Tupiza to Uyuni Salt Flats - 4 day jeep tour day 1

Trip Start May 10, 2011
Trip End Apr 15, 2012

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

So we booked our 4 day jeep tour through our hostel Los Salares in Tupiza, they had been recommended to us by an older couple we had met in Ushuia which was great as there are warnings in the Lonely Planet book of cowboy tour operators with rubbish jeeps and drunken drivers, there have been something like 16 toursist killed since 2008 so it was great to hear of a good operator. At the hostel its family run and the drivers use their own vehicles so at least they are gonna take care of it when they are driving.

So with 5 of us squashed in the jeep at 7am on day one we headed off. In the jeep we had with us Sun from South Korea who we met in Bariloche, her friend Connor from Dublin and another guy Martin a French Camadian, Sun and Martin spoke spanish so they were our translators for the next few days, of course there was also David the driver and our own personal cook Sylvia who would be making our meals for us.

The first part of the trip involved climbing around 1000m in about 2-3 hours so we went from around 3000m to 4000m and the roads were dirt track with cliff edges with huge drops and tight bends, as we climbed higher and higher into the mountains the views were spectacular…well the ones I had my eyes open for – both myself and Marc HATE cliff edge drives haha but David took it slow much to our delight.

We had pretty much climbatised at 3000m and felt fine but at 4000m if you walked too fast or talked too quick you really noticed a difference again having to take deep breaths – such a strange sension your out of breath just a few metres its crazy.  Although along the way in the middle of nowhere would pop up one or two houses and no matter what height we were at there were always goal posts- how they play football and breathe is beyond me – crazy what the body can adapt to.

Some time in we stopped to get out the jeep and take in the views and Sun said she needed the toilet – she asked the driver to which he responsed "toilet naturalle" haha poor Sun's face was a picture she is soooo lovely, she was all worred any passing traffic might see but we were in the middle of nowhere with nothing in sigha haha – she had her first brush with nature bless it was hilarious.

We stopped for lunch at an old unused house and wow our cook Sylvia pulled out all this food, rice, potatoes, chicken, salad it was delicious – been on so many tours when the food is horrific but this was great.

We plodded on in the jeep through the mountains it was spectacular hard to believe how high up we were.  We arrived at our accommodation – we knew it would be basic and that it was – no shower, electricity only betweek 7pm & 9pm and no heating.  We arrived about 6pm and next min Sylvia has out the tea and biscuits for us then promptly after we pulled out the bottle of rum we had bought.  Its not really advised to drink much at altitute but the "just one" turned into a few as always.

Dinner was delicious home made vegetable soup and mince and tatties – totally delighed it was delicious.  Dinner is served about 8.30pm and we eventualy crawled to bed about 10pm as we had to be up at 4am the next day !!!

Cost of the 4 day tour including food and accom - 100 per person 

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