Uyuni Travel Blog› entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
Well the bus was an hour late but we are getting used to that now, as it seems to be the norm for them to run late. I was fiercly guarding our bags when Bend went to the toilet as I saw some guy come up and steal a hat off of someones head! At first I thought it was his mate but no, he took off with the other guy chasing close behind!
I was sure the bus was going to break down, everytime the driver changed gear there was an enoremous grinding noise from underneath which shook the whole bus; no idea how we made it. It was also freeking cold and fully clothed with a sleeping bag was still not enough to keep me warm!
Arrived un Uyuni pretty tired but at least the sun was coming out.
So we loaded up our Toyota Landcruiser, bags on the roof and headed off. In our group were 2 professors and a couple who were cycling across South America.
We had been told before we left that it had rained the previous day and this was best for experiencing the Salt Flats...we were not dissapointed.
Cresting a hill and coming down onto the flats was truly amazing. Three inches of water lay on top of it, reflecting the crystal clear blue sky and merging it with the horizon so that mountains in the distance seemed to be floating on thin air. Trucks driving along it shared a similar fate apart from two sprays of water from either side as its wheels cut through the water but from a distance this looked more like puffs of clouds which added to the allusion.
It was one of the most stunning things I have ever seen and I would recommend everyone to go and see the flats. After stopping at a crappy museum(which was basically a tourist shop) we headed further on until the flats dried out. This was also very beautiful, an expanse of blinding white stretching as far as the eye could see. The salt is made up naturally of hexagon shapes which are pushed together, the lips slightly elevated. I have no idea why this is but it is pretty odd.
Since there is nothing to compare scale to on the flats me and Bend got some really cool photos: us emerging from a pringles tub; holding up a lollipop and rolloing the top of a lolly along.
Our hostal for the night was quite good, with power for an amazing one hour, and Bend and I had ample fun using the table tennis table.
I was very impressed with the Toyota today! We were proper offroading, going up some very steep inclines and our driver thinks he is Michael Schumacher and I often saw 60mph on the clock whilst we were off roading! Pretty scary but immensely fun!
Today was like something out of Star Trek. We drove through the dessert and the surroundings became steadily more red until we stopped at the strangest grouping of rocks I have ever seen. They were crazily shaped with angles jutting out all over the place as well as being a deep red colour; I honestly felt like I was on Mars!
We also stopped at a naturally red lake today and at another lake there were hundreds of Flamengos(they bloody stink!)
Just before heading to our hostal for the night we stopped at another crazy outcrop of red rocks.
At the Hostal I was once again embarassed by the attitude of a fellow British traveller(seriously, what is with our nation?). I will explain it as clearly as possible...Basically when we first arrived we heard an argument between two travellers and locals but I thought nothing of it as I couldnt understand what the hell they were on about(speaking rapid fire Spanish). At dinner the guy who had been complaining(an English dude/prick) refused to eat the food stating that he believed they would have done something to his food. He had a right rant and stormed off saying he would prefer to stay in his room all night and not eat for the rest of the trip(during all of this his girlfriend looked thoroughly embarassed).
Up at a soul shattering 5am! No, not 5 after midday, thats in the morning! I know, I hadnt heard of such a time either!
It was bloody freezing as we headed off in the truck and we were all shivering like crazy.
Watching the sun come up across the desert was pretty cool, the clouds slowly melting from a deep scarlet colour to s glorious gold/bronze.
We drove on for a couple of hours and then stopped at the natural Geysers(no clue how to spell!). They smelled quite stongly of rotten egg which was pretty offputting but wow, what a site! There were signs warning, under no circumstances to pass this point as the ground was unstable, but I wasnt coming all that way to stand 15feet from them so I just walked up to them. The ground was pretty crumbly and a couple of times I nearly went into one but alls good, Im still here! It is mad, the liquid in the Geysers is grey and bubbling madly as it is somehow being boiled. The gases pour into the sky, clouding the surroundings which is actually strangely comforting, like being alone in the world when it swirls around you.
Later we stopped at a natural hot spring. Well, hot isnt the word really, lets call it the scorching hot spring! It was still very early and freezing cold so climbing in was actually quite sore on the muscles. It was actually hotter than a bath and very refreshing, I really didnt want to get out.
Stopped at a small place for breakfast before the drive back to Uyuni. There was hardly anything, a roll, a slice of cheese and some jam but it all worked out well! The moaning English dude was there and after 10seconds he was saying how there was something funny about the cheese, it looked like they had put something on it. He didnt trust the food and he was fucking leaving! haha, I was so so so sorry to see him go and even more sorry as I tucked into the extra roll!
Back in Uyuni we discovered there were no buses until the next day so we booked it and are just staying in a Hostal for the night.
Next we are trecking down to Buenes Aires, for one day, for one of their famous steaks which supposedly fill your plate, haha. One day in Argentina is not long but we are seriously short of time now. We will catch it another trip!