultimate plot in his secret headquarters in the core of volcano Misti 4000 meters (13 123 ft.) above the sea. Is the former spy going to catch to Qhapaq? Is friendship going to be more important than the millionaire reward?
Previously in Qhapaq
Francis is the Machiavellian genius behind counterfeit companies as Poma, Zony, Mitsusushi, Coca Loka, et al. Losing the memory after an explosion he started again as a blogger in Qhapaq, unknowing his past until now when the smell of the gunpowder in the morning triggered his memories! Inspired by the movie Superman I he is going to sink the Peruvian coast into the sea after buying cheap lands that will be the new coast giving him a lot of happy cash :P In the core of the volcano a cold heart waits without knowing that a lady is crossing the desert to bring him to the justice. Will he succeed?
(All this happened three months ago)
Walking in shadows
My blogger friend Melissa visited Arequipa and I was happy to met her. We tried to don’t turn the visit into a typical touristic trip, you know: “let’s take a scheduled car and from there let’s take the same photograph as showed in the postcard,” instead we walked places we both didn’t know. She chose Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Park, so we took a cheap bus with the intention to walk. I’m so sorry to say that although an enjoyable trip I didn’t search well and I exposed her to intense cold in a high altitude :-( One always wins from the experience but I’d like to don’t have exposed her to such a harsh environment.
Pampa Cañahuas is near Arequipa city at 4000 meters above the sea (more than 13 000 ft), more or less the altitude of the city I was born so my physiology is adapted to it, instead I suffer to walk in the coast. Melissa do it quite well, she just would need more clothes I think. In the beginning we walked under the shadows of lonely clouds and blue skies.
The mountain in the photograph above is called Chachani, it is a volcano and the name in Aymara language means “gallant”.
We saw vicuñas. They are wild camelids; our ancestors domesticated alpacas and llamas but vicuñas have to remain wild in order to get their fine wool (one of the finest along our chinchilla, also a wild animal) It’s in the symbol of our national coat of arms and in the beginning of XX century it was forbidden to take without authorization to foreign countries.
The warming sun
In the highlands under the shadows it’s cold, so it was a welcome change when we walked under the sun. I proposed to walk until a hill, and we walked but it was so far away! even worse it ended being two tall hills.
There are flocks of alpacas with eternal shepherds in the distance. Alpacas are domesticated and are the equivalent of sheeps.
The alpacas were so far away! if you couldn’t see it then above is the closest I could get with my zoom. Walking to there wasn’t an option as the shepherd dogs and the long distance were a barrier.
Do you see the hill in the photograph bellow? well, it took us almost three hours to get to the top :/
In the top of the world
We reached the top near five o’clock. Near the equator days don’t last so much so night was just one hour ahead. In the worry I’m afraid to haven’t paid to the Earth, I paid it days after in my house but I felt guilty. It’s simply to give her the first try of pure water or liquor in a way to say “thanks.” We saw the volcanos and returned using a little road to avoid accidents walking blind. As her safety was priority (being myself responsible for the wrong decisions) we walked to the highway and I didn’t take more photographs.
The photograph above to me was quite evocative, I thought in the happy ending of Blade Runner, the one used with fragments of other movies and the voice on off of Deckard.
And that was all. We saw a view few people see. I know it because there weren’t neither garbage nor drawings in the rocks as usually our national vandals/tourists love to drop. Annnnd this is the view ;-)
(The funny thing is we hoped to see a lake XD)
And time again to sleep ^_^
Another Monday and actually the moon doesn’t care that my lips mention her name.
Another Monday and actually the moon doesn’t care about a dumb man building a stair.
Another Monday and actually the moon just doesn’t care.
Two clouds have a meeting in their secret language.
(and a pinch of salt err, I mean white)
Long exposure without filters
If you have a camera capable to operate in manual you can try to give a dreamy look to the photographs choosing the higher number of your aperture to reduce the light and therefore use a long exposure (the camera’s shutter is working more than one second). For example here I used an aperture of F 11 (my lens has an aperture between 2.8 to 16, being 11 the second highest) so the light in the lens was reduced and the time of the shutter was four seconds. Then the clouds more than static are showed in motion like cottons. This technique works better with the less amount of light, so it’s in dawn or dusk. If you cannot control your camera then you could choose the “night” mode.
The downside is that when you use the highest number it appears a phenomena called diffraction that turns a bit imprecise or soft the image, but because that was my intention here is no a problem. When you need motion or movement but at the same time sharpness in a sunny day your best bet is using a quality ND (neutral density) filter to achieve this effect earlier in the day.
In this photograph I wanted to reflect the contrast between the immovable mountains against the travelers little clouds.