Sunday, 31.1.2010: amazing colours and road…

31 Jan
That night was quite hard…. In the evening before I was glad to get a little bit out of the “hostal” to the fresh air: it reduces my headache, I guess due to the altitude as I never experienced that before. But I was lucky as it was nothing in comparison to what people feel when they have migrane.
As I could not sleep in due to the illness, I finally did get up to take one of those Diamox Birgit and Manfred gave me. I was looking for the said side effect (heard and digestion should be activate and work faster)… But they did not appears: I guess that I finally slept in after 2 hours.
When I woke up, the headache was still there. Standing up was a bit better: the blood reduced the pressure when going back to my feed.
After breakfast, we then drove to the Laguna Colorada (4280m), which is on the list of one of the new World Wounder (the old one are Giseh’s Pyramides, the Suspended Gardens etc). The weather was partially cloudy, which was nice well. The red color of the Laguna – due to the micro organism / plancton leving into it – was interchaning with the clouds and blue sky. I think I can speak for all of us: we could have remain there for hours, so beautifull it was!
One of the speciallity of that lagune is its fauna: the flamingos are as well red (rosa) colored, which gives an additional touch to the scenery.
The journey had to go on… We were moving towards the stone tree: the rest of one of expulsed rocks that have been then formed by wind and sand over the years. One of those rocks looks like a tree….of stone. Others feel the time passing: when humidity is entering into them and freeze over night, cracks can occur…like if Luke Skywalker would have use his laser sword 😉
The next stations were the altiplano lagunes: Ramaditas, Honda (wave, not sponsored by a car company…), Chiar Khota, Medionda and Cañapa. We had lunch – as always prepared by Richard – at one of the picnic places surround the refugio and restaurant.
After lunch we headed towards the look out place of the Volcan Ollague (5865m), which was covered by snow. We were lucky that we just had a window of clouds, allowing to see its top.
From that place the ride continued down in direction of the salt hotel, near the salar de Uyuni.
As we are in the rain season, the “roads” were in a very bad condition. I was sitting with Joaco in the third raw of the car. We were really shaked around and my back was hurting.
Finally we arrived at the salt hotel: from the outside a construction made of concrete (beton) bricks and in the inside out of salt, with salt bar, salt tables… We arrived just for tea time.
After a little walk in the pueblo we had supper with a nice Chilean red wine. Thanks to the lower altitude (avout 3700m) my headache was gone. I was still feeling the bumps of the bad road and was looking forward to sleep and get my missing hours back. I am not sure anymore if I will cycle on those roads…

Cheers, Georges