My eyes blink and squeeze when they try to absorb the complete white-ness, that stretches in front of me. I float on a puzzle of countless octagonal flats. The world behind me seem to vanish into nothing. In front of me there is only white. Everything seems endless. Time stops. Thinking stops. An angle blows a soft breeze. This is the world of the perfect nothing. Empty and full, ugly and wonderful. Is this the gate to the afterlife? Like a mirage an island appears on the horizon. Is this the oasis we were looking for? Paradise or hell? When we come closes we see yellow and brown. 100’s of cacti grow across the whole island. on the inhospitable island. The island has a mysterious beauty. Flowering cacti stand out against the snow-white salt of the lake in the background and a clear blue sky. Far away ancient extinct volcanos watch over the lake like guardians of the salt. Maybe this is hell. Ugly, but with an attractive force that leaves you breathless. I forgot about my insecure health and hop from one rock to the next to find more breathtaking views.
One day later my creativity is again wakened by a area of colours. Red, pink and white against blue. Earthly colours of yellow, grey, brown, orange with some green spots. Nature forms the life, colours and earth in this place. Freezing cold above the soil and volcanic heath under it. Cutting ice-cold wind and the altitude makes it difficult to breath. I walk around the red lake, Lago Colorado. Another pink dream appears with unexpected life. Flamingos zig-zag to find food. Bunnies with curly tails curiously look at our lunch. A lama sticks out her head like a decorated periscope. The perfect reflection of Lago Verde, the green lake, again makes us silent and breathless, in the awe of such beauty.
In the morning the rising sun shines through the white steam, that is rising from the ground. Our body awakes form the freezing early morning when we doze off in a warm-water spring.
At the end of our 3-day jeep tour through this fascinating area, it feels like we have returned from Mars. Landscape dramatically changes. Suddenly we glide over black asphalt when we cross the Chilean border. My bombarded backside finally can relax.