I love jumping pictures. It is incredible what a simple act such as jumping can do to a picture if it is taken just in the right moment. I have spent what felt like hours trying to take jumping picture of other people because I always just missed the right moment to press the button. And of course I have had my share of jumping too because the person taking the picture couldn’t get it right. And then my iPhone changed everything when I realised that holding down the button would automatically lead to a sequence of photos and one of them would be the right one.
Now that I knew how to take the pictures I had to find the right places for them. It is not something you can plan, it’s something you feel. And then you jump and hope that it will look as funny as you imagined.
Here are my top 5 destinations that made me want to take a jumping picture:
Macchu Picchu, Peru
Macchu Picchu must be THE attraction in South America. I had already been in northern Peru for four months and was ready to leave. But then I decided to go to Cusco to see Machu Picchu because who knows if I would ever be back in this part of the world again.
The whole process of getting there was pretty stressful and it soon became clear to me that Machu Picchu is a money spinner and everything within a radius of 200 km is directed towards getting as many people up there as possible.
In order to experience Machu Picchu by sunrise, my tour advised us to get up at 4 am to be among the first ones at the gate when it openes at 5 am. As soon as it opened hundreds of people rushed up the mountain, some in buses, others by foot. By the time I reached the top I had lost my group and with that the chance to get a guided tour through the ruins. I decided to explore Machu Picchu on my own and walked up to a spot to get an overview of the area.
The first 15 minutes were magical. There were hardly any people and the sun was just rising. For a moment the world stood still and I was overwhelmed by what I saw.
And then I took a jumping picture. Just a few minutes before crowds started pouring in and transformed the place into something that can be compared to New Yorks Time Square.
Cotopaxi in Ecuador is an active volcano, which last erupted in August 2015. When I was there a few month earlier we were told about the threat that this volcano poses for the region. Some 300’000 people are at risk and an eruption could even negatively affect Quito, which is 50 km away. Staying at the Secret Garden Hostel Cotopaxi was an excellent choice. The Secret Garden Hostel in Quito arranges daily shuttles, which makes the whole journey a lot easier. It is one of those places where the hostel it’s self already is an attraction. The building is beautiful and offers different types of rooms, depending on your needs. Due to its remote location it is an all-inclusive hostel and everyone eats together. During the afternoon-tee the guests plans for the next day are discussed. Our plans were simple; we sat in the Jacuzzi and drank a bottle of wine while enjoying the view of Cotopaxi. Later on we went for a short walk around the area. It was the perfect day off after months of intensive travelling. And then I took a jumping picture. Just because it looked so funny with the poncho.
Punta Union Pass, Peru
The Huaraz region of Peru has a lot of amazing treks to choose from. I love hiking and enjoy being in nature and really wanted to do a trek that would take a few days. I decided to do the Santa Cruz trek together with my new friends from Huanchaco and it was an unforgettable experience. It is a four-day hike and the route is ideal for people who are not used to being at high altitude. We spent the first night at 3800 meters and drank lots of Coca-Tea, the local way of adjusting to altitude. The second day was the hardest because it was the day when we reached the peak. What started out as an easy walk suddenly turned into torture. The trail takes you through a stunning landscape but unfortunately it’s straight uphill. I wasn’t sure how my body would react to the altitude and walked very slowly. I didn’t have any problems and when I finally, after three hours, reached the Punta Union Pass at 4750 meters I still had enough energy to express my joy with a jumping picture.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
I never planed on going to Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the world famous salt flats. I had seen what feels like a thousand perspective photos on facebook, which were all, to be fair, amazing. But I felt like I had already been there. I was convinced that the real experience couldn’t give me more than the constant photos on my Facebook feed had.
But I was wrong.
I ended up going anyway because I was in La Paz and soon learned that nothing can prepare you for Salar the Uyuni. It is a never-ending salt flat and no matter where you look you want to take pictures. And it offers the perfect scene. The clear blue sky in contrast with the white salt makes the whole landscape look unreal and you just can’t get enough of what nature has to offer there. And this is only the beginning. If you do the three-day tour you see blue, green and red lagoons with pink flamingos, hot springs, geysers and a lot more. The whole experience was so outstanding that I just had to take a jumping picture.
Lençois Maranhenses National Park, Brazil
When I planed my trip in Brazil with my sister we did a bit of research and then randomly picked destinations, mostly based on pictures. Lençois Maranhenses is one of those places and it took us a while to realize that Brazil is HUGE and we would be doing a lot of travelling. We flew from Rio de Janeiro to São Luis, which is only a few hours flight. After spending the night we were picked up by a shuttle, which brought us to the National Park, another few hours away.
When googling Lençois Maranhenses National Park you will see pictures of it’s vast desert landscape of tall, white sand dunes and seasonal rainwater lagoons. Yes seasonal rainwater lagoons and this is the part we missed. We were there in January and it was the dry season. Thus there were hardly any lagoons and it was just mostly a desert. Never the less we were happy that we went to this northern part of Brazil because just the desert by itself is amazing. So amazing that I took a jumping picture.