RANORAMA: Crystal Pools


I went in search for a perch to journal from, but what I found was a landscape too radical to pen.

I’ve never seen a landscape like this— mountains, giant boulders, patches of flora hiding from the elements.  Check out the view from the top —

Visit this blogpost to see my Interactive Panorama of Crystal Pools

It was windy and cold, but Ricardo and I were having too much fun exploring this landscape to really notice. We climbed on pillars, through caves, and under precariously balanced rocks. Just after the below photo was taken, the piece of rock Ricardo was holding on to broke free from the pillar. He landed on his feet (reflexes like a cat!) surprised to be holding a large chunk of rock back on the ground. I was tempted to climb the other boulder, but only before I noticed it stood on the edge of a very tall cliff.

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And for a landscape dominated by rocks, the plants hid and flowed around the rocks filling every gap possible. I loved the patterns within the colors and also the striking sense of scale when looking at a world in miniature.

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After exhausting the remaining sunlight and my own energy, I climbed back down to the shelter for the night. Our shelter was a rustic partitioned mountain hut.

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The inside our half of the hut was claustrophobic with low ceilings, a domineering darkness, and stale air. The thick walls retained an illusion of warmth, but completely shut sounds and other signs of life. The straw which was placed on the ground was formed into three ‘beds’, one lining the edge of each wall. The straw beds were there to add insulation from the cold rock floor, and through their repeated use by countless ragged travelers, they seemed to retain a consistent shape that encouraged a slightly curled-up sleeping position.

The night was cold and rain poured from the sky. I was very thankful for the shelter.

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