Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Salar de Uyuni -aka Salt Lake Tour, Bolivia

Arriving into Toupiza early evening meant we had to find a tour that night that would leave the next morning. Tish had been sick with what she thought was a cold so went straight to bed as soon as we hit Toupiza.
We found a tour company who our new friends we had met traveling up through Bolivia had made contact with prior to our arrival. Job done. We had our own tour with them starting 8am the next day!
Our first day started with visiting Quebrada de Palala which were spectacular red formations that resemble needles, reaching 4200m. Our next stop that afternoon was called Valley of the moon. It is a product of erosion. Landscape presents shapes like the moon showing peaks and craters. Our first day had already blew us away with its scenery. It was hard to believe it was going to get better! Our first night was VERY basic accommodation with VERY cold conditions. We were sleeping at 4260m so our first night sleep was interrupted by us all waking at 2am with problems breathing. Didn´t help we had a bottle or two of wine before bed...not recommended and wasn´t repeated again...haha
Day 2 started at 5am as it was a 10 hour day of driving. We were lucky to have a great 4wd and a great guide and cook. First stop was San Antonio, abandon town distinguished once for its gold.
This trip for us has been the highlight of South America. We could go through day by day but there was SO much amazing things this entry would be way too long and borning for some of you. Every day we would say that it couldn't´t possibly get any better.....but it did.
Throughout the 4 days we visited volcanic rocks, Hot Springs, lagoons made up of arsenic and magnesium (they use this to make detergent), dried lava, picturesque snow caped mountains, craters of lava and mud in constant boiling, flamingos
Our last night was spent in a Salt Hotel. (hotel made out of salt) where we had our first one at that..YAY. It was cool to stay in this hotel. The next morning we woke at 4am to get to the Salar de Uyuni (salt flats) before sunrise. The Salt Lakes is considered to be the biggest of the world. It is formed by 11 layers with a thickness that ranges from 2 ro 20 meters deep. Here we watched the sun rise with only 1 other car in site and went snap happy. After a few hours there we had breakfast at Cactus Island. This crazy Island made up of Cacti. We walked to the top,checked out the view and went on our merry way out of the salt flats. Very cool day but for us it wasn´t the highlight of the trip with the other 3 days being so impressive. Amazing pics will follow.
On the way back to Uyuni we stopped at a Train Cemetery...weird but fun non the less.
Our bus our of Uyuni was the hairiest ever. I think this has been updated in "buses" post.

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