Salt no Pepper

Trip Start Aug 26, 2009
Trip End Mar 01, 2010

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Sunday, November 8, 2009

To be honest I had never heard of this place until we had started to look into our trip - but as soon as I had seen the pics it was one of our must sees. The Salar de Uyuni is the worlds largest salt flat at over 4 thousand square miles. Its in the south of Bolivia and stands at over 3600m above seal level (hot during the day - cold at night!). It was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes and is covered by a few meters of salt. It wasnt just 3 days staring at large expanses of white desert. But also there was:

- the worlds largest shoe and crisp packet.

- In its hey day there was a lot of mining in this area and the good old brits built miles of railway lines and bought a number of trains over - when the mining industry went belly up the trains were left and now create a train cementry. This was a great playground for big kids!

- a small 'island' in the desert of white covered in cacti - they grow at a rate of 1cm a year - the biggest was over 12m's!

- a number of picture postcard lagoons with Flamigoes

As you might expect accomodation wasnt easy to come by - on the edge of the plain however there is a hotel made out of....salt. Everything, tables, chairs even the beds.

The final night was spent in a shanty town which didnt have any running water so after the generator was switched of at 10 we retired (with the other 3 people sharing our room) and settled in for a night where the temps went below freezing. The next morning we were up at 4 for the sunrise (and to move around to get warm) and then off to the geisers and best of all a natural hot pool. The thought of which soon had us forgetting that it was still sub zero conditions and we were stripping of and taking the most refreshing bath we have had all our trip.

Weve continued on to the border and are now in Argentina - blogs on red wine and steak to follow.

Travellers Tip: if you are in Uyuni the day before your trip the train cementery is only a 15min walk out of town and is a great place to spend some time (our tour only visited it for 30mins and we could have done with much longer).
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