Almost start of Salt Flat Tour, night in a salt hotel instead
Salar de Uyuni Travel Blog› entry 51 of 58 › view all entries
So with my backpack loaded up, having arrived at Uyuni around 9 am (left about 7:30ish the previous night), so about 1 14 hour freezing bus ride, I was off to find a salt flat tour. In a perfect world I would have had a tour sorted out, but that's the trade off of being able to travel this flexibly, I was confident I'd find a spot on a tour somewhere.
Firstly I tried the Emprexsa agency as that had some good traveller feedback but unfortunately they had no tours today, strike one. Fortunately second time is a charm and I wandered in to Cordiella who said they did have one running. I ended up paying US$65 for a 3 day/2 night tour, I think there were a few tours around for slightly less but I think the lower the price, the more likely your jeep will break down in the middle of nowhere, so it seems worth US$10.
Then APPARENTLY our 'until known unseen' 4th person phoned in with altitude sickness so we couldn't start the tour today. We had the choice of spending the night in a salt hotel or stayin in Uyuni, then start the tour tomorrow, with 2 or 3 others to meet us then.
There certainly wasn't a lot to Uyuni (other than random colorful costumes and people playing instruments everywhere) so a night in a slat hotel sounded like a novel expereince!
We wouldn't head towards our hotel just yet, but fortunatley Cordiella tour company was able to strike a deal that would let us shower in the hotel Avenida.
After a safe pizza lunch in a cafe playing 80s retro music (didn't quite fit!) we were in to a jeep and heading towards the salt flat. First stop was a train graveyard which was these train carriages in the middle of nowhere, quite a sight really. Next stop was a salt processing factory, which is essentially lots of little piles of salt which people put togehter with some sort of pick-like tool, that does not seem like fun!
Finally we were driving out across the salt flats which is so surreal, and well worth doing. I remember hearing the salt flats described to me and didn't quite understand why it would be good to be in the middle of nothing, but you feel like you're in another world, and I can't recommend it enough! We arrived at our hotel, which was entirely made of salt! The chairs, the tables, the bed is salt (fortunatley with a mattress on top!) it's all quite strange.
We wandered outside with some tea in hand and watched the sunset over the salt flats, I'm not sure I'll see a more surreal sight, just spectacular scenery, it really fools your senses :) Definitely a place where sunglasses are a necessity though.
I'm not sure if it was the fact that I spent the previous night on a bus, or something about the chill in the air and the salt-bed but I had one of the best night's sleeps of my travels here.