Hailing from the great Midwest, I spent my youth rolling in thick blankets of snow and launching myself into giant piles of leaves in anticipation for the coming winter whiteout. And while summers were spent in one of Minnesota’s thousands of lakes, we clambered over giant iron rocks and hiked a waterfront of woods instead of building castles on the shore. Luxurious beaches and seductive strips of sand were a vacation fantasy.
Fast forward to the last two years where I’ve traded the snow for sand, living on or near some of the world’s most beautiful shorelines. (I’ve gotten pretty good at those castles, too.) Regardless, in moving to Bolivia I didn’t think the lack of a body of water fronted by a pristine shoreline would bother me. No problem, right?
Wrong. I want my beach. Why is there not sand tickling my toes if I am to sweat away in this daily 90 degree weather?
Saturday’s spontaneity left me standing atop Las Lomas de Arena, a cluster of sand dunes located just outside of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. You could say I got my sand fix.
Jutting what seems to be out of nowhere, the dunes are formed by the Piraí River that is completely out of sight. In fact, there is no water to be found near the dunes at all, making the contrast between the desert-like phenomenon situated amid the tropical lowlands even more stark. (I have been told the rainy season leaves a lagoon at the dunes’ edge during the months of May-October, I will return.)
It was spectacular.
Photographically speaking, I got my arse kicked. I would like to blame it on nature, as my aperture was at war with the clouds and the wind was violent enough on solid ground before hiking to the top. In reality, I didn’t know how to protect my camera against the outrageous winds simultaneously pelting my face with tiny grains of rock. You live and you learn. Next time though, I will bring a plastic bag for gear protection and stuff my ears with cotton balls.
Until I head back and reshoot, here are a few of images to hold us over.
All the best,