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Bolivia day 13 – Geysers, Hot Springs, and Laguna Verde

Posted by on June 30, 2011

Getting up in the morning at 4:30 AM was not hard to do, but it was the getting up in the cold that was the hard part. It was real cold. I was glad that it was not the wet season which would have made the icy conditions worse with snow and sleet. Despite the difficulties of fighting off the cold, everyone got up and running into the vehicles where the first stop was the geysers. There was a reason for going to the geysers early in the morning as it would have been very difficult to see the steam during the day. By coming early enough, everyone could see the steam coming out of the ground. And yes, they did smell like rotten eggs which were due to the sulfur since there was an active volcano nearby.

Geysers of the morning, Bolivia

Can you believe that I got up early in the freezing morning for this?

Geysers of the morning, smelly, Bolivia

Damn..... these geysers smell like rotten eggs. Don't get too close to get a whiff although I did make some jumps over some of the smaller ones.

Because it was real cold, we jumped out for some viewing and photo shots and then popped right back in the vehicle that so we could warm up and start feeling our hands and feet again. The vehicle’s heater helped but not as much as jumping in the hot spring. Despite it being cold at first with the wind blowing, some of us took off our clothes sans their bathing suits and jumped right in. I would have to say that the water felt great after freezing my butt off. I just sat there for a minute or two just embellishing the heat warming up my cold dead body. Once my blood got pumping especially in my fingers and toes, I started to move around in the hot springs amongst the other people. Some of the people in the group were smart enough to bring beers with them which I definitely got a sip of!

rising sun of the hot spring, Bolivia

The rising sun of the hot spring... the party just got started!

rising sun of the hot spring, beer drinking, Bolivia

These two were very smart to think ahead and buy some beers ahead of time to take with them to chill out in the hot spring.

Me at the hot spring, Bolivia

Yup, that's me at the hot spring... and I'm growing a beard!

Hot spring without people, Bolivia

After everyone's gone, that's what the hot spring looks like

After spending about 30-40 minutes, I got out, dried off, put back on my clothes, and ate breakfast. Once everyone else did the same, we proceeded back into the vehicles and headed off to a desert-like place. It was very dry and it felt like being on the moon or even the planet Mars. The guide said that NASA themselves would come out to this place to do training and simulations because of its dry conditions and high altitude. I guessed somewhat right on that outer space aspect.

Dry, deserts, and mountains, Bolivia like Mars

Looks like the landscape of Mars or a dry planet

Dry, deserts, and mountains, Bolivia like Mars, roads off-roading

Looks like a moon rover came through here

Dry, deserts, and mountains, Bolivia like Mars driving 4x4, jeep

It looked like a space land-rover of some kind, but it was really just a 4x4 driving around

And then we finally arrived to this greenish little lake which I correctly assumed it as Laguna Verde which was named after the water looking green due to some kind of an effect that the winds give off in the area. It was interesting being there looking at the water and all the stuff around it – mountains with snow, dry desert, plains, and tons of rocks as well.

Laguna Verde, Bolivia

Me and Laguna Verde

After going there, we went to make a stop at the bathroom and get more supplies and pick someone up. I figured I’d use the john, just in case, so I’m not stuck out there in the desert breeze with my butt hanging out. After I paid several bolivianos (Bolivian currency) to get in (yes, you have to pay for bathroom services in South America!), I found out that after using it, you have scoop after yourself.

Bathroom in Bolivia

This particular bathroom and toilet (yes, no toilet seat!) doesn't have running water

bañista, cuarto de baño, el baño, Bolivian bathroom, Bolivia

Yes, you have to scoop after yourself! There was no running water as this place was in the middle of nowhere!

After getting all that was needed it was off to another section of Valle de Rocas and saw more interesting rock shapes and forms.

Green moss on rocks, Bolivia, musgo

Interestin' green moss on these rocks

Valle de rocas, desert, Bolivia, desierto

Another section of Valle de rocas

Looking at the cool rocks was neat but all of us were dreading the drive going back to Uyuni, which was long and tiresome – it was basically several hours hauling back to where we originally started. Still, it was worth the ordeal to undertake this great adventure.

Llamas by the road, Bolivia

This was quite a common scene of seeing these llama flocks around the area; it was like seeing deer herds in North America