The most remote place I have ever been to

Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
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42
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Trip End Mar 31, 2013


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What I did
Many lakes with various chemical compositions
Inca Canyon

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Breakfast was not very impressive: sugar puffs and dry uncooked porridge but no access to a microwave to cook it, those Windsor teabags that just aren't really strong enough, bread and margarine/butter and jam, and fake fruit juice. We set off for our second day in the desert. We saw some enormous and extremely spiky cacti, and Natalie won the competition to spot new wildlife by seeing a biscacha, which is like a cross between a big rabbit and a tiny kangaroo. She also spotted a tiny frog. We passed a sulphur mine. We had chicken again for lunch unfortunately, the third lunch/dinner in a row with it, though it was nice enough. Then suddenly it started to rain and snow. We were eating at the shore of a lake where there were lots of flamingos again. There was thunder and lightning. The weather was very changeable, and the landscapes were very varied too, ranging from little grey rocks 30cm across interspersed with grassy tussocks to large expanses of brown volcanic rock with no flora at all.

Over the day we saw 5 different lakes of different compositions. One was full of borax, one arsenic. We drove through the Valley of the Incas, where the rock formations were amazing and all natural but looked like they had been built by people. We were right on the Chilean border there.

About 4.30pm we were approaching a hotel in the middle of nowhere. Amused, we wondered who would stay somewhere so remote. It turned out it was our hotel for the night! It only had electricity from 6pm to 9.30pm, and the showers were solar, so if it was cloudy, you had a cold shower. There was obviously no internet or phone reception, so not much to do except drink tea (no milk) and chat to other travellers, and have a shower while there was still some hot water. 

Dinner was quite good. We asked the hotel owner for a small bottle of wine on the house because we had let him hitch a lift from the rock hotel to this one in our tour vehicle, and share our lunch. He was very obliging. There was broccoli soup for starter, then what we thought was beef but it was actually llama. It was lovely, though slightly tough: like a cross between lamb and beef. We had the usual too many types of carbs, and not enough veg. Dessert was a strange sort of parfait, I suppose you could say, a tiny triangle of it with a bit of tinned peach and coffee sauce, sort of. It was OK. Then it was pretty much time to go to bed as Carmelo wanted to miss the snow and see things in the morning light the next day so wanted to set off at....5am. Hideous.
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