Salty Mars - Uyuni and the salt flats
Trip Start Sep 16, 2010
38Trip End Jan 18, 2011
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Where I stayed
We arrived in Uyuni, the town sitting on the edge of the salt flat, and immediately realised that this place was a one-trick-pony only serving as a hub for tourists to visit the flats. In other words, it was a shithole. We leaped off the bus feeling none to spritely and were picked up by a friendly gal from the agency
One extra note is to be mentioned about the jeep. The windscreen had the most outrageous crack in it and whenever we passed another jeep coming in the other direction Pablo would ut his fists against it for fear that it might come crashing inwards - slightly sketchy but normal for Bolivia
That night we had outselves a few beers as it was Leyton`s 30th birthday, his wife Arna forgot, and then slinked off to bed in our salty palace in preparation for an early 6am start.
Left the salt hotel at 7am and cruised into the bleakness of the flats. The white salt soon turned to red dust which looked a lot like Mars and the the geography became more mountainous and rugged. Stopping at a few viewing points we could see mountains and volcano`s in the distance and we jumped about the strange rock formations like children, hanging off them and lunging about the place willy nilly. The next stops were to see the huge lagoons which had formed in isolation in this mental-looking landscape and the first was a deep blue colour full of various types of Flamingo and other birds. Sim attempted to leap around on the shoreline and jumped in a huge stretch of birdshit and mud, losing his flipflop and getting shitty feet in the process. The next lagoon was called Lago Colorado and this was an amazing red colour, caused by the algae in the water blooming in the sunlight. The last stop was at a cool looking rock formation called the `stone tree` which was exactly what it said on the tin. Again we clambered about the rocks having a bubble bath. Finally we made it to our second night`s place of accommodation, which was just a shack-type place and not made of salt. I managed to leave my jacket at the park office an hour away and had to pay the driver to take me back to get it - idiot. Anyway, that night more beers were had with a particular taste for a beer called Bock, a 7% absolute menace of a beverage. We gave one to Pablo and the next time we saw him he looked smashed (why we gave our driver booze I don`t know!)
The final day was to involve an ultra-early wake-up to see the sunrise. Up at 4:30 we got ready and had our bags by the jeep ready to go as instructed by Pablo. Unfortunately Pablo was nowhere to be seen and Matt and Leyton proceeded to hunt him down, eventually finding him in a bed looking really poor and getting up very gingerly. At 5am we set off, not before Pablo reversed over a French guys baggage, and headed in the direction of the geysers and the rising sun. The sun rise over the mountains and turned the sky a cool reddy-pink colour.The geysers were really really effing cool. Big, hot, eggy jets of hot air bursting from the ground and surrounded by pools of bubbling mud. You could walk around freely, this is Bolivia after all, and feel the eggy hotness of earth`s power beneath your feet. Then back in the jeep and off to some thermal pools nearby. It was really bloody cold getting changed but the pools were like a nice hot bath temperature and it felt good on our weary, dusty bodies
Hope you enjoy the pictures, we are trying to update the blog as we speak
Much love XXX