Uyuni Salt Flats

Uyuni Travel Blog

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After a long and bumpy ride along an unpaved road for 7 hours Killian, the Irish guy, and Uwe, the German, were released from the bus.  I would later find out that our bus was in fact much quicker than the others leaving Potosi with some getting into Uyuni at 3, as opposed to our arrival at 12.  Either way it sucked. I don´t know what Bolivian people rub on to their bodies to make them smell so bad, but its like they have all bathed in hotdog water or something, truly horrific.

Anyways we checked into a hotel for next to nothing and slept easily in the small desert town. We got up early to book our trip through the Salt Flats hoping to end in Tupiza, south eastern Bolivia. After speaking to some sleazy tour operators we discovered that getting to Tupiza was not all that easy so we ended up doing the traditional route which takes you three days and two nights through the salt flats to the Chilean border where you get dropped off and then bused to a small town called San Pedro de Atacamba.  With a few hours to kill we went to the market for some props to get some pictures for when we would be in the Salt Flats. 

Our jeep was actually quite nice, seating 7 very uncomfortably, but nonetheless it had air conditioning, heating and most importantly an iPod jack as there´s not much to do for a lot of the trip.  My group consisted of Killian, Uwe, a Dutch couple, and a French couple.  We all got along quite well, except for the French girl who was stereotypically French, meaning snobish and irritating.  She explained to us at our first meal that she was a vegetarian who also did not eat vegetables or fruit.  She had been sick for something like half of her trip, but after the first day of whining no one really cared to listen anymore. 

Our first day we spent driving into the salt flats. They are about 12,000 sq km according to our guide.  Apparentely it was once a giant salt lake which evaporated leaving behind only the salt. It´s quite a surreal place creating mirages off in the distance, and with nothing growing it makes persepective very difficult.  We used that to our advantage taking ridiculous pictures of us standing on beer cans, pushing gigantic soccer balls, ect.  It was good fun for a couple hours.  Then it was back to the jeep to continue to our first nights lodging, an entire hotel made of salt.  It was very cool, and well built. Everything from the chairs, tables and beds were of salt. 

After a good nights sleep we continued further south to see many lagoons full of pink flamingoes.  While we didn´t see this occur, apparently some of the flamingoes spend the whole night in teh lagoons as they don´t fly away in time and end up getting their feet frozen in the lake until it thaws the next morning. Very stupid birds it would seem.  For most of the second day we just drove south, through unusual rock formations and mountains until our ¨hostel¨for the night.  It had no power and was incredibly basic, but nonetheless did the trick.  We sat around and told stories for most of hte night until bed. We were up early to get to see the sun rise, and also to get to the geysers which were about an hour from the hostel.   After the geysers it was on to the hot springs where everyone jumped in to have a much deserved bath after a couple days wihtout.  Then it was breakfast and a one hour drive to the border and on to civilization, Chile.
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photo by: razorriome