(For the first part)
What to do (continues):
After a quick breakfast at the salt hotel we jumped on our 4WD jeep and drove through some pretty bumpy and irregular uphill paths (not even sure they can be called this way) leading to the vaste and windy altiplano and its unique marvels. At the highest altitudes, The barren landscape makes you feel vulnerable since there’s literally nowhere to take shelter from an inexpicably close and quite threatening sky. We first stopped at the feet of an active volcano (Ollagüe), and then stepped in mud and flamingos’ poop since we were too busy checking the feasting pink birds in Laguna Cañapa and Hedionda and attempting not to be spotted. Afterwards we got breaded in sand after we applied a bit too much sun cover in the windy Siloli desert while marvelling at the Arbol de Piedra, a tree-shaped rock formation. Finally, we had to fight against violent gusts of freezing wind while admiring the surreal red waters of Laguna Colorada. The kind of day that should end with a long hot shower… But actually didn’t! Fun fact: our guide had an odd selection of 10 songs on his USB pen (including a very much annoying folk traditional song called “la vincuñita”, the small vicuña), and made 100% we hated each one of them by the end of the day.
That night the alarm rang at 3.45 AM. Next destinations: Sol de la Mañana geothermal field, at almost 5000 m above sea level, mainly characterised by pools of boiling mud and pressurised steam. We drove in the dark and reached the geysers at dawn, right in time for the beginning of the show. The colours were striking and the silhouettes at their best. Of course, once again, it was damn cold, but we soon found a remedy when we plunged in the 40° Termas de Polques and spent 40 minutes floating (and trying to ignore the fact that it was everybody’s first contact with water in 2 days…). Our guide pretty dragged us out of the pool to carry on with the journey. We drove along the mind-blowing so-called Salvador Dalí desert, which, quite predictably, resembled the artist’s unearthly landscapes, and reached the journey’s end: Laguna Blanca and the toxic Laguna Verde, which, to our utter disappointment, was not green at all. Heading back to Uyuni took us several hours, however the trip, with its ubiquitous llama pastures, traditional villages, and valley of rocks could have not been more beautiful.
Who deserve a big thank you: our tour buddies, Lorenzo and Edoardo, for the instant connection, the chats, the jokes and the ongoing laughters, Henrique, aka Pinto de Oro, for spicing everything up, Jeanne, for the awkwardness and Agostine, the tour guide, for putting up with such a loud and crazy group.
Olympus OM-1, Agfa Scala 200 (35, expired)
Olympus OM-10, Lomochrome Turquoise 100-400 (35)
Canon EOS 300, Kodak Portra 160 (35)
7-8/01/2017, Uyuni (Bolivia)