A place in Bolivia out of this world: the Black Lagoon
How is it possible that this captivating place is so underrated? Easy, because the route to Laguna Negra is a succession of marvels, each one more impressive than the last, so our lagoon is just one more of the many wonders to be found when exploring the Bolivia Southwest Circuit, usually as part of the extraordinary Salar de Uyuni tour.
Nevertheless, we would like to introduce you to this outlandish place sprinkled with plants that look like rocks and rocks that seem sculptures, around an odd lake populated by dark creatures. From the viewpoint of my camera, one of the most remarkable stops of the whole journey.
But the chances are that you may never come to the Black Lagoon, unless you are travelling during the rainy season - from January to March - when most of the salt flats are closed due to the floods, so the expedition is diverted by some agencies to a side track across the Valley of the Rocks.
What looks like moss covering rocks, is actually a bush with branches, so densely packed together that you could stand on top of it.
These are the tough yaretas, high-altitude plants which can live up to 3,000 years, if they are not collected for use as firewood fuel.
The lagoon itself does not lack character, even after dropping your jaw in front of its colleagues from the High Andean Jewels itinerary, like the famous Laguna Colorada or Laguna Verde.
If you keep burning yaretas, the Swamp Thing will emerge from here and drag you to one of these floating nests.
Some endemic birds, making funny sounds, live in this quiet and disturbing pond.
This place is also called Laguna Turquiri, although there is such little information about it that it's not clear if it belongs to a protected park like the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve.
Can you see the tiny guy on the left?
The Sphinx. Incas were very fond of giving a meaning to shapes in nature, as if everything looked like something. They saw llamas and condors everywhere.
This (probably) collapsed mushroom rock, looks like the Flintstones satellite dish. What would the Incas suggest?
Walk like an Egyptian. Every rock has its own personality and temper.
The Devil's Arch - nicknamed by myself - near the shore. Andean people also like to name any rare geological feature "The Devil's thingy" , and so do I.
How I would like to take pictures here under a crepuscular light, even though after sun down it is freezing in the Altiplano.
From the distance. I just couldn't abandon this place so quickly.
My favourite yareta poses with the four Devil's Trumpet Keys in the background.