The day started with a mechanical problem (Shoham´s back rack) after 10 minutes of riding.
It took us an hour to cross the stream between Laguna Blanca and Laguna Verde.
For the many ORVs passing there it was much easier. We saw many Vicuña camels around while climbing to 4,700 m pass. After going down and riding on a terrible flat road, we reached the restaurant by Laguna Salada. There is a thermal bath next to the restaurant created by 3 thermal springs.
They hosted us between the restaurant´s tables for the night (15 Bs) and prepared a wonderful dinner for us (25 Bs): vegetables soup, rice, potatoes and eggs accompanied by cooked and fresh vegetables.
Again we ignored all tourists´ warnings and ate fresh vegetables. We were happy to discover that the Bolivian mayonnaise, Kris, is one of the best in the world. Federico was an outstanding host despite his young age. We enjoyed less their ecological bathroom (3 Bs).
We got up at 5 AM after being told that at 6 AM the place would be crowded with tourists.
In reality, they only arrived at 7 and went straight to the thermal bath. The climb towards the 4,900 m pass could have been much easier without the descents in between.
When we saw the Sol de Mañana geysers, we were already knocked out, so we passed the option of going 150 m down and back up to get a closer sight of them. We settled for a far distant photo of them and another pill against headaches.
Finally we went down on a horrible dust road, until the junction to the Laguna Colorada hotels. To skip a going back and forth on a bad 7 km piece of road, we decided to camp right there. We begged for water from the passing ORVs. After 10 minutes we managed to get 4 liters of water. In the canyon where we camped, we found some more sealed water bottles. In the tent it wasn´t too cold, but the water bottles that was left outside froze.
When we got closer to Laguna Colorada, we were impressed by the flamingos who were standing in red water.
At the exit of the park, the rangers checked our entrance ticket. By their recommendation, we continued to the miners camp (another 30 km) through an easy climb followed by a flat sandy road. At the camp we asked to talk with the boss (Jefe), who let us stay there in a private room of the medical clinic, with 2 beds. While Shoham slept, after getting a sunstroke, Amit cooked a delicious meal of rice with peanuts, zucchini and curry. We found out that 35 single men live in this camp, as well as one smiley female cook who all play soccer every afternoon.
The way from the camp passes through a Salar / Laguna, with many trucks carrying rocks. From there we had impossible uphills towards the highest pass in our lives which is probably more than 5,000 m high. Right after the pass, the valley is full of life, thanks to the defrosted snow streams.
All day we followed fresh bicycle trails, and we hoped to meet the cyclists. After an exhausting ride in the flats, we almost gave up getting to Villamar, until we saw the first signs of civilization: stone walls and smoke in the horizon.