First day in Bolivia, Ojo de Perdiz

Uyuni Travel Blog

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Breakfast Altiplanico

Please note that I've had to say that I'm in Uyuni, when I'm not.  The map/site hasn't heard of the Salar de Uyuni in this location.  When I say that I'm in Uyuni, either in the journal entry or as a caption for a photo, that's when I'm in Uyuni!

 

Was to be picked up at nine so went to breakfast around ¼ to 8.  Hadn’t packed.  At 8 two guys came to pick me up; great confusion, they weren’t from Fremen Tours.  Apparently some Chilean company takes you to the border and before you reach the border you get the exit stamp on your passport.  A few minutes later you arrive at the border and there you go through Bolivian customs, all very casual.  So I’d been told that I was to be picked up at 9 at the hotel, but they’d really meant the border. Anyway everyone was very nice and I met Marco the guide and Cecilio the driver, who were to be my company for the next five days.

More breakfast Altiplanico
  The Bolivian scenery is spectacular and much more so than I had anticipated.  We were in the most remote area of Bolivia and there are only 4WDs on the roads, which are all unmade, very dusty and often very difficult.  Unfortunately as the day went on my cold didn’t get any better and I started to suffer from altitude sickness.  Fortunately my symptoms were only extreme lethargy and shortness of breath.  Some people get very ill and in extreme cases it is necessary for people to return to lower altitudes, as untreated, the symptoms can lead to death.  Good guides are trained in this area and know what to look for, also they carry oxygen for emergencies.  Marco was very kind and told me that I had to rest.  I drank litres and litres of water which apparently a very good sign because the humidity is extremely low.  So if your body is working correctly it gives you little energy, forcing you to rest until you become acclimatised and you become extremely thirsty which makes you drink more to overcome the loss of water in the air.  I felt that, considering that I had a cold, which was obviously stressing my lungs already, my body did very well.
Even more breakfast Altiplanico
   Normally it takes two to three days to acclimatise.

 

First we visited the Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) which is at its greenest when the wind is blowing.  This because there is arsenic at the bottom and I gather this moves the water and therefore the arsenic, thus the green colour.

 

We stopped for lunch at the thermal springs; Thermas de Polques, which were around 35° and I dipped my hand in but others were bathing.  I wasn’t allowed to do anything; Marco got the lunch out and tidied up afterwards.  I described my legs as “jelly” legs to Marco, who thought this was funny.

Marco, just inside Bolivian border
  The toilets were eco friendly so were built up and you had to go up steep stairs to get there.  Cost 3 Bolivianos, AUD0.43.  AUD100 = BOB697

 

After lunch we stopped at Sol de Manana, geysers.  Best to let the pics do the talking.  I can’t remember when I last saw geysers, but they were quite spectacular; and all the boiling mud.  One poolwas red because of iron in the water.

 

Later we went to Laguna Colorada (Red Lagoon) which is red because of the colour of the algae that grows there.  The flamingos that eat the algae are coloured pink as a result.  We also visited the Arbol de Piedra (Stone Tree).

 

That night we stayed at Hotel de Desierto (desert) in what appeared to be in the middle of nowhere.

Customs Bolivia
  I wasn’t feeling too good because of the cold and altitude and lay on the bed for a couple of hours, absolutely exhausted.  Got up for dinner but didn’t feel like wine (yes, I must have been crook).   On top of the cold and lack of oxygen problems I was also affected by the dust.  My poor lungs!  Despite all that it was a magnificent day.

 

There is no electricity at the Tayka hotels.  The hot water runs off solar energy and they turn on the generator between around 6 pm until around 10 pm so that’s when I charge my batteries and the laptop.

 

There was a gas heater in the room, but not as effective as the ones I know, or perhaps it was just the cold.  But the bed was very comfortable and they use lovely warm sheets, sort of like an upmarket version of flannelette.

Laguna Verde
  They’re called “polar sheets’.  Because the gas heater isn’t flued, you have to turn it off when you go to sleep and it was bitterly cold.  Although the bedding was very warm, I wore a nightie, sox, a thermal top, warm gloves and my new hat!

 

Through Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Travelling with private guide ��" Fremen Tours. (E)  www.frementours.com.  Telephone 591-4-4259392

Staying at Tayka hotels  http://www.uyuni-expeditions.com/dir_en/hotels.html

 

pepernoten says:
Would love to try this someday, it sounds really amazing!
Posted on: Jun 12, 2008
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Breakfast Altiplanico
Breakfast Altiplanico
More breakfast Altiplanico
More breakfast Altiplanico
Even more breakfast Altiplanico
Even more breakfast Altiplanico
Marco, just inside Bolivian border
Marco, just inside Bolivian border
Customs Bolivia
Customs Bolivia
Laguna Verde
Laguna Verde
Thermales de Polques
Thermales de Polques
Thermales de Polques
Thermales de Polques
Hungry fox
Hungry fox
Vicuna
Vicuna
Jeeps crossing the desert.
Jeeps crossing the desert.
Interesting scenery
Interesting scenery
Thermales de Polques
Thermales de Polques
Thermales de Polques
Thermales de Polques
Iron in water at Thermales de Polq…
Iron in water at Thermales de Pol…
Thermales de Polques
Thermales de Polques
Pink flamingos, Laguna Colorada
Pink flamingos, Laguna Colorada
Arbol de Piedra (Stone Tree)
Arbol de Piedra (Stone Tree)
Altitude 4885 metres ASL
Altitude 4885 metres ASL
The other option for accommodation.
The other option for accommodation.
Dinner Hotel del Desierto.  Cecili…
Dinner Hotel del Desierto. Cecil…
Uyuni Hotels & Accommodations review
Hotel in Uyuni
Stayed here in May 2008. Staff were nice but hotel very cold. Big bedroom with tiny heater and hard bed. Hot shower.
Uyuni
photo by: razorriome