The highest and largest salt flats in the world!

Trip Start Dec 27, 2009
Trip End Mar 03, 2010

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Monday, January 18, 2010

We just got back from a super cool 3 day 2 night tour of the Salar De Uyuni in southern Bolivia. It consisted of lots of driving in 4x4 land cruiser over all types of terrain in the desert. Our tour consisted of a guide and a cook, 2 Argentines an Irish guy, and a dutch girl. Every aspect of the trip blew me away with landscapes i have never encountered before.

Our first stop was the massive salt flat. The ground was blinding white as far as the eye could see. We took tons of photos. The traditional jumping shots and some others by the salt pyramids. I tried to get one climbing on top of a salt pyramid and some random salt flat bum from the middle of nowhere made me climb down.

We continued on to Fish Island. This island existed out in the middle of the salt flats and used to be a coral reef! Crazy! It was covered in prehistoric coral rock formations and cactus....tons of cactus. These cactus were HUGE and OLD from 500 to 1000 years old. The island was so random. It was just out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by salt flats, made of coral, with a ton of cactus. We had lunch on the island, which was really weird. I have no idea what kind of meat this lady cooked....pig ...alpaca..i tried it but passed on the rest. Following the island of the fish we when to our hostel of the night. The hostel was made entirely of salt. It was cool. Salt tables, salt chairs, salt bed bases, ground salt on the floor... To our surprise we had no running water, so no shower. We searched all over to find one and found one  and tried to sneak a shower, but the water was freezing so we gave up. There was still some light left after we arrived and we hiked around the barren city and up to a hill. The hill had all these weird rock fences where we thought people lived. We found 2 dead donkeys that we later learned were sacrificed. Our food for dinner was much better, but our cook was by no means any Martha Stewart.

The next morning we woke up super early to leave the salt flats and explore Bolivia's desert. We drove for hours out in the boonies on sandy roads between countless volcanoes and multicolored mountains. We passed tons of Llama and Alpaca, which are like deer or cow in this area. Our first stop was one of the first of many Flamingo lakes. Most of the lakes mainly consisted of the mineral Borax. I was in awe when we arrived at the first lake. It was truly soo incredible. The wildlife was astounding as well as the scenery. We ate lunch at the lake which was some weird pancake with veggies and hot dog was good though. We drove a lot that day and visited a few more lakes just as good if not better than the first. We made a stop in the wind tunnel in the middle of the desert to these odd rock formations.  They were cool to climb on , but it was soo windy we got  back in the jeep quick. Our destination for the night was Lago Colorado and it was the highlight of the trip thus far...Our hostel was right by the lake, so it left plenty of time to explore. The picture with explain better then I can the beauty of the lake. So much wildlife...Llamas and Alpaca roaming...Over 3 different types of Flamingos...and tons of other ducks and varieties of birds. I really couldn't believe what I was seeing. It looked like it was straight from National Geographic. The lake was red in the center, but as it reached the sides it turned blue, giving it a rainbow appearance. A giant volcano stood in the background and the lake was filled with geysers shooting steam and water randomly. I couldn't stop taking was amazing. I stayed and explored the lake for hours..while the others would rather sit in the hostel...which excuse my language was a shit hole...litter ally! It of course had no running water or showers and the bathrooms kept overflowing...I have never seen anything so gross. I understand I guess that we were out in the middle of nowhere, but yikes! I was ready to leave that place.

We woke super early the next morning, 4 am, to see the sunrise at the volcanic geysers. The geysers were very interesting and warm! it was soo cold there in the morning. We continued to our first ¨shower¨in 3 days!! the Aguas Calenties. Everyone stripped off their clothes and quickly jumped from the freezing air to giant natural hot tub. It felt so good and we all almost agreed to forgo desayuno to say in the hot water longer. We ended our trip with Lago Verde and had a long 8 hours of bumpy dusty road and poor Spanish music on repeat all the way back to Uyuni.

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