Bolivia
Laguna Hedionda

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    • Day 84

      Uyuni 🇧🇴

      February 21 in Bolivia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      Uyuni ist bekannt für seine salzwüste, die sich über 12.000 Quadratkilometer erstreckt. Die salzwüste wächst jedes Jahr und bis heute was man nicht genau, wie sie entstanden ist. Das Salz aus Uyuni wird nach ausführlicher Aufbereitung nach ganz Südamerika importiert. Neben dem hohen Salzgehalt ist Uyuni auch noch für ganz besonders witzige Bilder bekannt, da in der Weite gut mit dem Winkel gespielt werden kann. Seht selbst, für den Großteil der Bilder schäme ich mich. Wir haben außerdem mit emma und Oskar den Lokomotiven Bahnhof besucht und uns die Umgebung von Uyuni angeschaut. Dabei haben wir unzählige Lamas, pecunias, Flamingos und eine Mischung aus Hasen und Eichhörnchen gesehen. Eine Nacht haben wir sogar in einer Lagune übernachtet!Read more

    • Day 50–51

      Lagunas Day 1: Laguna Hedionda

      November 6, 2023 in Bolivia ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      **Here come the updates from the Lagunas route! Due to limited internet availability they'll be staggered over the next few days.**

      Today marked the start of the Lagunas route endeavour. We started by doing the first two days of it in one.

      We left our Hostal at 8.30am knowing we had 40km of non stop uphill ahead. The state road leaving Alota towards the Chilean border soon turned to gravel and sand, making cycling very slow.
      But we managed to do some sections on road parts that were still under construction and got to the turn off on to the Lagunas tracks at around 12pm, after 28 km of bumpy riding.

      From there it took us another 2h on unpaved roads to reach our initially intended camp spot at the Laguna Chulluncani 40km from Alota.

      Since thunderstorms were predicted on our route starting tomorrow, we decided to carry on 20km more to Laguna Hedionda, the goal destination of day two, hoping to get ahead of the storms.

      While I really enjoyed the gravel and off road ride in this untouched nature on my 50 mm tyres, poor Matt suffered visibly with his more road appropriate 38 mm version.

      Nevertheless, the sceenery was stunning, passing through deserted valleys and between vulcano peaks.

      The highlight of the day were the hundreds (or thousands?) of flamingos at Laguna Hedionda!
      This lagune is also were we stayed for the night, in a designated cyclists room of the adjacent Hotel, shared with the drivers of the 4x4 tour vehicles, right next to the Laguna and out of the wind.

      🚴‍♀️Distance cycled: 61 km
      🛣 KM on paved roads: 5 km
      🏁 Time to destination: 6.5 h (moving time)
      ⛰️ Highest point on route: 4528 m
      🦩Flamingos spotted: 1000+
      🚲 Weight of bike: 1 ton, minimum.
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    • Day 229

      Salar de Uyuni tour - part II

      October 17, 2023 in Bolivia ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

      Our route on the second day of the tour took us from the rear of Salar de Uyuni through the Eduardo Avaroa Park and into the Siloli Desert. We had a toral of 6 stops along the way, so a loooot of relaxing driving! 😴
      The first stop was after passing through another, smaller Salt flat named Salar Chiguana, where we visited the railway tracks that lead through the whole outback and into Chile - it is still in use today for transport of salt. The second stop lead us to the Ollague volcano viewpoint to see - you guessed it - the Ollague volcano 😉, which is dormant but has a small opening on top that still releases smoke. Also, the viewpoint is surrounded by big orange and wave-like stone structures that are actually cold lava - really cool! But almost the best thing about this second stop was the little ski-hut (you cannot describe it any better) blasting hits from the 80‘s and 90‘s and serving the most delicious lama sausage sandwiches 🤤
      With fresh strength we continued our journey to see the altiplanic lagoons in the Eduardo Avaroa Park and stopped first for a wild ostrich (😍) and afterwards at the lagunas Cañapa and Hedionda (which means the stinky lagoon - fitting name, let me tell you!), where we had lunch and a rest. Both lagunas were super georgeous and PACKED with flamingos 🦩😍
      On the way to our next stop, the white laguna (or so I believe to remeber its name - the description would fit though 🤷🏻‍♀️), we encountered our next highlight: An supposed-to-be-wild-but-obviously-regurarily-fed-by-stupid-tourists (😒) andean fox! A gorgeous thing 😍
      Further into the Siloli desert we stopped at the ‚stone tree‘ - nice but no highlight - and a Vizcocha-observing spot/obviously feeding place (an andean rodent which belongs to the Chinchilla family and looks like a weird mixture of rabbit and squirrel) where we were a tad disgusted by the tameness (and fatness) of the Vizcochas… But the lava stones, which are the actual attraction at this stop, and the green of the desert moss patches were still lovely to see! The last highlight of the day was the Laguna Colorado, which is a gorgeous red-blue-white lagoon again packed with flamingos. Supergorgeous!! After this last lovely stop we managed to get to our habitation for the night rather early and even got a decent dinner AND some beers, pingpong and pool table action in a „bar“ nearby, enjoying the company of our group ❤️ After a short stargazing excursion in the freezing cold of the desert (hence short 🥶) we all headed to bed early for an early start the next morning.
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    • Day 7

      Laguna Hedionda

      May 26, 2022 in Bolivia ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

      An der nächsten Lagune machen wir Mittagspause. Der Platz ist offenbar auf größere Touristenmassen eingestellt, aber aktuell ist es noch relativ leer. Auch hier können wir die zahlreichen Flamingos beobachten und genießen das Essen.Read more

    • Day 22

      Volcanoes and lagoons!

      October 7, 2016 in Bolivia

      Day two of our Perla de Bolivia tour.

      Today we woke up at Ajencha feeling cosy and warm, under our many layers of blankets, and in the relatively warm room when you consider the outside temperature. We headed for breakfast at 6:30, so not too early, and enjoyed some strange but quite nice warm, puffed up, fried bread type pastries with dulche de leche or dark honey. Once again, quite impressed with this place.

      We headed to the jeep and set off to the first location of the day. We were driving through not quite dry salt today and it was like a weird mix between snow and sand, pretty cool to drive on and the sunrise was awesome too, a lovely orange sky provided a backdrop to the mountains and volcanoes around us.

      The first stop was a huge and flat desert of what was once a massive coral reef. The rocks were razor sharp, evidence of their origin as coral, and the place is nicknamed 'Valley of Soldiers' by locals because of the way the rocks all stand leaning the same way, like soldiers standing for duty. I imagine this is a result of the once present ocean currents, shaping the now skeletal reef. It's so incredible to think this place, now 4000m above sea level, was once part of the sea bed! We were commenting on how peaceful a place this was too, silence except for us, no birds, no traffic, no planes up ahead. It is also cold...very, very cold!Knowing the history too made it quite serene when you stopped to just take it in and you could just imagine the rocks long ago, full of colour with fishes swimming around them.

      After a quick 'Inca Toilet' mission, trying not to get corsl scratches on your bum, we headed back to the jeep and moved on to the next stop. This time we got to over 4700m, to see the active Ollague Volcano that towered over the landscape. From the viewpoint, which includes lava formations and some very weird round, green plants, that look a bit like coral, you can see the steam and gases rising from the volcano into the sky. An awesome sight, especially as I have never seen an active volcano with smoke plumes before. Once again the beauty of the place is astounding.

      From here we drove through more desert and rocky landscape, through the trail of the three lagoons - Cañapa, Hedionda and Chiarkhota. The scenery was, again, amazing and on route to the first lagoon there was real evidence of the once powerful volcanoes and their eruptions. Large rocks littered the area around the surrounding volcanoes, the slopes of which appeared sheered and peeled, from the power of the explosions that tore them apart. Further out from this were smaller rocks, red in colour instead of the grey and sandy colour of the others, and these looked much more like solidified molten lava. They were folded, as though cooled whilst moving and had a very different texture. Pretty spectacular and also a reminder of just how powerful this planet is. Oh, and not to forget that we also passsed wild lamas, vicunia and even an ostrich on the way! Andean ostriches...who knew!

      At the first lagoon we were right on the edge of the water and the ground was a strange mix of the salt and ice and sand. You would sink in places that looked solid, not too deep, but it was weird in texture...a bit like ash. The contrast of the water, against the volcanoes behind the lagoon was stark. The colours of the lakes and surrounding land were quite something too...whites, reds, sandy yellows and greens. Oh, and to top it all off, there were flamingos!!!! So close too and feeding in the water. Bolivia stuns us again.

      At the second lagoon, we stopped and climbed atop a large rock for a view of the whole lagoon. It is tiring work getting up these normally not so steep ledges, but it was worth it. What a view. A glorious lagoon in the middle of desert landscape and once again...flamingos! So strange seeing them in this landscape when you normally imagine them in the tropics.

      We headed next to a place called the Desert of Siloli, where there is 'the tree of rock' amongst other cool rock formations that project out of the sand dunes. In all honesty, it was more the landscape around the rocks that made this for me. The formations were pretty awesome, but Brimham Rocks in England has a more impressive selection I think. As I said though, awesome landscape and a bit surreal in the sense that these rocks do seem to have just appeared there, dotted about so randomly. They were also fun for a bit of climbing.

      Here we thought we would make use of some 'proper' toilets too...wow. Did not realise that a toilet could smell quite so bad. Opened the door and immediately walked away. Absolutely no way. Inca style (outdoor) would be luxury in comparison.

      We jumped back in the jeep instead, which provided nice shelter from the crazy wind that was blasting our faces. So glad to have a buff scarf!

      Next stop was the the third lagoon on this trail, where we also stopped for lunch. There were two volcanoes either side of the lagoon, which was really long. The perspective though is so hard to jusdge here. You look and think you could probanly run over to the volcanos edge, and then you see a Jeep on the other side of the lagoon that looks the size of an ant, and realise it would probably take a day. So crazy! Lunch was some delicious chicken with veg and pasta, which went down a treat. Another great spot for a picnic! Don't think future picnics will ever quite live up to these ones, but we can try!

      Next up was the national reserve and the Laguna Colorada (Red Lagoon). We got our tickets and stamped our passports (oh, and I had my first experience of a self pour toilet flush...yay! Seriously excited for a normal flush and to put toilet paper down the loo again...it's the little things) and then carried on to the lagoon.

      This was so impressive. A huge red lagoon, once again with a backdrop of volcanoes. Driving towards it you couldn't help but stare out of the window, and then we parked up to walk alongside the lagoon. There were so many flamingos here and they were very pink from the red algae, part of the reason for the lagoons colour.

      The ground beside the lagoon was a mix of wet salt and some plant life. Not sure we were supposed to walk on it but our guide took us this way. We noticed other people staying off it later and so me and Rob decided to move off it just in case, we dont want to ruin the local wildlife! It was really amazing though to be so close to the flamingos and to see such an interesting looking lagoon with so much colour. There were the small white, borax salt 'islands', streaking through the lagoon, the greens of the plants, the reds of the algae ridden water, the yellows of the mountains and then the blue of the sky. So beautiful. There were lamas too, with bright fabrics tied round their ears, drinking by the waters edge. So many people wanting that lama selfie, but the lamas were not so keen!

      We stayed here a little while, it was really cold and the walk back up to the car was uphill and tiring, but we got yet another awesome view from this new vantage point. Richard also stubbled across a lama carcass...nice.

      This was the last stop of the day before heading to our accommodation, which was just up the road. We were told it would be basic and boy were they right.
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    • Day 19

      Salar de Uyuni - Lagunen...

      July 13, 2017 in Bolivia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      ... und Flamingos, jede Menge Flamingos. Und dank dem größeren Objektiv haben wir sogar ein paar schöne Bilder machen können, aber der Reihe nach:

      Nach mehreren Stunden Fahrt durch die steinige Wüste waren wir gegen Mittag an der ersten Lagune Cañapa. Während unsere Fahrer damit beschäftigt waren, die Autos so zu parken, dass wir halbwegs windgeschützt Essen können, hatten wir etwas Zeit uns die Lagune anzusehen und die erste Gruppe von Flamingos zu beobachten. Leider gab es aber auch einen Schwarm Möwen, der es auf das Essen abgesehen hatte und mit dem Lärm auch die Flamingos verscheucht hat.
      Keine 30 Minuten Fahrzeit später waren wir dann an der Laguna Hedionda oder auch 'stinky lagoon'. Durch den vulkanischen Ursprung haben alle Lagunen in diesem Bereich einen sehr hohen Schwefelgehalt, wobei wir der Meinung sind, dass der Geruch an der Laguna Cañapa wesentlich auffälliger war. Statt der paar Flamingos zuvor, konnten wir hier hunderte Flamingos beobachten und lernten durch unseren Guide, dass die Lagunen die bevorzugten Lebensräume für drei Flamingoarten (Chilenische, Anden und James' Flamingos) sind. Offenbar hat dies mit dem hohen Salzgehalt und den niedrigen Wasserständen in den Lagunen zu tun, die den Flamingos die Nahrungssuche stark vereinfachen.
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    • Day 95

      Flamingooos @Laguna Hedionda

      December 6, 2023 in Bolivia ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      Ich könnte heulen 🥹🥹
      Frieden und Freiheit schlecht hin an dem wundervollen Ort, wo die Flamingos "grasen", da Wind um die Ohren pfeift und die süße Sonne en Scheitel verbrennt. 🫶

    • Day 63

      Reserva Nacional Eduardo Avaroa

      May 7, 2019 in Bolivia ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      Nachdem in einer kleinen Herberge aus Salzstein übernachtet wurde ging es früh am nächsten Tag weiter, erst ein kurzer Stopp am letzten Kiosk vor Chile, dann an Llamas 🦙 vorbei durch Felsformationen hin zum Arbol de Piedra. 🌳+🪨Read more

    • Day 26

      Salar de Uyuni

      December 5, 2018 in Bolivia ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

      Planned to do the trip with Darja and Cyrill - they needed to cancel the tour at 5am as their stomach decided to not completely digest the healthy clean Bolivian food 🥘 🤢
      So we spontaneously meet Caro and Marc (also from 🇨🇭) in Uyuni in the Salty Desert tour office and decide to do the 3 day journey through the mysterious Salt Flats together, with no shower, and spare water access.... Amazing landscapes were crossing our path... one of our favorite tour in life! 😍 and celebrated my 29th birthday in the flats 🥴😂🥳Read more

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    Laguna Hedionda

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