November 6th, 2006
Laguna Colorada, Bolivia
Today we did some sightseeing, while waiting for the arrival of some equipment that the dive team will need on Licancabur. Our first stop was the Dali Desert, a sandy expanse with bizarre rock formations jutting out in places. When viewed from a distance, they look like a landscape Salvador Dali might have painted. Next we spent some time at Sol de Mañana, a colorful hydrothermal region of geysers and boiling mudpots. Our final stop was Laguna Colorada, a large lake that shimmers brilliant red in the mid-day sun, and that is home to some 40,000 flamingos. The lake's color is due to tiny copepods, tiny shrimp-like organisms that live there. The flamingos get their pink coloration from eating the copepods. Copepods also live in the summit lake on Licancabur, and collecting samples of them is one of the main goals of this year's diving activity.
Laguna Colorada, a large red-colored lake that is home to thousands of flamingoes.
Left: A view of the Dali Desert, with a spring-fed marsh in the foreground. Right: Some of the 40,000 flamingos that make their homes at Laguna Colorada.
Left: As we left the Dali Desert, we got a rare close-up view of some vicuñas. Right: Nathalie conducted a symphony of steam on the lip of a geyser at Sol de Mañana.
Left: Clay and Sandy took a steam bath. Right: One of the boiling mudpots constantly threw up stick gray goo that splattered on a nearby mound of dried mud, creating some of the newest land on Earth.
Left: On the shore of Laguna Colorada, we got up close and personal with some llamas. Right: While some of us were checking out the llamas, Edmond checked out the nap potential of this mound of paja brava, a dry desert grass that is common in the altiplano.
Left: Henry at a panoramic viewpoint above Laguna Colorada. Photo by Matthieu Galvez. Right: At our lunch stop, Rob demonstrated the proper use of a Leatherman for eating tuna straight from the can.
Left: This bubbling mudpot, unlike the others, was bright orange in color. Nathalie used an empty Sprite bottle and some rope to fish for a sample. Right: Just another pretty picture of Sol de Mañana's geysers and mudpots.
At the Dali Desert, Victor did a little bit of rock-climbing.