<< La Laguna del Altoplano (Part 1)

04/05/12 - La Laguna del Altoplano (Part 2)

We drove around the lagoon with its ice and mineral deposits as the day dawned. The birds were already out and active, sloshing around in the water or walking boldly on the thin ice. There was a lot to take in - the cold, the many birds, the mountains, the ice, the mineral deposits, and the coarse sand. It was cold, but there was no wind this early in the day. That made standing outside, oohing and aahing, fumbling with binoculars and taking countless photographs endurable.

On the drive down we could see more. There were the distant white forms of the ALMA telescope complex in the distance and a Japanese observatory perched atop a mountain with the snow tracks of the access road visible in the distance. There were numerous lakes and lagoons, most in Chile, but some in Bolivia. Our road went to Argentina, but we were also near the border with Bolivia. We stopped a few times to admire blue lakes, snow capped mountains, industrious horned coots, and green swamplands.

There were llamas beside the road, posing in front of the mountain scenery. There were even a few baby llamas getting ready for their first winters. We stopped for a bit, then resumed our descent. Breakfast beckoned. We were already exhausted, and our day had just begun.

James flamingos

Here you can see the mineral deposits as well as the ice.

At about 15,000 feet mineral deposits, ice and water all co-exist.

A view with reflections

More reflections

Those are mineral deposits, not ice in the foreground

At one of the lakes we passed on our way down, a horned coot was building its nest out of green algae.

A highland swamp, lush and green, by local standards

A glimpse of Bolivian lakes - We are near the border with both Bolivia and Argentina.

A baby llama with only its undercoat. Its fur is still growing in.

Visit Chile - This clever llama works for the Chilean Tourist Bureau.

Keywords: chile