The Cementaria de Chullpas or Devil’s Cave contains ancient mummified bodies – thought to be poisoned by fumes from exploding volcanos as the bodies were found clutching their throats. It was hard to comprehend not just the beauty of the country but the constantly changing landscape from flocks of pink Andean flamingoes, long exploded volcanoes hand painted by borax, iron, sulphur and arsenic, and Dali-esque landscapes of melted clock rocks. The group bonded over spicy grilled llama sausages and bizarre toilet signs. David had to fend off a desert fox – too used to being fed by ill informed tourists. Lunch magically appeared served by our fantastic crew against the backdrop of a beautiful flamingo filled lake ringed by mostly dormant volcanoes – the occasional wisp of smoke from some indicated that they were far from dead….
Later that evening in-jokes were fuelled by 10 bottles of wine, and several games of billiards and ping pong. Stephen gave a rousing speech thanking everyone for a fabulous trip, almost forgetting about our 4.30am start the next day!