I tried to fix my stomach the night before, but I woke up in horrible pain. It felt like someone was stabbing me in the guts and twisting the knife. I skipped breakfast, packed up my things, and loaded them onto the vehicle. I couldn’t do anything but try to sleep through the pain.
As we drove through Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina Eduardo Abaroa, the scenery was beautiful but I couldn’t enjoy it. Every bump along the way was another stab in the gut – and it was bumpy!
We made a few stops during the day. The first was Laguna Cañapa. I jumped out of the vehicle, took a couple quick photos, and climbed back into my seat.
The second was Laguna Hedionda, a breeding ground for James’s flamingos. Hedionda means “stinking” in Spanish. It stunk. This was also our lunch stop for the day. I sat outside with the other sick passengers, drank Gatorade and 7-Up, and used the facilities one or three times.
Next, it was Árbol de Piedra, a rock formation in the shape of a tree. We were able to spot a culpeo (Andean fox) before reaching the “tree”.
Finally, we came to Laguna Colorada, a lake that is always red from algae. It wasn’t as red as the pictures.
We drove to a hostel nearby Laguna Colorada and checked in. I was starting to feel better by dinner time and ate my first full meal since lunch the day before. We had lights out at 9pm for a 5am wake-up. This night I froze. I had to put on an extra layer and cover my head and face. It was unbearable for the first hour, but luckily I was able to get an extra blanket. Once my body heat warmed up the blanket, I slept very well.