Lybia, Idahan, Ubari, October 2006
We had been away from civilization for a week adopting the frugality of those living in inhospitable areas. On the last day the daily hygiene, for two, was done with less than a full bottle of water! At each stop we quickly got out of the cars to roam the wilderness of the desert. Our Berber guides stayed close to the cars chatting, discretely alert. On those moments they were the watchmen of the largest playground I’ve been in.
Lybia, Gebraoun, October 2007
When we less expected the water appeared as a miracle. Most Ubari area lakes have been disappearing but some of them insist on showing in all splendor. With a strong evaporation, the water, here, is saltier than in the Dead Sea. Swimming is an almost impossible task as the body is pushed out the water what prevents the effectiveness of movements. If we have wounds and excoriations a bath should be avoided as it burns too much. Opening the eyes under the water is out of the question.
Guatemala, Antigua, January 2007
Antigua is rightfully regarded as one of the most beautiful colonial towns of the Americas. Part of its charm is due to its location close to three dormant volcanoes that dominate the skyline, compelling us to a respectful and humble posture. The town’s ambiance is further enhanced by many inhabitants who still wear traditional clothing. This woman, with her child in tow seems unsure about which direction to take, just like most Central American countries.
Guatemala, Chichicastenango, January 2007
This small sleepy town awakens twice a week for the local market. It is then literally invaded by merchants and buyers, coming from all over the province as well as by tourists eager to witness the activity that still go on nowadays, as it did centuries ago.
Australia, William Bay National Park, November 2007
The coast of Denmark region is known for the beauty of its beaches. One of the prettiest is the Green Pool Beach. I got up at sunrise to photograph it at low tide and to be alone. Surprisingly, arriving at the beach, I saw that I wasn’t the first one. Some elderly swimmers bravely ventured in the cold waters for their morning exercise. They gave a human scale to the image and I must confess I was a little jealous of their courage and, mostly, of their quality of life for being able to daily enjoy such a beautiful place.
Australia, Kangaroo Island, November 2007
On the island’s southeast coast, in Flinders Chase National Park, we found the Remarkable Rocks. On the rounded promontory by the sea, gigantic granitic blocks spread out with shapes that seem imagined by a modern sculptor. It´s hard to understand the origin of these huge rocks, how they were formed and how got there. Nature’s creation power is boundless.
Indonesia, Bromo, Java Island, May 2008
We left the hotel at 4 a.m., still dark. We traveled for more than one hour through the Sand Sea, at the base of the big caldera that encompasses several volcanoes. Our final destination was Gunung Penanjakam view point at 2770 m of altitude. Thoroughly numbed by freezing temperatures we waited the slow appearance of the dawn. Little by little we began seeing shapes; the Sand Sea still shrouded in fog, the perfect Batok cone, the ever steaming Bromo and, in the background, like a conductor, the highest peak of all, Semeru, regularly spewing glowing ashes: the perfect volcanic landscape.
Indonesia, Nanga Penda, Flores Island, June 2008
Traditional Japanese gardens are famous for their minimalistic design and also for the colors of their pebbles. On this beach, close to Ende, on the south coast of Flores Island, the black sand is literally covered with blue pebbles. Hundreds of locals sift through the sand in search of the perfect shape and color stone. The best ones are underground. Everyday tons of stones are collected and later exported to Japan.
United States of America, Wyoming , Yellowstone National Park, Grand Prismatic Spring, September 2008
It took us some time to discover a sort of a trail that allowed us to climb the steep slope to the top of the hill. The reward was in sight; a terrific overview to the park’s biggest thermal spring. The steaming deep blue water contrasted the striped bright orange patterns drawn by the algae growing there because of the high temperatures and high mineral concentrations.
United States of America, Paria, Coyotte Buttes North, The Wave, October 2008
In order to preserve this location, only 20 visitors a day are allowed to trek to the Wave. The first 10 are drafted in an Internet lottery held 4 months before. The other 10 are drafted between people applying daily at the Rangers station, 60 km from Page. In 2004, when I first knew about these formations, I had no luck in the daily lots. In 2008, I was not contemplated in the Internet draft. Even so, I decided to take a chance. Only in the 3rd and last trip to the Ranger station did I hit the jackpot. The photo explains eloquently the reason of so much work to get the entry permit and the three hours hike, over unmarked trails, to the Wave. Some of the lucky ones that obtain the craved permit fail to see this location because they manage to get lost in the trails…
This photo won the first prize of the section «People» of the 2009 Portuguese National Geographic Photo Contest.
Portugal, Alentejo Coast, Alteirinhos Beach, December 2008
From the top of the cliffs between Alteirinhos and Zambujeira do Mar beaches the view is superb. The sun in the background turns the receding waters seeping into the sand to mirrors. Everything gets a silvery sheen as these three characters come along. I wait for the right moment as the water sparkles.
Portugal, Vicentina Coast, Barriga Beach, October 2009
Friendship is built little by little and complicity moments are its foundation. When we feel the need to stop, sit down, wonder at what surrounds us and let our thoughts wander it is important that whomever is with us comes along. This moment of understanding proves that our best friend is not always human.