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Uyuni - Day 2

Added: June 17, 2010

Tags: Bolivia RTW SouthAmerica animals lagoon mountains photos volcano
We had fantastic experiences yesterday, at Salar de Uyuni. It will be even better today, on 6th of February 2010. We continue with our Uyuni trip. While yesterday we have seen a lot of white and blue, today we are going through landscapes providing every possible colour. And some impossible :-)

This day was the one I took the most photos and I had a huge problem to select only a few of them. It was nearly impossible task. I went through selected ones repeatedly and deleted a few, but there are still many of them. So bear with me, please.

I've decided against showing photos in order we have visited places they were taken at, but to reorder them to create 2 groups: rocks/mountains and water/animals.

Wildlife at lagoons

Rocks and mountains really rock in this area, but lagoons are real jewels of this region. They are simply amazing. Some of them are nearly ordinary lakes, but others are unbelievably colourful. Together with colourful mountains above them, hundreds of flamingos and tens of vicuñas they provide fantastic views.

We have visited 4 wonderful lagunas and passed along several smaller ones. We simply could not stop everywhere. Even I realized that in the end.

Laguna Cañapa

Our first stop at lagoon today. Laguna Cañapa is breathtaking. It is nicely decorated with flamingos and "spiced" with vicuñas. Mountains reflecting their snowy peaks in its water provide out-of-Earth impressions.

All vicuñas were rather shy here. I could not get close enough so I decided to ignore them. Flamingos were closer. But waterfront of lake was swampy and I did not want to risk sinking into the mud while concentrating on composition. Fortunately 200mm zoom was fine for flamingos.

Laguna Cañapa in Bolivia

Laguna Cañapa in Bolivia

Flamingos at Laguna Cañapa

Flamingos at Laguna Cañapa


Flamingos at Laguna Cañapa

Flamingo at Laguna Cañapa

Our driver was still patiently waiting for us in distance.

Laguna Hedionda

Our next stop was at Laguna Hedionda. We passed along the group of vicuñas and I decided I should try to take better photo than last time. But the car stopped quite far from them. The driver told us he will wait us at nearby hostel ahead and everybody went in that direction.

Only I headed back, towards vicuñas. I proceeded slowly, I am not sure how soon they noticed me, but they were not disturbed. I tried to take photos at 200mm repeatedly. They were not very good, but I was not sure how close they will allow me to get before they run away.

It turned out I got pretty close. And they waited there patiently until I decided I have enough and some of them are certainly satisfying. Only then they ran away. How nice of them.

Only problem was they were too close to each other. So many photos I took show a vicuña with 2 heads or 6-8 legs. That does not seem to be a coincidence. They probably covered with each other.

vicuñas at Laguna Hedionda

vicuñas at Laguna Hedionda

vicuña at Laguna Hedionda

Snapshot of vicuña family moment.
vicuñas at Laguna Hedionda

Then I returned to others. This time I hurried, because they were quite far. I managed to take bunch of other photos, this time with flamingos.

Laguna Hedionda in Bolivia

Laguna Hedionda in Bolivia

Flamingos at Laguna Hedionda

Flamingos at Laguna Hedionda

Hostel at Laguna Hedionda. This place has the most expensive toilet in Bolivia we have seen. Whole 5 BOB! And you need to find somebody who will unlock it for you.

Laguna Honda

We skipped some small lagoons, I think people are not interested in all of them, because they are not as nice as those we stopped at.

Laguna Honda was one of those smaller ones, but still pretty nice. It certainly provided different views that those we have seen till now. It was more earthy, less colourful. But you would get bored if I showed only fully saturated photos :-)





Laguna Colorada

Our final stop today was at Laguna Colorada. It is national park and you need to pay entrance fee. You also need to keep a ticket, because it will be checked next day when you leave it.

We stopped near the lagoon twice. The first time was at its shore and then we continued to nearby hill to get really nice panoramic view.

This laguna has unbelievable red colour at some places and also thick layer of condensed salt looking like a small iceberg. So for those thinking they have seen it all it can provide another unique views.

Laguna Colorada

vicuñas at Laguna Colorada

Flamingos at Laguna Colorada





The view from that hill was amazing. We could see colourful stripes and ovals, it looked like atmosphere of Jupiter or Saturn. White areas are salt (or other minerals), reddish is probably algae. I have made several panoramas, but the static photos on the blog is not the best way to show them. They were too wide and narrow.

Laguna Colorada

detail of Laguna Colorada

Panorama of amazing structures.


Laguna Colorada again

After we finished admiring the place we went to nearby hostel. It was about 4 or 5km from lagoon. We got there at 4pm and the dinner was at 7pm. So we wanted to look around. The driver told us not to go to lagoon. It is too far and it is very cold (and windy).

But when we got out Zuzka said she wants to go back to lagoon. I protested, driver told us to avoid lagoon. But she was not satisfied. "He meant the other people. We can dress accordingly and we are able to walk for long time". She was resolved to go alone, so I decided it was be better to go with her.

It was really far. The perspective at this huge plain worked against us, because it did not seem to be so far. It was cold and windy. We were walking in general direction of lagoon visible in distance as narrow shimmering stripe of white. After about 30mins a runner over took us. He was able to run at this altitude (about 4278m)!

At the time we started to think of turning around we spotted the runner again. He was returning from lagoon! We asked haw far it is and he said is is not so far. Only 800m up to 1km. And it is really worth going there. We needed another 20 minutes. Whole walk to shore took us 1:20.

We made several photos there and headed back. After 25min we met another idiots going to lagoon. We exchanged information about distances and continued. It was harder to go against wind. Thick clouds were covering west and I was not sure we are going to return dry.

Whole trip took us 3hours 10 minutes and we returned just for dinner. Driver was not happy with our trip, though.

Hostel we slept at Laguna Colorada. It is quite big, there were 2 rooms with about 7 beds in our building and there were more buildings. I guess every group sleeps here.

It does not seem to be very far. Wrong!

While walking around you will meet only vicuñas.

And runners.





Salt at laguna Colorada.

After having dinner and bottle of wine we went to beds, because we are getting up very early tomorrow to spend our last day at Uyuni trip.

We were told to make sure we are warm, because it can be very cold during night. I put many layers on, but I started to remove them shortly after. It simply was not so cold, if at all.

But all other predictions about this place or this day turned out to be correct. We really liked what we have seen at this amazing place!