Posts Tagged ‘burning man’

Best things to do in Death Valley

Death Valley. Photo: Pedro Sagüés

Best things to do in Death Valley

Death Valley is a National Park 2 hours away from Las Vegas that features the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America. For such reason, people recommend visiting the park during the coolest season (December and January). In my opinion, Death Valley is worth a visit especially during the hottest season (from June to August), when temperatures reach up to 134ºF (56ºC). Both days I spent there, temperatures reached 127ºF (53ºC). Few places in the world offer you the chance of experiencing such a high temperature. It makes you feel like you’re risking your life just by standing outside of your car for less than an hour without any water.

At night, the temperature drop to 100ºF (37ºC), so it’s more comfortable to sleep in a hotel with air conditioning (we decided not to sleep in our RV). I recommend going to Furnace Creek, a resort situated in an oasis in the middle of the desert with four restaurants, a saloon, spring-fed swimming pools and an 18-hole golf course (the world’s lowest course at 214 feet below sea level). I stayed at the “Ranch” and woke up at 7am to play golf. It costs $30 (water, balls, clubs and golf cart included) and you can take your time because you’ll be the only one out there. I loved it!

Things to do in Death Valley

There are many interesting places. I asked the locals for the coolest things to do in Death Valley in one day. Their answer was:

  • Zabriskie Point, an amazingly varied landscape, with multiple colors and textures. Go early in the morning or before sunset to get the best light for taking great pictures.
  • Badwater Basin, the lowest point in Death Valley (282ft / 86m under the sea level), is probably the best known and most visited place in the park. It’s a salt flat with small spring-fed pools of undrinkable water. I recommend walking onto the salt flats and standing for a while in the suffocating heat. What an experience! On your way back to the resort, you can visit “Devil’s Golf Course” (so-named because it’s so rough that only Satan himself could play golf there). It’s worth a quick stop just to see the unique rock and salt formations.
  • Stovepipe Sand Dunes are just a short drive from the ranch. Scramble to the top of a dune and enjoy the sunset. Be sure to bring enough water with you.

People also recommend visiting “Titus Canyon“, “Ubehebe crater“, the “Racetrack” and enjoying the magnificence of the valley from “Dante’s View“. I haven’t been there so I can’t recommend it.

I visited Death Valley on my way to the Burning Man 2010.

More information about Death Valley: Official website, map download,

Click on images to enlarge


Photo credits: Pedro Sagüés

Burning Man: extravaganza in the desert

Burning Man 2010 Photo: Pedro Sagüés

Burning Man: extravaganza in the desert

I’ve just arrived from the “Burning Man”, an amazing event held in the Black Rock Desert (Nevada, United States), in the middle of nowhere, where 50.000 people get together for a week, with no electricity, no cell service, no water or food supplies, with daytime temperatures that reach 100 degrees (F) and 45º (F) at night. Everyone provides their own supplies and shares them with others.

Within days, “Black Rock” becomes the third largest city in the state of Nevada. It’s perfectly planned: with avenues, boulevards and public monuments around a central plaza. The principles of coexistence are respected by all and are raised by an excellent organization with more than 2,000 volunteers.

The objective of the organizers is to show that it’s possible to build a society based on participation, civic responsibility, respect, tolerance, self-expression, gifting and one that is 100% free of prejudice.

The only traffic allowed are bicycles and “mutant vehicles”, original mobile sculptures built for the occasion that delight the audience: 40 meters long moving pirate ship converted into a disco, Tiki bars that serve free Rum while carrying their “clients.”

The result is spectacular: People planning a week with a year in advance, wanting to spend the best week of the year, with little sleep and a lot of partying and, most importantly, with the intention of being very faithful to the spirit of the event.

The priorities are the individual and its diversity. Everybody is welcome, regardless of age, creed or sexual orientation. Coexistence happens in hundreds of different camps where you can find almost everything: a three-floor Irish bar that offers cold beer, free massage in exchange for a smile, artists who paint naked bodies, camps that teach how to dance tango, recognized DJ’s or artists who perform daily shows or camps that promote the practice of free sex.

You become the greatest gift for the community.

Once you are a participant in this event, you truly grasp its significance. The key is to act generously, without expecting anything in return. You become the greatest gift for the community.

At the end of the week the city dissolves without a trace, as if nothing had occurred, as if no one had walked there. Participants return to their daily life having lived an unforgettable week, with the intention of maintaining the spirit for the rest of the year and with the conviction that they’ll return in the next edition.

Will you go to Burning Man 2011?

If so, please let me know. This will be my second year, so I am not an expert. Every tip is very welcome: which camp do you recommend? A special picture I should take? Something I should do? Or if you want me to take a picture of you, just let me know!!

Update: This article has had a great coverage. I would like to thank the Burning Man staff for the multiple recommendations and links to this article. The latest, in september’s newsletter

People also ask me about the photographic equipment I used at the Burning Man. I purchased most of the bags, cleaning kits and other accesories in this website with great gifts for photographers called Regalador.com.

Click on images to enlarge


Photo credits: Pedro Sagüés

Click here to see more pictures taken by me at the “Burning Man”
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