Salt lakes 3 day tour

Trip Start Nov 12, 2007
Trip End Nov 12, 2008

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Sunday, December 9, 2007

So with Retro Clip On Shades at the ready and the sun spliting the stones we were all set for our next outing 3 days and 2 night in the largest salt lake in the world. Our group was made up of a Belgian couple and two girls from London all of whom have nearkly traveld the world twice over and a real good laugh. 
With all the gear loaded onto the beast of a land crusier and our pass ports post dated for exit of Bolivia we were good to go. Our guide was Eba a really egar and lively fella that was mad to learn about the world ( What is the area of Ireland, Do you know how many mountains there are in Europ, whats your dogs name etc!)and the drivers name was Richard. The man was born to drive off road!
First we went to the train Cemetery, a really eary place where all the old Thomas the Tank engines are parked up when retirement day comes calling. It was quite cool getting up into the old trains, Victoria wouldnt make the cut for shoveling the coal anyway thats for sure not after her trial run anyway! Then off we went to see the actual Salt Lake which for all the world is the same as a desert except instead of sand its salt. This was the most amazing thing ive seen to date. It covers an area of 12000 sq Km and just that week it had being covered by 2 inches of rain which made it look like one big mirror reflecting the mountains, sky jeeps etc. The photos really dont do it justice. With every one stopping at the edge of the lake there was already people in the water in there bare feet gettng photos. It was then our guide told us that if they stayed in longer than 20 minutes they could kiss good bye to there feet, enough said to convince us to keep the boots on! For the next hour or so we drove through the lake to Isla de Pesando which is just a big rock with thousands of cactus on it one which is over 1200 years old. It looked like an island in the middle of the sea, sureal. After lunch here we got to play around taking photos which was a good laugh.
Loaded back into the jeep we set off to the Salt Hotel but before we could get there we had a break down and im afraid to say that after almost seen every eposode of the A-team i hadnt a clue to fix the yoke! Good thing the lads got it going after an hour or it could have being a long night.
With the salt Hotel in sight i was frothing at the mouth with the thought of being like Hansel and Gretal in the hotel eating and licking away at the walls. (Lorna and Kieran you would have loved it) This place was really cool, every thing was made out of blocks of salt walls, tables, chairs, bar, beds unreal. Really cosy at night, but wouldnt fair to well at home in the rain! We even had a group of young lads come in to play use music which was a good oul laugh.  
After a good nights sleep we set off at 07.30 to see the lagoons. The first one was full of Flamingos, so nice to see them in there natural habitat and not in some ones front garden. It was really amzeing to see all the diferent lagoons vareing from Green, Blue, Yellow, and Red and all so close to each other. Again the sceneray was breath takeing while traveling along the trail where we got to see a live volcano smokeing away and formation of volcanic rock.
Then it was off to see the post card picture Stone Tree. Its amazeing ( and for those of you who are sick of reading the word amazeing, breath takeing and really cool im equally as sick typeing them but they sound better than savage so im going with it!!) to see these things up close after seeing them for so long in books etc so again it was another Kodak moment with the cameras nearly melting down at this point. From here it was off to our "Basic Hostel" which really is in the middle of no where. Now at the start of the trip we asked did need sleeping bags to be told by the tour operator " No no youll be fine" Fine my arse! It was frezzing that night and only for the fact we got other blanks off other beds which now made the bedding weigh about 5 stone we would have froze! Not the best sleep we ever had.
We were up at 04.30 to be ready to leave at 05.00 but one of the girls was after takeing a bad turn in the night with altitude sickness as we were at about 5000m at this stage. So we had to take it easy along the way to the Geysers. But the "Savage" sun rise made up for any delays. It was at this stage that we were due another brake down in the form of a puncture! So it was all out of the wagon onto the side off the road to watch every one else zoom past. We eventually got to the Geysers where Vic played around with jumping over one of the Geyser which was just warm air. Then it was down to the hot water Geysers where we were told that some Spanish lad fell into one and didnt come out the other side to tell the story so that kept us well back from the edges!
We then moved onto the Hot Springs which was a real treat. freezing out side but after a short David Hasselhoff run into the water we were sorted. While we were in the water the two boys were flat out sorting out the puntures so we were held up for about another hour or so with a bus to catch at the border to Chile. This is when Richard the driver done his Micheal Schumacer impression tearing along the trail. Made it to the border in time to get our passports checked but not all of us having such joy, anyone that was American had to pay an unexpected $100 to cross the border as get even from the Bolivian Goverment on the way America is treating them over there relations with countries that have conficting interests with the States.
The minute we go onto Chilean roads it was a whole new ball game, the roads were top notch. unreal how one country can be so differnt from the next. It was only a short drive then to the Chilean check points where all our bags were searched for drugs our any plants or dairy products.
We are now in San Pedro which is a nice town until yesterday when none of the bank machines had money and hundreds of travels on the prowl all day looking for some. Unreal how stuck you become when you dont have the cash, thank god for the credit card!  Unable to get the bus out today to  Salta we are hear till Tuesday. So were off Star gazing to night ( Sherlock youll be use to that haveing lived with me!) and then Sand Boarding tomorrow which sould be a real laugh.
Áll take care,
talk soon,
Ger and Vic.

P.S Photos on the way!
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1073 on

Sorry been so long but you know what it is lije this time of year. your trip is making us all jealous keep us posted it so so good to hear what you are doing,love you both Mumxx

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