The Flamingo Lakes

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This is from an excursion with Mario from Clark Expediciones, the same guide with whom I went to Calilegua. This time I was the only passenger. As you may guess, this was not exactly cheap. If you are travelling alone, Clark will charge you 120 USD. (If you are two, the price per person is lower.) But compared with a regular tour operator with a guide that talks too much, this is a lot better. Not to forget that the regular tour operator does not go the places that Clark Expediciones takes you to. And, in case you wonder, Mario and his colleagues speaks good English.

The trip followed the main road to San Antonio de los Cobres, that is the in same direction as Tren a las Nubes. We first stopped in the village of Tastil where there are ruins from an Inka fortification. Shortly after Tastil, we turned off into a small mountain road that chugged its way through the Andess, and 85 km later we came back down on the main road some 10 km south of Tastil. The mountain road took us through a desert-like mountain landscape, and our destination was a couple of small mountain lakes with bird-life, including flamingos.

But we also saw people who are living out here in these desolate mountains. And they have certainly not fallen into the lap of luxury. We had only been driving a few kilometres along the mountain road, when we saw a woman with a donkey and a small kid by the road side. She asked if we could take her by, and Mario could not say no. She and Mario unloaded the donkey, which she left behind after having tied its forelegs. She rode with us for a long time, 35 km according to Mario, and she got off at fork in the road, which was just close to here she lives. Mario said that hadn't we appeared, she would have had to walk all the way and she would maybe arrived home ten in the evening.

1. Quebrada de Toro

2. Zig-Zag

3. Ruinas de Tastil

4. View from Ruinas de Tastil

5. View over Tastil

6. Tastil Cementry

7. Snowcapped Mountains

8. The First Lake

9. Water View

10. Lunch Time

11. Flamingos I

12. Flamingos II

13. Lake Mirror

14. Salt Deposits

15. Bird Lake

16. The Next Lake

17. Lake with Snowcapped Mountains

18. The Last Lake

19. Den sista sjn II

20. Road and River as One

21. Valley with Farm

22. Green Valley

23. The Bridge over Ro Toro