4X4 to the Salar

Trip Start Jan 21, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 1 of the 4 day tour started at a reasonable hour...8.30. We loaded all our gear on top of the landrovers climbed into the car where we met our driver Rafael and our chef Christina. We had not paid the additional 150 Bolivianas each for an english speaking guide so joke of all jokes was when i became the translator for the trip! I may have missed some things and made up other things but decided it would be more colourful that way! On the whole i think I managed fairly well and to be honest most languages seem to have a lot of words that just make the sentences flow, they aren't really what makes up critical information! The guide would speak for about 5 minutes and my translation was about 1min 30 seconds!!! I remember this from my childhood where when we went to places that spoke french my mother would converse with the driver for about half an hour, turn round to us and go he says there are monkeys on the island!!! Now I understand....

The four days were incredible and we visited lagoons that ranged in colour from white to green to red! We saw flamingos up close and personal, they smell a lot like penguins, I think i now also understand where the saying knee deep in shit comes from. Flamingos walk round knee deep in mud that is not even worth describing it is so disgusting! The green lagoons are made up of arsenic and copper and the red ones have a microbe of some sort in them that turns the water red. We drove up to 5000m above sea level to see the geysers that were spewing out hot sulphur smelling gas and bubbling  lava. Coca leaves suddenly became imperative as half our convoy were hit with altitude sickness. I managed to come through with just a splitting headache that 4 neurofens, some coca leaf tea and some herbs that have a name only in Quechua fixed wonderfully! We also saw llamas, condors, rabbits that hop like kangaroos and have really long tails, nandus (emu like creatures), vicuņas (llama cousin) and foxes. Each night we stayed in a local village and were cooked up a feast. Finally we got through to the Salar de Uyuni (the salt plains). We stayed right on the border of the salt flats so that we could get up at 5am and see the sunrise and the full moon. It was incredible. Once the sun rose we were able to take crazy pictures as there is no depth perspective in the salt plains you can come up with the most insane pictures. Out last stop was the train cemetary which was fascinating.

The experience was awesome and after 4 days of salt and desert we arrived in Uyuni to find that a countrywide transport strike was about to start and entrance and exits to the towns were being blocked! It was going to make getting to Potosi interesting!

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Sarah D on

So the rabbit with a long tail looks half rock rabbit or perhaps dassie, which makes it what, a dabbit? a rassie? My vote goes to dabbit, I think...

Love your fab salt plains shots :)

jan kennedy on

I am so so so jealous! and i hope it is hot, we are freezing! lol

Carine on

Wow! Love the Salar pics. Definitely want to visit Bolivia...

Eric cotton on

YOu have to teach me how you edit those pics. The lama sperm seems a bit daugnting as a cocktail drink. :).( look at the photo of the steps people).


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