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Published: December 7th 2016
Arrived here yesterday and after the wilderness of the Andes it was a pleasant surprise . It really is a backpackers haven and I feel right at home . The adventure in the wilderness was great . We travelled in a Nissan Patrol , 5 passengers and a driver through slat flats , lava beds , lagoons , water sheds of various sorts . There was no snow in sight but given the altitude the air was cool while the sun was extremely hot . At the highest point we were at 5000M ...and I coped well . Not a lot of anything that high except wild vicuna and Flamingos !!. Three different kinds of flamingos nest near the lagoons and eat minerals as well as the algae that is present . At Lagoona Colorado we were surprised to see RED water . They are not to sure what causes it but it is related to to the sun´s effect on the algae and the plancton. Between 11 and 3 pm it gets redder and redder but then the colour seems to fade and disappear. Interesting . We also saw a lot of volcanos , most inactive but one is constantly letting off steam although it has not spewed lava
in years. The salt flats themselves are immense . 163 km long and wider than the eye can see . Nature did not cooperate with us and rain so we didn´t see the mirror like surface in it,s glory but it was impressive.
We are here for 2 nights . Last night I went on a star tour at midnight and was impressed . With a lazer Les ( who happens to be from Hamilton) pointed out a multitude of constellations . There were also 8 different telescopes , some we had to climb stairs to reach the eye glass , set to see a variety of stars+ . I hadn´t realized the Seven Sisters , Saturn serves as the logo for the car company. Today we are off to see the Moon Valley in the desert and tomorrow we fly to Santiago where the tour ends . It has been good and amazing how quickly the time has passed .
I think of my dad who would be 110 today . I think he would have been intrigued by all I have seen and enjoyed the music that one hears in Latin America.
Hope all is well .Let me know how you are faring now that winter has arrived.
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