Isla del Pescado

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Saturday, March 15, 2008

Day 2 of our four day tour started early. We all got up for the sun rise on the Salar at 6.30 am, but most of us were already outside at 5.30am. This is mainly due to the effects of height on the body - it keeps you from sleeping well due to lack of oxygen. Also the fact that electricty was out at 10pm meant that we are getting early nights.

Both Veronika and myself are suffering the height effects in the mornings - problems with breathing and headaches. However everything gets better once the sun is up and after some paracetamol. Bolivia will definetly help us in our Inca Trail in a couple of weeks time in Peru. We are walking around heights of 3.600 meters to 4.700 so that is a good preparation for the trek.

After a great breakfast of huge pancakes we set of to the population of Chantani some kilometres away where amongst 4 houses we encountered the "Palacio de los Cantaros". The place is basically a collection of ancient working tools and appliances which an old man started collecting 3 years ago. He really has made a great museum there, and next to it he has built a Stone Animal park. The photographs show what we saw there. The best part were the explanations of Don Tomas during the tour as he enjoyed every moment and loved to have visitors.

At lunch time we arrived at Isla del Pescado (Fish Island) or Incahuasi which is an impressive collection of cactus in a small island in the middle of the Salar.
During most of the day we played around with our cameras taking pictures in the Salar. As you will appreciate from the photographs (when we can upload them), you can do great perspective tricks there.
We ended our day out of the Salar at one of the many "Salt Hotels"...basically because most of their structure is made of salt blocks. Very comfortable, especially because you dont need to go to the kitchen if you forget the salt - just scrape the wall, table, chair or floor.
Sadly the water pump was not working so there was not water for showers...
Dinner again was great, and we indulged with a bottle of Bolivian red wine (Kohlberg) which cost us 40 Bolivarianos (3.5 euros). Its not at all bad!
The bad note of the day: Israeli groups of tourists. They are all travelling around the world after doing 3 years of military service (2 for women). It is incredible how most non-israelis have developed an allergy to these groups. They are noisy, rude, dont worry about other people and endlessly try to reduce prices everywhere (even in restaurants with fixed prices).
In Uyuni 2 of the travel agencies we checked prices with, proudly said "we dont work with Israelis. They always want to make everything cheaper and then protest when the service is not the best".
Its sad how a whole nationality is losing (or has lost) its reputation due to these groups travelling as if the world is theirs.
Hopefully they will change!
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