Thursday, 11 November 2010

Bolivia - Flamingos, Petrified Seaweed, Laguna Colorado, Geysers...

The second day turned out to be even more interesting than the first.  Shortly after setting off again first thing in the morning, we stopped to have a look at these coral formations.  It's so weird to see them in a desert.
Even more amazing - a field of petrified seaweed...
Every time we stopped at an important site our guide would tell us a little bit about it and then inform us that we also could use it to 'pee pee'.  Here's a volcano with lava in the foreground...
Lava climbing...
Next we visited three different lagoons which three different types of flamingo use for breeding in November.  It was brilliant.  Even though it's bright and sunny, it was cold and really windy.  See the whirlwind of dust in the background...
The water is crusty with salt.
Then after lunch on to another lake with more flamingos...

And wild vicunas...
Then a drive through the desert...
Arbol de Piedra: Lava carved by wind and sand. This desert is considered part of the Atacama and is right beside the border with Chile.
Because of the proximity to Chile there are army posts everywhere.  Since Bolivia is now the biggest producer of cocaine in South America, smuggling is a massive issue and apparently loads of the jeep drivers use these tours as a front for drug smuggling operations.
Next we went on to the most amazing thing of all, the red lagoon: Laguna Colorada.

It was unbelievably windy here which really added to the otherworldly feel of the place.
That night we stayed in very basic accommodation and got barely any sleep because it was so cold.  We were up at 4am the next morning to catch sunrise and it was probably the coldest weather we've ever experienced.
We were going to visit the nearby geysers which were really impressive.  This first picture is a man-made one used for harvesting energy.
Then we went to thermal baths: perfect to defrost our feet after the freezing morning, although our hair did turn to ice as soon as we got out.
Next we were back on the tracks to the green lake: Laguna Verde, and then a five and a half hour drive back to Uyuni to catch an overnight bus for Tupiza where we would finally have a shower! This had been such an amazing trip.

1 comment:

  1. amazing, definitely another world, I'd love to see it.

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