Laguna Verde, Bolivia
21° 0' S 68° 5' W
Sep 08, 2004 00:34
Distance 146km

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Text written in: English

Laguna Colorada

Today we had to get up early. Leo wanted to leave at 7:30 so breakfast was at 7:00 AM. Scrambled eggs, freshly squeezed juice, which I managed to throw all over the table, bread, jam and coffee and tea.

After having packed everything on the car we drove to San Juan where there was a very interesting museum in probably the smallest village on the planet. Well, the village was not that small actually, maybe the museum was surprisingly big and interesting for the size of the village. It explained a bit about the history of the people living in the area and the mummification of the people of which an example was on display.

Outside was a very interesting cemetery where every grave was made of coral. Really interesting round graves like beehives where they put the dead bodies. A few graves were open and you could see the skelets in sitting position. Interesting really and what a location in the barren country side surrounded by huge mountains in the distance.

The drive continued through the most barren country side you have ever seen. The Desert of Siloli is incredible as were the coloured lakes Canapa, Hedionda, Chiar Kota and Ramaditas. In the afternoon we saw lots of beautiful flamingos that did not seem to be bothered by the freezing temperatures and the wind that gust here especially at night. During the day it was fine and sunny and even at this altitude no problems for shorts.

Earlier that morning we had to see how a car broke down in front of us and we joked that you can expect that on a cheaper tour haha. We should not have joked as a few hours later the same car was behind us while we had a small break down. Thank God it was just a blown fuse although it smelled as if the whole car was up in smoke, so it only took ten minutes to fix things.

Then we crossed more and more incredible desert and from out of nowhere we saw someone on a bike coming towards of. We stopped and it appeared to be a German, instantly making war jokes when he heard I was from the Netherlands. He was cycling from Calama to La Paz, not the easiest route I would say through this barren and desolate desert and at this altitude. It would took him 12 days to cycle the 425 kilometers he said. We gave him some new water and an orange and impressed with the sighting we left him peddling while we continued our trip in the luxurious warm 4WD.

After having seen the Dali Rocks in the desert we stopped near some very scenic rock formations before continuing to Laguna Colorada, the overnight stop at more than 4200 meters. I was still wearing shorts but it got too cold in the late afternoon when the wind had picked up causing Antarctic temperatures. The lake was quite red and the location was great. Accommodation was super basic. Toilets but no showers and just bunk beds in barracks. Dinner was excellent as usual and the spaghetti tasted great. Thanks Christine!

After dinner I went straight to bed as we had to get up at the unbelievable time of 5:00 AM!