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Salar de Uyuni

Bbbbbrrrrrrr salty!

semi-overcast 12 °C

After another bumpy bus journey across Bolivia, desperately trying to avoid the guy who kept chatting shit, falling asleep in my lap and generally looking like he was about to puke up in my face, we booked our tour straight away with the cheapest company we could find.

All was going well to start off with, we were taken to a train cemetery full of rusty old trains and heaps of rubbish, took some photos of each other dicking about and then hit the road for the Salar de Uyuni, the worlds largest and highest salt flat, and the remnants of some old old lake.

We stopped off at a salty old market in the dust where loads of Bolivians try and flog you stuff made of salt, and this is where paying bottom dollar backfired slightly. The battery of our jeep ran flat and we ended up waiting about for two hours in the dusty town 2 miles down the road from the salar. We couldnt even take those perspective photos that all the tourists take.

In the end though it wasnt so bad, as by the time we got to the Isla de Pescado (which is an island on the flats that has nothing to do with fish, but in fact has a couple of hundred cactuses on it) we were the only ones there.

So we walked around the island, saw some good views, saw what used to be the worlds oldest cactus (over 1000 years) until it got hit by lightning a few years ago and died. Gutted. Also, because we were so late to the island, we got to watch the sunset over the salar which was pretty awesome- the views on the salar are undescribably good. Miles and miles of white nothingness, its probably about as close as you can get to being on another planet without being an astronaught. So we took the typical photos, watched our shadows get about a mile long, and then drove off to the salt hotel where we stayed the night.

The salt hotel was pretty cool, it was made entirely of salt and was pretty warm cause it had an igloo sort of effect. After breakfast we set off again and were taken around all the coloured lakes. Not really that coloured though, just mostly different shades of blue. But a few of them had some flamingoes chilling out in them so that was cool. Saw an active volcano as well smoking away in the distance.

After the lakes we were driven across the desert and saw Cerro de Siete Colores (moutain of seven colours), which was nice, as well as a rock that looks like a tree. At the end of the day we arrived at our hostel by Lago Colorado, which was supposed to be red but was in fact a dirty brown sort of colour. Went and had a walk around the lake (in the freezing cold) to try and get a close up of some flamingoes, and saw some nice llamas and vicunas running around.

We woke up the next morning (if you can call it that) at half 4, so we could see all the geysers which are only really active in the morning. It was ridiculously cold, we had to hug our feet to stop them falling off. Sort of saw the geysers, but because it was so dark we didnt really see much of them, just loads of steam comming out the ground. Another hour or so in the jeep and we arrived at the thermal baths, where we debated getting in or not (because getting out would probably give us hyperthermia), decided that we would, and had an awesome half hour of being warm and watched the sun rise over the steaming lakes. By the time we got out, the sun was up so getting out wasnt too bad (although Sadies hair did freeze). Had a pancake breakfast and headed off back to Uyuni in the jeep, passing by the Laguna Verde (or green lake, and it was actually a bit green!), the Dali desert (which looked like a Salvador Dali painting) and some more unusual rock formations.

Overall a pretty good trip, some pretty surreal landscapes, and a lot of dust (again).

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Posted by St Martins 14:20 Archived in Bolivia Tagged events

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