We,ve just got back from one of the most amazing days we,ve had whilst we,ve been away, it,s been incredible !!!!! Plus someone,s nicked the bloody apostrophe again while we were out !!!!
We arrived in Uyuni after what can only be described as the worst bus journey in the world. We left La Quiaca early on the 23rd and wandered down to the border, all good so far, passed through with no mention of smuggling or illegal immigration and moved on up to the bus station. We managed to blag ourselves onto the only bus to Trapizu that day and even though we had to stand for the whole 3 hour trip all was still good. We met a nice couple Jin a swiss-Jap and his girlfriend , Patricia, a Swiss-Chilian and chatted to them the whole journey.
the train graveyard
We were both heading to Uyuni which was nice and so both got off at Trapizu to jump onto the connecting bus at 10.30 for Uyuni. First problem ...it's been cancelled , )but atleast the apostrophe's back POOP POOP, unfortunately the other bracket's gone now!!!!!) and there's no more buses today. But then one of the companies rings it's bus and the La Paz
express will detour and pick us up at 12 ,Get In!!!! So 12 comes and no bus ,1 still no bus, 2 still not here, half 2 arrives and we have to walk out of town as the bus can't get in as the locals have blocked the bridge and aren't letting in any traffic. So we get on the bus and head off, it's a real rust bucket and seems to be falling apart, immediately we get a flat tyre , then another problem with the brakes, eventually we're on our way about 3 very ish !!! The journey is through the 'badlands' and theres no prizes for guessing why they're called that! When God was creating this area he must have been listening to the Richaeous Brothers on his into the future listening gizmo, as the road was definately long with many a winding path leading to who knows where.
Sweetpea and a giant apple!!!
..... also time went by so slooooowly and so on and so on, anyway it was awful up down up down round the tightest bends over huge canyons , dust flying in, the driver kept on leaving the path and having to be directed back to it by one of the passengers who knew the way, and by sunset it was freezing, the bus was full of dust and grime and everyone had well had enough !!!!! We eventually got to Uyuni around 8.30 , our bags hidden under a mountain of red dust and booked into a hostel just happy to still be alive !!!!!!!
On to better things though, the next day we're up at 7 and at the tour operators and negotiate a one day trip around the salt flats, dropping in at all the other things to see on the way. What an incredible trip it was, although predictably we started an hour late and again immediately got another flat tyre, what is it with Bolivian Tyres______and where the hell is the question mark now----.
in the middle of nowhere
' They have a saying in Bolivia which goes something like´It's possible but don't count on it ' and this was definatelt thought up in regards the buses !"!!!!!
Anyway, stop with the moaning, first stop on the tour was the loco graveyard which was really odd and really cool in a geeky sort of Scoobie Doo mystertious, it was Mr Peter the conductor sort of way. All these old trains just rusting away forgotten about at the side of the tracks. Next stop was the salt museum and factory which was as you would expect, but we did pick up some good rock salt as souveniers, then we were into the Salt Plains. Completely otherworldly and amazing, bright white and so eerie. In all directions the salt stretched out ,looking like fresh snow or something. It was astonishing!!!!!! One of the most amazing sights of our trip.
We spent another three or so hours driving around, stopping for lunch at the illegal salt hotel, then onto the volcano where we were supposed to see Pingo's but didn't , then back through the flats to Cactus Island and more photo's. We saw loads of llamas and even watched this tiny little dog herding them around...weird. We took hundreds of photos and more films on Sid. We watched the sun set over the salt and arrived home around 7 completely knackered but loving it!!!!!!!
It's so weird here though the nights are freezing but the days are roasting..well extreme and really hard to cope with !!!! We're on the move again tonight on the bus to La Paz then onto Lake Tikitaki or something like that, hopefully the bus will be a slightly more sturdy model but we're not counting on it!!!! Maybe the question mark will have turned up again from it's holiday with the bracket.
...it's possible.....but don't count on it !!!!!!!!