Uyuni and the salt flats

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2010

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Flag of Bolivia  , Potosí,
Wednesday, October 7, 2009

After warnings from Loz that the cheap night bus to Uyuni is terrible, we forked out 4 times the price for the tourist bus - a huge mistake. We are given the non-reclining back seats, next to the blaring speakers on a bus that must have been a trampoline in a past life. Every time we started to drift off, we would hit a bump and find ourselves airborne - I still have the bruises. Needless to say it was a long and cold 12 hours to cover the 380km to Uyuni. 

It is a relief to set off on our tour in a jeep with functioning suspension. The roads are optional dirt tracks - optional because quite often the driver just picks his own route through the flat scrub (by the way, this is the main road to La Paz we are driving on). The three day tour is a range of completely surreal landscapes - reflective salt flats as far as the eye can see, bright lagoons filled with flamingos in the middle of lifeless red desert, smoking volcanoes, geysers and 38 degree hot springs surrounded by ice. Our group is comprised of 2 German guys (Bevan has learnt 2 new German swear words) and a German-Israeli holiday romance couple.

For the night bus back to La Paz, we buy the cheapest tickets we can find - if we aren't going to be able to sleep they aren't getting more of our money - turns out to be far more comfortable and we can actually sleep. We are, however, given seats 45 & 46 on a bus with 42 seats. Hmm. As the bus is leaving town, some locals discover we are in their seats and instead of arguing they simply settle down in the aisle for the next few hours, chatting and laughing amongst themselves.
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