Salar de Uyuni

Trip Start Feb 25, 2007
Trip End Aug 25, 2007

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Sunday, April 13, 2008

We arrived in Uyuni, after a 12 hour bus ride which was actually 14 hours because we had to stop for 2 hours to help fix a broken down bus. Again it involved an annoying music video and the road was like Josh´s for about 8 of the 14 hours - reeeaaally bumpy. We arrived and sorted out a 2 day one night tour of the Salar de Uyuni area including all food and bed for the night for 300 bolivianos, about 20 quid, which is so much cheaper than booking it from La Paz, as many people had told us. We left at about 10am in our old landcruiser, with this funny driver, who we found out was also our cook, and 2 French guys and a Columbian. The salt flats are absolutely stunning, firstly you drive through what seems like desert for a while, we made a stop at this deserted part of the old railway, with some old trains around in the sand, pretty cool looking. Then we continued towards the flats. Near the edge are where it is farmed, there are loads of piles of salt which look incredible, and blokes standing on them filling up lorries with the stuff, just with a spade in the burning heat. The salt flats are the biggest and highest in the world. They are vaaaasst, and were formed when the sea, which used to be here, became trapped by the Andes and evaporated. It´s a really bizarre sight, just flat white land as far as the eye can see. As we continued into the middle it became even more impressive. You can just about make out the surrounding mountains and volcanoes on the horizon all around through the mirages. We visited fish island, which is a little island in the middle, it is made of coral, from when there was sea here , and has loads of huge cacti growing on it now. Then we headed to the edge towards Volcano Thuruni, and a little village at the bottom of it, just where the salt flats meet the land. We stayed in a hotel made of salt blocks, like lots of the buildings, the beds were made of salt, as were the chairs, tables and the floor was salt gravel. We ate llama and walked down to the salt flats to watch the sun set over the mountains behind, with flamingos wading in the water in front of us, it was fantastic. This morning we climbed the volcano which has an amazing crater at the top, we had aweome views across the salt flats, all i can compare the sight to is what i imagine Antarctica to look like. Its wierd, but very cool and stunningly beautiful. Back on the same bus tonight to La Paz. Ciao.
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