Tonight’s grand finale brings us to sunset over salt flats, Laguna Tebinquiche an alien landscape of pristine white expanse, film of water ebbing to reflect volcanoes and sunset, a mirror to catch the sky.
Ty, Graham and I marvel over the dreamscape, something out of my imagination. Our trusty guide Pablo pours us evening pisco sours and explains that the palmfuls of salt I pocket are most definitely not edible, the pink and white crystals lithium sodium, not NaCl, and amazed, we learn that most of the mineral composites here are salts totally foreign to our palettes and bodies.
It’s dangerously beautiful, this scenery, for its stark harshness is a reminder that life is a struggle and a gift, little desert mouse the personification of success, somehow able to survive on vapor and micro-organisms.
This day rocks, foreign and otherworldly, mind-blowing, and we wrap it up in the company of new friends–Ty, Vancouver travel mates Leo and Chris, and Nadia, a post-doc Spanish student here to relish in crystal clear views into the cosmos as she studies supernova explosions, an astronomer’s wet dream only this remote, high-alpine environment affords.