25 Most Memorable Pics from 2013 – Year-end Wrap, Part I

Expressing the joy that dance creates. Quito, Ecuador, 25-May-2013

This is Tatiana Arroba, a folk dancer who performed after the March Against Monsanto in Quito, Ecuador, last May. The pure joy she expressed with every move was so infectious that she effortlessly earned the distinction as the creator of the Planet’s Best Smile in 2013.

That’s among 25 photos I selected as the year’s most memorable, those capturing moments that will forever remain indelibly imprinted in that part of my brain where poignant memories are stored. These are not necessarily my 25 favorite snaps from the past year, but they do represent moments that came to define 2013 for me. Like this one in Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, a spot that really was on my List of Things to See Before I Die.

Salt Miner, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, 28-Mar-2013
Salt Miner, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, 28-Mar-2013

Each year presents new paths to follow. The one I chose in 2013 was forged well before the year began, and involved, among other things, a six-month overland jaunt from the southern tip of Argentina to the mountains of Costa Rica and a bout of hepatitis A. It included trading in the stability of a full-time job, one that I enjoyed, for the unpredictable but invigorating search and discovery of new opportunities and possibilities—one in which Piran Café will finally, after seven years on the internets, play a leading role.

I have some big plans for this website in 2014, some of which will be unveiled soon after the first of the year. But before moving forward are two more glances back, beginning today with these 25 images. If you’ve been a regular visitor here over the past year –and I can’t thank you enough!– you’ve probably seen some of these. I hope you enjoy them again.

First up, capturing a few everyday moments of everyday people.

Cartagena, Colombia, 12-Jun-2013
Construction worker taking a break, Cartagena, Colombia
Quechua street vendors, Potosi, Bolivia
Doll sellers, Potosi, Bolivia
Persistent saleswoman, Cusco, Peru
Persistent saleswoman, Cusco, Peru
Good Friday Procession, Potosi, Bolivia, 29-Mar-2013
Good Friday Procession, Potosi, Bolivia, 29-Mar-2013
Siesta time, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
Siesta time, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
Curbside wood delivery, Puyuhuapi, Chile, 26-Feb-2013
Curbside wood delivery, Puyuhuapi, Chile, 26-Feb-2013
Iglesia San Agustin, Lima, Peru, 05-May-2013
The Iglesia San Agustin, Lima, Peru, 05-May-2013

Next: the best vista of the year? This one near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

Staring at the Valley of Death, Atacama desert, Chile.
Staring at the Valley of Death, Atacama desert, Chile.

Moving on with a few shots illustrating the immeasurable power of nature, first with a calving at the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina and then with the aftermath of the Chaiten Volcano eruption in Chile.

Perito Moreno glacier, Argentina
Perito Moreno glacier, Argentina
Chaiten Volcano aftermath. Chaiten, Chile, 03-Mar-2013
Chaiten Volcano aftermath. Chaiten, Chile, 03-Mar-2013

Then there is man’s arrogant struggle with nature. Just 15 years ago the Balmaceda glacier in Southern Chile was at water level. Below that, a technically legal harvest of shark fins on a beach in Manta, Ecuador.

Balmaceda Glacier, Southern Patagonian Ice Field, Chile, 08-Feb-2013
Balmaceda Glacier, Chile, 08-Feb-2013
The real prize: pile of shark fins on Tarqui beach in Manta, Ecuador
Pile of shark fins on Tarqui beach in Manta, Ecuador

And then there were the birds. Lots of them. Traveling the past year reignited an old passion and fascination with winged creatures, even the flightless.

James’s Flamingos (Phoenicoparrus jamesi)
James’s Flamingos at the Laguna Colorada at the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve in southwest Bolivia
Young Magellanic penguin on Isla Martillo, Beagle Channel
Young Magellanic penguin on Isla Martillo, Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego
Red-crested cardinal, Quito, Ecuador
Red-crested cardinal, Quito, Ecuador
Magnificent Frigatebird or Fregata magnificens, on prowl on Isla de los Pajaros (Bird Island) near Puerto Pizarro, Peru
Magnificent Frigatebird on the prowl on Isla de los Pajaros (Bird Island) near Puerto Pizarro, Peru
Penguins on Martillo Island, Beagle Channel
One of the most surreal settings one can step foot upon. Martillo Island, Beagle Channel
Mid-flight meeting between a caracara and a cinereous harrier
Mid-flight meeting between a caracara and a cinereous harrier. Calafate, Argentina
Seno Última Esperanza or Last Hope Sound
Cormorants – Seno Última Esperanza or Last Hope Sound, Puerto Natales, Chile

Next, the obligatory sunset. Three of them.

Sunset, Zorritos, Peru, 09-May-2013
Near Zorritos, Peru
Sunset from Elephant Island, San Blas Islands, Panama, 16-Jun-2013
From Elephant Island. San Blas Islands, Panama
Sunset, Chile Chico, Chile
Chile Chico, Chile

And finally, that fleeting moment when it’s you against the world. And you’re winning.

Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru, 27-Apr-2013
Plaze de Armas, Cusco, Peru
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19 Comments

  1. Samantha says

    Great photos!! I love all of them and you captured the moment so well. Especially love the one with all the penguins, so cute!

    1. BobR says

      Thanks! VERY Much appreciated. 🙂

  2. Les Petits Pas de Juls says

    great retrospective! I enjoyed every picture and every memory of your year abroad! Have a wonderful 2014 !!!

    1. BobR says

      Many thanks and all the best to you as well!

  3. ahubbard10 says

    Absolutely gorgeous photos!

  4. M. R. says

    All I can say is …KEEP IT UP, Bob! As I’ve only been blogging since late October, I’ve missed tons of your stuff – but I shan’t miss any more. 🙂 And a happy Noo Year to you.

    1. BobR says

      Thank you – you’re much too kind. Don’t change. 🙂 And all the best in 2014 to you, too!

    1. BobR says

      Thank you Z! Hope all is well and all the best to you in 2014!

  5. Lunaguava says

    Powerful stuff. Particularly love the Valley of Death in Chile and the glacier in Argentina. I’m biased towards moments where Nature makes us feel terribly small. Great way to end the year. Wishing you many more adventures and winning moments in 2014. Good luck, Bob!

    1. BobR says

      Many thanks, very much appreciated. All the best to you as well!

  6. Rewired and Retired in Nicaragua says

    There is no way I can choose a favorite. You are so very talented. Thanks Bob for sharing your travels with us. Can’t wait to see your website in the new year. Happy New Year!

    1. BobR says

      Thanks so much and Happy New Year to you too! It’s been great to connect via our blogs this past year. Cheers!

    1. BobR says

      Many thanks, and to you as well!

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