3 days in the Salt Flats ... hot, cold & amazing!

Trip Start Mar 05, 2008
Trip End Jan 11, 2009

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Flag of Bolivia  , Uyuni,
Thursday, April 24, 2008

Caught the 11am bus to Uyuni. This one also took longer than it should, but it had a good excuse ... we drove over glass & got a massive flat. Wish we hadn't got out to look, coz the 'spare' looked more like 'dispair'! But we made it!

Stayed the night in Uyuni - had the most amazing pizza for dinner (and all for $20 - that included a garlic bread ... and a nice bottle of wine!)

We stocked up on supplies at the markets, then headed out on our three day tour to the Salar de Uyuni (salt flats) & beyond in 4WDs. It is the most amazing place! Apart from the mountains around the edges, it's salt as far as the eye can see. The sun was hot as hell (lots of sunscreen), but when the wind blew, it was cold as.

We saw a hotel made almost entirely out of salt! We had lunch, then stopped to take some awesome pictures. Because of the view, you are able to take pictures that have an altered perspective, so we tried a few depth of field tricks with the camera (we've included one for you to have a look at).

Next we stopped at Fish Island - a giant coral island covered in cacti that used to be completely underwater (back when the salt flats were actually a lake!)

1st night - we missed the sunset, but actually got to see the most amazing full moon rising!

Next day, stopped at a couple of lagoons - they were different colours based on algae & mineral deposits. Took heaps of photos of flamingos!

2nd night - stayed at over 4200m. Rick, Jen, Ian & I hiked out to a look out & froze our bits off (temp -4 degrees!)

We left at 5.30am the next morning to see the geysers, then onto the Thermal Spring (-6 degrees when we left!) Only a few of us were game enough to get in ... it wasn't the 35 / 40 degrees IN the water, it was the only 5 degrees when you got out!

Went to have some breakfast at a camp site, then we headed for the border ... bye, bye Bolivia and hello Chile!

We did all the usual immigration stuff, but this time, they even went through all our bags ... I think smuggling drugs is ok - but don't get caught trying to get any fruit into the country!!!

We really enjoyed Bolivia - although sometimes a bit primitive, it was incredibly inexpensive & plenty of fun!

Now we have to get used to a whole new set of money ... Paesos counted in the '000s! (approx 420 to $1)

Our home for the next few days is San Pedro de Atacama & we're looking forward to a bit of a rest!
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