Thursday, August 26, 2010

Laguna Verde Bolivia

Laguna Verde So we have been at Mante Blanco for a few days now, and we woke up early one morning before the sun came up and got in a truck. Now we had no idea what they had in store for us, but as the truck took off heading down the rough roads we quickly realized that the vehicle was headed upwards. Now we were all jammed in a jeep and there were several more behind us loaded into the back of a pickup truck.

Our vehicle made its way up in a zig zag fashion as it wove its way up the side of a mountain. About half way up our driver said we were going to take a hike into Laguna Verde, something none of us had ever heard of before. As we got higher up the air grew thicker and eventually we were driving in the clouds… I’m not joking we were roughly eight thousand feet above sea level.

When the vehicle finally came to a stop we were on the edge of a huge wall of brush. Behind us were fields and fields of straw berries and right in front of us was a towering wall of shrubbery. The farmers planted their crops up here because the mountain is high enough to reach the clouds, so the water needed to feed the crops is significantly reduced, plus water collects at the top of the hill and flows down.

As soon as we stepped through the wall of brush it felt like stepping over a threshold. Instantly there was this beautiful forest stretching out in front of us. This natural rainforest resides on the top of the mountain and is fed its water via the clouds that constantly hover there. Unlike the rest of Bolivia this place wasn’t arid and dry, nor was it covered with the signature red clay that can be found everywhere in Bolivia. This placing is just teaming with birds and animal life that few people realize is here.

If you haven’t figured it out yet the “Laguna” part of Laguna Verde stands for a “Lagoon.” Smack dab in the center of the rain forest is a green pond. The strange hue of the water is caused by the colorful algae in its center. We continued to climb after the lake to nearly 11,000 feet up, at the top we could get some incredible photos of the surrounding area, it was incredible!