Who knew so much nothing could be so beautiful...
Trip Start Jul 14, 2010
93Trip End May 18, 2011
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Uyuni, it turns out, is really nothing special. The town looks a lot like Boron or 20-Mule Team out in south-eastern California. Yet, even little old Uyuni had something new to teach us. Note to anyone who is interested in travelling: make sure that your hostel is neither under a karoake bar, nor next to a bar (especially when it's the start of carnaval). Yep, sadly, after all this time, Katie and I were stuck listening to terrible music, oftentimes being sung by people who were obviously tone deaf and/or intentionally trying to drive us crazy (highly unlikely). The thing about carnaval in Bolivia is that all the bands have a set number of songs
This wasn't a real problem because the reason for coming to Uyuni, unless you're deaf and want to laugh at all the tourists suffering, is to go to the Salar de Uyuni. The Salar de Uyuni is the worldīs largest salt flat that is also home to the worldīs largest lithium reserves. The town of Uyuni essentially exists as a salt and lithium mining town with a large portion of the towns income arriving in the form of tours out to this salt flat. Katie and I decided to take a 3 day tour of the surroundings and it was pretty amazing. The rainy season in Bolivia ends in March so the entire salt flat was covered in a thin layer of water. We got to hop up on top of our Jeep and ride through the salt flat which, thanks to the calm surface looked like a giant mirror that reflected the surrounding mountains, blue sky, and clouds. It was probably the most surreal thing I have ever seen with everything looking like it was sitting on the edge of the world. I hope the pictures do it justice. The second most surreal thing I have ever seen came a little bit after leaving the salt flat as we were driving, looking out the window of the jeep, watching our back right tire rolling off into the desert
Katie and I have had amazing luck on our tours and this time was no exception. It seems that every tour we take we have the best group of people travelling with us. In this case we had two Belgians and two Brazilians who were all the nicest people, especially when we started talking about our native foods. Katie and I have had a hard time over the past 8 months describing to people what "typical America food" is. The problem is that many of the national foods have come from overseas, with a lot of the traditional dishes arriving from the UK
After the first day of the tour, the sights became less and less. That didn't make it any less amazing though, especially since the landscape looked like the moon with snowy mountains and random lakes scattered around. The altitude was high enough that there wasn't any vegetation, ind a few scrubs here and there, and we weren't driving on any roads, just dirt. The landscape was interrupted by a llama every now and then and, much to my amazement, outcroppings of really great rocks. Especially on the last day when we drove for about an hour next to a Joshua Tree like landscape of rocks. It was pretty amazing. Anyways, check out the pictures of the trip because it was quite a lot to describe in a few paragraphs.