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south Lipez
Written by sophie et jeremy   
Sunday, 15 April 2018

Located in the south west of Uyuni salar, this area of the altiplano is famous for its landscapes, most of them gathered in the Eduardo Avaroe reserve. One can find here laguna of different colors, pink flamingos, volcanoes, geysers and hot springs, salars, vicunas and lamas...

After a last croissant in the excellent french bakery in San Pedro, we meet our Swiss friends Tisi and Danielle, who we met in Argentina few months ago, and head together to Bolivia. Soon after the border post, easily crossed, we can see tens of 4WD of the numerous tour operators packed with tourists going to visit the reserve on the way to Uyuni; fortunately they tend to move all on the same route at the same pace, we will just have not to be at the same place at the same moment...

We start by a lunch break next to the lagunas verde and blanca, overlooked by the snow-capped cone of the volcano Licancabur. We can see there wild vicunas coming to drink and a fox roaming around.

laguna blanca lunch break laguna blanca lunch break zorro zorro

laguna blanca 2 laguna blanca 2

Later we cross Dali’s desert, a bunch of rocks scattered on a large sand dune and the Manana geysers. Once again, they are not proper water jets but more boiling pots (water and mud). That said, the place is gorgeous with gradations of yellow, red and brown. And you can walk freely in the middle of it, as long as you don t step into a boiling pot!

dali dali manana 1 manana 1

manana 2 manana 2 manana 3 manana 3

We spend the night in a canyon, which shelters us a bit from the wind. Because we knew the night will be cold up there, but we didn’t know about the regular strong wind! Everything we manage to cook gets instantaneously cold. On a nicer side, the canyon is inhabited by Chinchillas, who jump from rocks to rocks (while we are seriously slowed down by the lack of oxygen).

canyon canyon

The next day early morning, we visit the laguna Colorada and its thousands of flamingos. Our ways split here as we continue west and our friends are going to Uyuni.

laguna colorada 1 laguna colorada 1 laguna colorada 2 laguna colorada 2

laguna colorada 3 laguna colorada 3 laguna colorada 4 laguna colorada 4

We drive along some other lagunas of various colors, passed some volcanoes and across Siloli desert before reaching the border at Ollague.

arbre de pierre arbre de pierre

Back in Chile, we cross the tiny village of Ollague where everything is closed, and we go and lost ourselves in the mountains, near old mines. We enjoy a last salar at Huasco and a last freezing night before going down to the pacific coast.

 

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