Salt Lakes and Southern Bolivia
Uyuni Travel Blog› entry 22 of 35 › view all entries
We put all our trust in a guy called Raul in La Paz, for our trip down to the salt plains (the guide books say don´t do this ever) but you don´t really have a lot of choice. Then on the day we were leaving (at 10am) we still didn´t have our tickets for the train or bus. Raul turned out to be a very cool dude though and he came down to the station and sorted everything out and sent us on our way. Its a long trip down to uyuni where the tours start and most people don´t come back to La Paz (like we would) but head into chile or argentina from there. We took the trip with two aussies and two new zealanders so no communication barriers or antyhing like that to deal with, actually everything being so familiar was quite fun for a change.
It took 12hrs to get there which meant arriving late at night but as Raul had suggested we were met by a lady from our tour company who organised accomodation, which was convenient considering the timing and it was absolutely freezing (as usual AC was wearing shorts so he really felt the cold when we got out of the train late at night, I had a ridicullous amount of clothes but I was still freezing).
The next morning we set off with our very shy spanish speaking guide Orlando, and all six of us in a 1980 Toyota Landcruiser. Eveything we owned was strapped to the roof plus gas bottles etc for sooking and food for the trip.
The tour ran for three days and took us through the salt flats; stunning white in every direction which made for awesome pics in contrast with the sky, inlcudung the salt hotle made entirely from salt and a very random cactus island in the middle complete with cactus at 10m high.
The trip was great, the road a bit rough at times, but the great thing was that Orlando loved his car, which meant we didn´t break down or blow a tyre (we had heard horror stories of blowoing 8 or 9 tyres in a day from others who had done the trip). In fact we helped fix up a very dodgy 4WD (which apparently the boys said had the 4WD ability removed from it and only three brakes) and helped it on its way. The trip back to La Paz took about 24hrs but we won´t go into that story... you meet alot of people when there are transport delays though,