We tried the first access route to the laguna (which is quite dry at this time of year, since it hasn’t rained much) where a woman told us that this was the only way to get to the laguna. It was dry, we saw a Rhea, had some mate with coca leaves in it, and went through a lot of mud puddles. The woman tried to sell us some strange looking figurines, but I just left her some pesos instead.
The second access route (the more official one we found out) is right next to the park rangers station. We didn’t find any park rangers there, but we did find some adorable kittens to play with for quite some time, while waiting to see if the rangers would show up. It’s weird, people don’t really like cats in this region, but when you do find cats they are muy cariñoso (very affectionate). The rangers are pretty well stocked by the way (we peaked in their windows) with merrell shoes, canon tripods, two nice new computers, etc… We finally left the kitties to see if we could find the road on our own and we did (it’s well marked) and we drove out to the laguna which was also dry on this side. However, with my trusty new binoculars I was able to spot flamingo flocks a couple km. out. So we packed up some stuff for the trek and headed out onto the dry laguna.
The long hike rewarded us with herds of llama, vicunas and eventually giant flocks of flamingos! You can’t get too close to them without them taking off, but even in flight they’re spectacular. Dave tooks lots of photos so hopefully we’ll be able to post some later. There were at least three species there as promised. We trudged through the thin layer of water and sticky mud barefoot to try to get closer, but they would just walk away and keep us at a constant distance. Either way we were fascinated and stayed for a while just watching them.