The Wind, The Cold, The Views

Trip Start Jul 19, 2010
Trip End Aug 13, 2010

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Thursday, July 22, 2010

Breakfast was really nice again this morning- peach yogurt with banana and apple chunks. We had to put ourselves into groups for the 4x4 Jeeps. Michelle, Rickie, Kim and I went together- wooo. Best part of Bolivia! The start of a lifelong friendship with Michelle and Rickie (two sisters from Denmark who's relationship really remind me of my twin sister and I, who I'm obviously missing.)

We had another 10 hour journey from the Hotel of Salt to our next hotel, but this wasn't a problem at all, I loved the company and our driver had an iPod connection cable which was ideal! Playing and singing all of the classic songs, despite coming from all over the world (Denmark, Australia and myself, England,) we all knew the same classics and sang our hearts out :)

We stopped off at loads of amazing places along the way to break up our journey which was amazing! So many beautiful lagoons with flamingos, which at the start of the week we thought we weren't going to be able to see and appreciate. It was so so windy and we all had our hoodies and coats zipped up all the way to the top, with our hoods firmly on, partly to prevent our hair being blown away by the wind and to keep the disgusting smell of fish at bay- it stank! The scenery was amazing though, the mountain formations and the plants lining the lagoon, with the sun doing what it does best, reflecting off the lagoon made for some amazing pictures- truly breathtaking scenery. 


 The Arboles de Pierda which translates to Forest of Rocks, or Rock Wood are basically stone formations which look like trees. I was the only one to get out of the 4x4 at this point and brave the decieving weather because although the sky was blue and the sun was shining, it was beyond cold and the wind was so strong.I took quite a lot of good pictures whilst getting a battering by the little sand grains/stones, whilst my 4x4 buddies looked on from the jeep- hilarious! The journey as a whole was so much fun and we saw loads of llamas and foxes on the way. Whenever we got out of the jeep it was so bloody windy!!

 At one of the smelly Lagoon stops filled with flamingoes, we enjoyed lunch made by our cooks who were travelling with us. They made a traditional Bolivian dish- pasta with this mix of onions, potato chips, frankfurt slices and shreds of chicken- it was really nice but so filling. 
Our driver is called Eva and doesn't speak English, therefore I enjoyed the opportunity to speak some Spanish, although I was a little shy in front of my newly made friends haha. Eva is so kind and calm and his wife is one of our cooks. I have no idea how he knows where he is driving though, if you imagine a desert, and how little sense of direction one has in a desert, the Salt Flats are similar in that way, except instead of golden sand grains it is made up of pure white salt. Saying this however, we did get lost once. We had reached the mountainous areas of the Salt Flats in the south and we were driving up this big mountain over all these tiny little bushes, which felt like constant mini speed bumps with force. As we reached the top of the mountain and witnessed the sheer drop, it was obvious we had taken the wrong "road" well, wrong mountain to climb. Hahaha the fact that we were going to have to endure more bumpiness on our descent down was absolutely priceless. 

 We finally got to our next hotel at around 6pm and it was the coldest night that we had ever experienced, we were 4700m above sea level and it reached -23 degrees! Unbelievable! I had no idea it could be so cold! I had to put loads of layers on, basically all of my clothes- I looked like the michelin man. We played cards while we waited for dinner- llama bolognaise and asparagus soup with peach halves for desert. Which, despite the fact that it was Llama, I actually ate.

Tonight, I slept in the same room as Lauren, Aoife, Aisling, Dawn and Maggie. After dinner we were all just joking around about random things (Lauren, Ashling, Michelle, Rickie and I) and funny stories from our lives and I could not stop laughing the entire evening. Somehow we ended up talking about horror films and ghost stories which freaked everyone out so much- hilarious- except Michelle and I were squirming- we hated it! Haha, then before we went to bed we shared drunken stories which was a laugh. In the bathroom there was actually a big fat icicle coming out of the tap- it was that cold!

The dorms were hilarious, and the beds were ridiculous, and of course, I got the one with the big indentation- basically folded in the middle, and which smelt of dog. LOL. A hilarious ending to a hilarious day!
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