Published: December 4th 2011November 6th 2011
A group got its morning call at 4:30AM, probably heading to other direction to see the geysers in Sol de Manana. We had a leisurely breakfast and left at 7:30AM, to continue our drive to the salt flats.
Not far from our accommodation we ran into the Brazilian guy with his jeep, having trouble starting it up. We happily stopped to help and got his jeep started. KARMA!
We passed the much-photographed Arbol de Piedra (Stone Tree) in the Siloli Desert and some other lagoons dotted with flamingos. There were a few white flamingos. I was told that they were not from the region because they get their colours from what they eat.
More trouble with the 4WD. Our vehicle had a gasoline smell which got worse over time, apparently related to a leaky gas tank. We ran out of gas one time and had to refuel en route, and were unable to restart the 4WD initially. We finally got going and passed the quinoa growing village of San Juan. There were seedlings in the soil and we were told that growing season is from Dec to Mar. We also passed a military checkpoint at the village of
Colcha K. The barrier was down but no one was around so we lifted the barrier ourselves and kept going.
We stayed the night at a salt hotel, Hostal de Sal Samarikun (elevation 3600m) where pretty much everything was made of salt – beds are built on salt blocks, dining room has salt columns, tables and seats. And for $10Bs, the shower was hot and refreshing!
There are more photos below