Sunday, April 10, 2005

Lauca National Park II and crossing back to Bolivia

Parinacota peak reflects on lago Chungara in Lauca park


Lauca national park is a dream park for those who seek to watch wildlife from a meter away (and i shit you not..i took a shot ofstefan standing only one meter from a cute rabbit (which i can´t remember it´s name now, but no matter..).In any case, in the national park is situated one of the highest Lakes in the world, 4500 m (!) with lots of Vicunas (llama´s wild stain), ducks and other water birds. Overlooking this lake (lago Chungara) is the twin-double peak Payachata twin volcanoes, Parincota and Pumerane. At that time of hour, the Parincota peak was reflected almost perfectly on the surface of the lake, a heavenly scene...We then crossed the border with Bolivia for a short period to witness the last mintues of a little feria (market) situated in between the Chilean and the bolivean border...back in Chilean teretory we went on to see the lovely Cotacotani laguns (which were abit grayish due to the heavy hail storm and grey clouds that were hanging over our heads at that time...)...We continued on to the little village Parinacota, which was in fact a plaza sorounded by tourist shops ans suveniers (and one 18th century old church)...the guide said that it was not allowed for women to climb and ring the four bells at the bell tower (only 5 meters high or so) and that it may bring bad luck to them... men, however, were allowed (how expected) i just went up the very claustrophobic stair was quite nice. We finished our tour at the hot baths near Putre - an hour there was a healing period...great clear hot waters although there were additional two outdoor baths, one reddish and the other greenish...the hottest was 42 degrees! entering them was like being a tomato in a tomato soup...:) The following morning me and stefan woke up at 6 am in order to climb the mountain near Putre (called Tota camario, peaking a 4200 m or so). This was actually my first trek/'ascent' (600 m high) so i was quite excited..We started by crossing a deep ravine that was located at the base of the mountain, and then started to hike toward the south face of the mountain (which was said to be easier for climbing...). However, soon the path was not that obvious and soon we started walking in the direction of the mountain, crossing through rich low growing cactuses which there spikes did hell to our legs...the climb was though for me (stefan progress was quite good), especially because i took an overloaded pack (why not take a marmalade for a nice breakfast at the peak!?) and wasn´t in shape...Our final approach, two hours later, was abit easier mainly due to the visible path...the scenery was worth everything, that i can tell you...Putre was at the foot of the mountain and i could even see hour guest house...A little lower than the peak, a cross is situated with concrete mirador and the flag of Chile waving above (of course). It was nice background for my breakfast (not the marmalade..)...after 40 min we started our descend, which took quarter time...we returned to Putre dirty but quite happy...our last day at Putre was tranquil, reading and writing mostly (and drinking Chilean wine..).This morning, me and stefan packed our things, said Adios to Putre and walked with all our stuff 4 km (!!) to the road junction where we were supposed to pick up the bus to La paz..our luck was on our side and after 1km of climbing the paved road, a Chilean MAAZ person stopped beside us and gave us a ride to the junction....The ride to La paz was lovely, crossing wide and wild scenic bolivian is unbelievable how much difference there is between Chile and Bolivia (the richer and the poorer in SA). coming from the south, La paz is an amazing and huge city..the road to La paz from the south is going a 400 m straight down ride, which enables a magnificent view of this city and we were both awed but the sight...We reached La paz at 1730 local time and our paths again parted...Stefan goes tomorrow to Copacabana (on the shore of lake titcaca) and im gonna learn Spanish here in Lovely La paz..

No comments: