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Ongoing projects

Posts tagged ‘Travel’

Chile…..street art

Editing continues….slowly. I hope by next week to have a proper page of street art posted. Here are two examples from my quick edit that I am fond of. They were taken in Huesco (I hope I have the spelling right) which is a town on the coast, west of Vallenar, half way between La Serena and Copiapo.

20121206-132739.jpgAround the corner there was an NWA stencil, which made me wonder if it was the same NWA, or if I was dating myself or just showing my absolute lack of knowledge about music.
This was only a few doors down.

20121206-133229.jpgI am often amazed by how advertising, especially iconic typography becomes street art.
Street art, wall painting, advertising, graffiti, how ever one refers to it, it always makes me wonder who is choosing to leave it up and why. Chile seems to be incredibly tolerant of it, perhaps even to embrace it. I know I have certainly enjoyed it.

Chile…..Editing ugh…..

500 images in, filed and tagged….not even halfway through. I am a little frightened. They look so much better on a decent screen, it’s really quite a relief. It’s odd To go from shooting so much to none, bur tomorrow I will hunt the inflatable Xmas decoration…..I have three locations already scouted.
But here is a question from our travels in the desert is it art? A science experiment ? Or a warning?

20121201-002633.jpgAcross the road was a rib cage and skull… propped up (I haven’t gotten to that one in the edit yet). No idea what that one mention either, they
were half way up the road to Laguna Rosa…

This is another shot of the stream that ran down from Laguna Rosa, it’s only about four inches wide here.

20121201-003539.jpgAnd here’s the Pacific Ocean, just because its pretty.

20121201-003902.jpgThis is just south of Los Vilos and I couldn’t believe the flowers. I don’t know what the blue ones were, but they certainly were prolific, and the whole entrance was landscaped in Portulaca, its used as a ground cover here.

Chile….more dogs…why not

This guy was one of several really nice looking Golden Retriever/Yellow Labs that we saw in La Serena.

20121127-173904.jpgNotice he’s blocking the entrance, nobody cared, just walked around the dogs when they were in the way. He was averaged size for the strays we saw in La Serena, there were also a large number of German Shepards (most of whom looked pure bred).
Questions with no answers….. Why were all the strays big? Who fed them? Why were they all so well mannered? Why did we only see one scruffy looking stray in our time in La Serena? The whole thing was just really puzzling. It was almost like the center of the city was an exceptionally well run dog park. Clean too, only once saw any dog shit. I mean really who is doing all the clean up.

20121127-175156.jpgA blue eyed stray at a gas station between Copiapo and La Serena who accepted cookies only after great deliberation, obviously used to a higher class of handout.
And look Squeek has relatives in Chilean mountains.


Chile…cloud forest

So I promised Karin a post about the cloud forest…. Parque Nacional Fray Jorge is a UNESCO Heritage Site located 40 kilometers off the Pan-American highway, roughly due west of Ovalle. The road to it is better marked than the other parks we tried to find and they have put in a very nice visitor center. We were surprised by the number of school buses there. The forest is a small part of the protected area and it makes a remarkable contrast to the surrounding arid landscape.Unfortunately it is almost impossible to photograph, as it is cloudy, dense and overwhelmingly green, but there is a boardwalk through part of it and a walking path through another.

20121126-150433.jpgSo as you can see no brilliant photographing of the green from me, I got some shoots of individual flowers and epiphytes (air plants – always cool), but they’re only interesting if you are identifying plants.
This is why there’s a cloud forest….

20121126-151210.jpgAll that moisture drops out on the seaward side of the hill allowing the forest to thrive. There is another big drop off of moisture further in land, creating an intermediate zone with different flora and better farming and grazing than the area closer to the highway.
This is the side of the hill inland from the cloud forest….

20121126-151424.jpgThis is looking down from the forest. Note the road and the elevation change. They only let six cars a day drive to the top, so as to protect the forest. Remember the school buses…all those kids….they walked. Remember how your mom got volunteered to go on school trips? So do you think they told them about the hill? Probably not.

Puntilla on the way to the cloud forest

So for those of us that have horses or gardens fencing is always an issue….installing it, repairing it, improving it, affording it…. This however is my new favorite fence.

20121124-195210.jpgThere were cactus fences in a lot of places, but this town, Puntilla, had especially nice ones. In fact they seemed to have miles of them. Two examples of baby fences one protecting a house garden…

20121124-195701.jpgThis one protecting some type of crop, nothing was growing yet.

20121124-200137.jpgEventually they get big enough to abandon the original fencing materials.

20121124-200419.jpgThey seem to be equally suitable for horses, goats and burros and just as valuable for keeping livestock out as keeping it in. The closest thing we have at home is when the multiflora rosa permanently takes over the fence line.


La Serena …… Street art

Interesting street art is not limited to Santiago, though do to the complications of traffic and ill husbands I have few examples to offer, maybe I will catch a few more here in Santigo before we fly out.

20121124-152621.jpg I have another version of the above, showing the full wall, which I will post at a later date. The image below is more typical of tagging than street art, but I was very pleased with the lighting.


Misc from Atacama

So Tuesday was the epic trip down from Copiapo – the main city in the Atacama region. It is a mining town, therefor absurdly dusty and much less run down than it looks. It is also the home of the rad truck…extended cab, 4 wheel drive, roll bar, lights, giant whip cord antenna, diesel(?) mini pick up trucks. Almost every truck we saw was kitted out like this, most of the ones that weren’t were set up for something specific…and so many of them were red that you noticed when they weren’t, and it was every brand too, VW, Toyota, Ford…… Also being a mining town there was amazing giant equipment every where….mining equipment gives a whole new take on large. We stayed at the first hotel we saw, which was actually nice

20121122-181122.jpgIt was also were we realized that the place was full (sort of) North Americans working in the mining industry. I also finally got to ask someone about the shrines, and yes they are to commemorate the dead, interestingly some are for animals. I had been holding out hope for some type of pilgrimage or cult, but no I guess that many people get killed on the road.

20121122-181651.jpgThis was on the road back from the high desert and one of the big mines. A little further down the road was this inspiration not to drag race

20121122-181846.jpgVery Mad Max….more later. Happy Thanksgiving.

Chile….more Atacama

So we went up again….part of marrying a Kostka is a lifetime of going up….good thing I always want to know what’s on the other side of the hill. Sunday we had been trying to reach a national park, but I had misunderstood which semi marked, vaguely paved road we wanted….apparently the unmarked one. It was good we had gone the wrong way because it was stunning in a different way than Monday’s trip, in which we found the park…Parque Nacional Nevado Tres Cruces. While not quite as high as yesterday, you could still feel the effects of the altitude, maybe more amazing is that we drove some 100 odd kilometers with only seeing one other person, and round trip from the turn off,over 200 kilometers, we saw two cars and three people…just a little isolated. So you go up and up and up until you crest the top of the hill and this is what you get…

20121120-191134.jpgThat’s snow on the mountains in the distance and the white in the valley is the goal…Laguna Santa Rosa.

20121120-191653.jpgThe lakes and wet lands in the park are important wintering and stopping places for a variety of birds including flamingos….but not right now…ah well. What amazed me was the ecosystems created all down the mountains due to drainage from the lake as well as seasonal rain and snow melt (at least that is where I assume the water comes from).

20121120-192746.jpgThe trail of grasses marking a tiny stream flowing down the mountain, and later widening out into grazing land.

20121120-192947.jpgAnd later it became wider still.

20121120-193242.jpg The grey behind the horses is completely barren. At several points going down the topography would open up in such a way for the stream to support vegetation, sometimes grazing land sometimes agriculture and sometimes just bits of green. It appears that the livestock is moved seasonally as the grazing changes, but that is just a guess. This one of the houses along the way down, it was locked up tight but there were active gardens near by and one well fed cat.


Chile…Atacama views

The colors are just amazing, a landscape photographer could make this area their life’s work. Every where you look it’s just grand.
Sometimes it’s subtle

20121119-234951.jpgSometimes dramatic

20121119-235043.jpgSometimes it’s all about contrast

Chile….Atacama….elevation 4500 meters

So when I said we went up on Sunday I really meant up. An elevation of 4,500 meters is high enough for you to feel that their is less oxygen. I don’t know if its high enough for altitude sickness, but it can make you light headed and there is a definite shortness of breath.
A view from the top, yes that reddish streak is the road (trucks….real trucks take this road…makes my head spin).

20121119-233820.jpgAnd a little to the right.

20121119-233907.jpgSo I case anyone was wondering the road was somewhat traumatizing and Victor drives really well. He is also absurdly gracious when I start freaking about the edge, the lack of guard rails and and and….the horrifying thought is I’m getting used to it. Now I only really panic when we go around blind turns that are a single lane wide.