Salar de Uyuni Trip - Day 1

Trip Start Aug 03, 2006
Trip End Dec 13, 2006

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Sunday, October 1, 2006

Wow what a day! We woke up early (9am - not the 4.30am wake up calls we've been doing on other trips!) to have our last shower for a few days only to find that there was no electricity in the whole of Uyuni! No electricity in Bolivia means no hot shower. We met our guide (Omar) our cook (Rita) and the rest of our group that we would be sharing a 4x4 with for the next 3 days. There were 2 Spanish girls and a Czech couple. We began the Salar de Uyuni trip with a visit to the train cemetery which is where lots of trains in Bolivia went to die.

Then when we were done with trains it was time to bring on the salt. We started with a visit to a salt factory in Colchani where they make table salt. Pretty basic really - they go out to the sea of salt in front of them, bring back salt, add a little iodine and put it in plastic bags. They had some cute salt goods for sale too. We couldn't pass up a dice game made of salt and, hey, if our chips are lacking flavour we always will have them as backup!

Then we entered the salt plains. Asbsolutly amazing, you feel like you are standing on a frozen snow covered lake that stretches out as far as the eye can see. It even had the crunchy feel of snow, except it is warm and sunny and there is no fear of falling through to icy water! With the clear blue sky it was quite a sight and Steve was happy he bought those new sunglasses because it was glaringly bright.

After playing on the salt and taking some comedy perspective photos we went to visit a small hotel made entirely from salt and then went on to Isla Pescado a.k.a. Fish Island which is essentially a big rock in the middle of this sea of salt. It is covered in cacti and fun to explore.

Rita cooked us a super lunch and we continued on to some caves. By this time we had been in a truck all day and seen some amazing sights so were a little dissapointed by the caves we went to next (Gruta Galaxias and the Cueva del Diablo) although there was a neat graveyard in the caves outside and some comedy signings in the guest book.

On the way to our first night's accomodation in San Pedro Steve had to get Omar to pull over so he could be sick. We don't know if it was all the excitement, or being squished in a car for hours but the poor boy wasn't well. After the first pull over he was fine and made it back to camp where we were treated to another nice meal then lights out at 10 (literally, that is when the electricity got cut off).
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