Day 3-celebrating my birthday at the top of Bolivia
This morning we got to ‘sleep late’. Probably my best birthday present. We were only up at 6 am and left by 7. Today was a special day because it was my 39th (yikes!) birthday! Also, due to my position in the southern hemisphere, it was the first time I celebrated the summer solstice (June 21) on the winter solstice! I was already excited for the festive day.
We started off at the Valle de Rocas (valley of the rocks) which are these immense red rocks gorgeously sculpted by nature. A great start to the day was had by climbing up and walking around these unique formations:
Around this lake you will find many different types of rock sculptures with what looks like moss growing on top of the rocks. Bright green in color and hard as a rock, you can’t believe that it is actually a tree, so strong you can even stand on top of it.
Then it was off to Laguna Hedionda where we got up close with the residential flamingos. Flamingos love feeding in these high-altitude lakes. We were lucky because these guys let us get really close without even a second glance:
After lunch we made a brief stop in a large mining town (the biggest in Bolivia actually) San Cristobal. Workers at the mine work 12 hour shifts for three months straight (no weekends off) and then get two weeks of leave. Not the easiest life. Here you could buy postcards or other touristy-type things. Not very impressive.
We continued on until to a tiny town where we reached one of the famous salt hotels. These are hotels that are constructed purely of salt where tourists can spend the night. Everything was made of salt including the beds, the chairs-even the ground was chunks of rock salt. Everyone sang happy birthday to me in their native language. I think I counted 7 different languages. A very memorable birthday and day indeed.