In March 2022 I visited Rio Tinto for the first time. I had seen pictures of this Mars-like landscape on Instagram and was immediately and totally hooked.
What I did not know then, was, how difficult it actually is to find one's way around in this mountainous arid and torrid region...
Despite careful research I felt a bit lost in the area. I had no idea where to start: 100 km of Rio Tinto is quite a big terrain… information was really scarce, the internet connection mostly weak to zero. With the help of Google maps however and by asking many people lots of questions I managed to get a first impression and some first pics. But soon it became obvious: 1. I would have to come back and 2. I had to find a different approach.
So I started the research all over again. I searched the internet for Spanish photographers who offered workshops in Riotinto. I booked one of these workshops which unfortunately was canceled. However, I was given the name of a local guide who proved to be a real stroke of luck. Not only was Paco a ranger in this area and knew every square meter of the terrain but he also was a nature guide, a nature photographer and a really nice guy - the perfect combination for my purposes.
Together with my photo buddy Daniel Spohn from naturimfokus we spent four marvelous extremely long days roaming the banks of the acid rivers in search of the best photo opportunities. What we really enjoyed was that the young Spanish nature Photographer Egoitz who had imparted Paco’s contact data to us also came down from Bilbao to join us. So we had sunny days full of joy and laughter with a rather chaotic verbal communication in a mixture of English, Spanish and Basque.
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