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Published: November 21st 2018
Up earlier than we needed to be this morning so it was very relaxed. Met a nice Swiss couple, Helen and Henry, who do a lot of traveling. They have spent quite a lot of time in Australia as well. We left the hotel on schedule at 09:00 and drove back into Lauca NP and stopped at a trail that ran along a series of caves and this was like the vizcacha hotel as we saw a lot of them, mainly sleeping on the rock ledges. The trail was a circuit and crossed the highway and on the other side we saw many different bird species.
Left there at 10:20 and as usual stopped a couple of times for photo opportunities before stopping at the main site for today, Lake Chungara. Throughout the morning we had views of Parinacota Volcano and it’s “brother”, Pomerape but Lake Chungara had the best view of Parinacota, but not his brother who was behind. However it had terrific views of other mountains and Quisiquisini volcano. All these volcanoes are on the Chile-Bolivia border. Unfortunately for the first time I had forgotten to bring my spare battery, with the current one very low but luckily
it lasted long enough to get the main photos I wanted to capture. Nevertheless, the walk along the lakeside was breath-taking. First there was a herd of llamas of different colours grazing by the lake-side and completely unafraid of us and it was just beautiful admiring the view and watching the birds. We could have stayed for ages just walking slowly and looking around.
We finally left at 12:45 and drove to the once main town of the area, Parinacota, but now almost a ghost town and only occupied by a few people who work for government departments looking after the park. All the former residents have now moved to Arica on the coast. One strange story about the church here is the table inside apparently moves during the night and it has now been chained in place to prevent it from moving. Maybe it’s the regular earth tremors.
After that it was lunch time and we drove to the only restaurant in the park, but Alvaro didn’t like the look of the menu and decided we would drive back to Putre instead for lunch. There was only one more thing on the agenda which was to visit
another hot spring bath, a commercial one this time, not a natural one, but it was only 10kms from town, so we could still drive back to it if we wished after lunch, but after we discussed it, daisy decided she was happy that we had the experience in the natural one , so we didn’t bother with it.
Lunch in town was good, and we just walked back to our hotel to relax, write blog, look at the day’s photos and re-pack for our flights tomorrow from Tacna to Lima and them Lima to Quito, Ecuador for the final leg of this epic journey. Dinner is at the same restaurant we had lunch at 20:00.
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