Salt Lakes and Flamingo´s 25 May

Trip Start Feb 21, 2006
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25
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Trip End Jul 27, 2006


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Thursday, May 25, 2006

We met outside the office pretty early, but we forgot we were on Bolivian time now (Well almost, it was a Bolivian ran company) and waited for 1/2 an hour before anyone turned up (Could have been vital extra time in bed you know!!)

There were 5 of us in total in our tour group - Not too bad as we have heard there can be as may as 7 plus the driver crammed into a jeep. (An Enlish couple , Matthew and Mary Ann and an Israeli - Ofer) who all seemed pretty nice.

The day started by getting our exit stamp for Chile, then moving onto the Bolivian border for breakfast(I say border, but it was more like a shed in the middle of the mountains...) We all had Coffee and bread/cheese in ANOTHER shed opposite the border before meeting our guide Felix and begining our ascent to the 1st stop of the day - Laguna Verde.

The reflection of the surrounding mountains into the lake was spectacular - we stopped for around 10 minutes to get some photos before driving for around 2 hours to the natural hot-springs for a quick dip.

At this hieight (Approx 4000M above sea level) it was pretty cold and none of us hung around too long getting changed for our plunge. But once inside, the temperature was around 30 degrees - not too hot, but enough to give us all the dizzies when we got up to get out.

Next stop of the day was the Sal the Manaņa (Some Geysers around 4900M above sea level.) For both Lorraine and I it was one of the highlights of the day. The force of some of the steam coming from the vents was pretty fierce - not to mention the really bad smell of the sulphur (Lorraine tried to blame it on me, but I was having none of it!)

From there we headed to the 1st nights accomodation (More about that later) on the shaw of Laguna Colorada for some late lunch (Which was pretty tastety.) Afterwards we headed to the lake which on arrival was a vivid red colour (In the morning it is white then as the day progresses the sun with some assistance from the wind turns the minerals the red colour you see in the photographs). We also saw Our 1st Flamingos of the trip (Which we were all very excited about)

The day concluded with dinner at the lake side hostal - Which insidently electricity from 7-9 PM only, no showers and the grottiest toilets any of us had seen in a long time - or perhaps ever!! (Oh, and no heating whatsoever, so @ 4200 M you could imagine it was f$$king freezing) needles to say, that night none of us slept too well. Partly because of the cold, partly because of the altitude, but manily because Ofer was snoring extremely loudly all night. So if our reading this - thanks again Ofer!!! (DM)
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