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  • Day7

    Lagunes and mountains without Machiel

    November 13, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 0 °C

    After a quite bad night with lots of mosquitos in which Machiel did not feel well, we had to start our only full day tour with only two of us. Pickup time was at 7am and in the coming 10 hours we saw 5 lagunas and some local animals.

    On the way to our first stop we passed some still smoking remains of a road blockage from the protests yesterday. Luckily that did not stop us to reach the chaxa lagune where we could see our first flamingos of this trip. It was nice to see how peacefully they were sticking their heads in the water to find food. It was also nice and a bit surprising to see once more how nature seems to be respected here. Paths were marked well and tour guides make sure everyone stays within them.

    After a very nice breakfast with fresh and not stone-dry (finally!) bread, we continued to rise in altitude. At around 4200m it was noticeably colder and we visited laguna Miscanti and Laguna Miniques. The first one was partially covered by ice (and not salt like we are used to by now) which reminded us a bit of Norway.

    Further up the road we visited Laguna Salar de Talar. We were only allowed to see it from two viewpoints since some idiot tried kyte surfing there in January. Surprisingly this was not appreciated by the flamingos and locals and direct access to the water has since been closed. Nonetheless the view was stunning in such a colorful landscape and was together with the flamingos the highlight of this tour.

    After seeing one more lagune close to the Argentinian border, it was time to turn around to get lunch in a small restaurant in Socaire. On the way we saw some wild vicunas, the non-domesticated ancestor of the lama. And in the town of Toconao we saw some young lamas on a farm.

    Back in town we went out for dinner with Machiel who had been in bed most of the day.
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    Lida Schönbeck

    Beautiful. Get well soon Machiel

    Suzanne Schönbeck

    Nice animal spotting! Sad you had to miss that Machiel, get well soon!