The Diary

South Western Circuit Day 2

The next day of the circuit, the sun was out and the wind had died down quite considerably. We were even hot as we entered the Desierto Siloli with its stunning multicoloured landscape. This area was really remote and we barely saw any vehicles.


After a short while, about 18km north of Laguna Colorada, we found the Piedra de Arbol just off the main track. It is igneous rock eroded by the wind into the shape of a tree and stands alongside a whole cluster of other interestingly shaped rocks.


Soon after we crossed the park boundary of the Reserva Eduardo Avaroa and it wasn't long before we reached Laguna Colorada. The lake derives its name from the effects of the algae and plankton which give it its rich red colour. Again, it is home to flamingoes, although as we got out of the car to take some shots, you could barely keep the camera steady as the wind picked up dramatically and the temperature began to drop. We were now at 4300m in altitude and it looked like we were in for another cold and windy night.

The road leaving the lake had us climbing steeper still and we didn't like the look of the big black clouds in the direction in which we were headed. As we reached over 4800m in altitude, Sol de Mañana appeared, a geyser basin and developing geothermal project. We drove very tentatively across its surface and decided there was nowhere sheltered enough to camp for the night so we moved on hunting out that elusive wind breaker.

Driving through the barren landscape of the Pampa de Chalviri we passed what must have been the Dali Valley, rocks positioned in such a way as to make you think they had been deliberately and painstakingly placed there by the master himself.

Ed's eagle eye soon spotted a ditch off the track which was to be the weasel's home for the night, reasonably sheltered from the wind.

The next morning we completed the circuit at Laguna Verde and headed across the border into Chile.


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