After a very good night sleep on our Salt Beds at the Hotel de Sal, the next day, we set off early again to go and see more marvels of nature in the Salar de Uyuni. The plan for today was to visit the Inca Mummies, the Laguna Honda, the Laguna Colorada and climb up to above 5000 feet to our next hotel de Sal to spend the night.
We started the day with the visit of the Inca mummies – The mummies of Coquesa. The mummies have been preserved in ritual caves and were found by the villagers. These mummies are over 1200 years old and are still in the fetal position that they were mumified in. Local villagers still pay respect to the mummies and give them coca leaves, drinks and fruits. Not really sure about the symbolism of it, maybe the mummies are their ancestors.
Then, we headed to Laguna Honda and it was such a spectacular sight to see the still lake and the reflection of the snow capped volcano in it.. picture perfect. We also spotted some wild pink flamingos in that lake. It’s their natural habitat and while a few were pink, others were white. I did not know that pink is the color they take if they eat pink things. Otherwise, they take the color of what they eat. We chilled out there for a while and head lunch and I was amazed that for lunch, our cook/driver had prepared Chicken Cordon Bleu ! Could not beleive we were having Chicken Cordon Bleu and Pasta in the middle of a salt desert.
After lunch, we started our ascent up and as we got higher and higher in altitude, it started to get colder and colder and we started losing the distinction of what was salt and what was snow, as we also started having a lot of snow along the road. Huge patches of white snow on the brown soil, but also in may places, there were huge patches of white salt. Very very difficult to know what was what. On the way, we stopped at some amazing rock formations – a rock climber’s paradise – to check out the sights and after that, we went the Laguna Colorada – another habitat for the pink flamingos and actually that lake is Red, Blue and White. It’s being voted as one the new 7 wonders of the world. We chilled out there (literrally) for a while and then headed to our hotel de sal where we’d sleep for that night. The hotel was above 5500 metres above sea level and I think that’s the highest place I’ve ever been in my life and going to sleep there. That altitude means, it gets very very cold at night. We had a nice dinner with the usual soup, typical bolivian main dish and desert and this time, they even gave us bottle of wine for free as it was our last night.
After dinner, we all were taking about how cold that night will be and that the next morning, we were supposed to be up at 3:45a.m.. to be able to sleep through the cold, some of us took pills of mellatonin to ease the sleep and some of us took allergy medicine.. as that’s also supposed to co-erse sleep. What a drug stricken group of people we were 🙂 Anyways, the night went along find and every single one of these extra layers helped !!