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Published: August 7th 2018
Second day in Bolivia, and we are settling at a slightly lower altitude. Most of the day will be spend from 4000 meters to just above 3500 meters.
We were normally due to the visit the Geysers area. But here it is, the geysers are at around 5000 meters, and up there, the snow is still massively packed. It is not like they would send snow machines to clear it....no proper roads to clear, smile! So if our drivers told us it's a no go with our Land Rovers, I guess it is actually a no go. Good news is, I've already done it, and Tanya has seen few geysers with me around the world.
So we are heading for something we normally don't visit. There were pre-inca writings on rocks...more very weird rock formations....plus we did a super cool walk to the Laguna Negra. Well, that was actually more like a little rock trekking than a walk. Our lunch was also in a little village normally out of reach of most tourists....and they had a fiesta that day. Interesting to see the behavior of the little local band. Empty cans of beer are all
over the place, and it seems, the more they drink, the more they "bang" on their instruments. That was an experience!
Our night was spent at a salt hotel. We had our private room with share bathrooms. Great news, it was also shower time! Yes, water is a rarity here, there is a small 1.5usd extra charge for the shower...but it felt so good! We slept at 3500 meters altitude which helped for a warmer and way better night! Tomorrow would be the great day, reaching early morning the Salar de Uyuni for the sunrise!
Back to our great agency, I name Cordillera. Trust me, these guys are true pro. Even with the normal itinerary unavailable, they came with an impressive plan B. We didn't see that many tourists around us...seems the guides at Cordillera went the extra miles!
Now there is the big question is you want to take that trip...do I take the more "luxury tour"...or the Backpacker tour". The first one is like 1250usd per person, the backpackers one, we paid 220usd per person. This included 3 nights, San Pedro to San Pedro, all food and accommodation.
On the backpacker tour, it's 6 guests in the car plus the driver. The driver speaks only English. We were 5 people. On the luxury option, it's a driver with an English speaking guide, and maximum 4 guest. Makes the math...we were the same number of people in the car.
We met the "luxury people" over few lunches...they had the same as us. I'm sure their accommodation was way better....but at altitude, you sleep bad...whatever your bed! Our accommodation the first night was truly basic, but it was clean. Next day it went to pretty cool place...and on the last night, we had a simple room...but even had our private bathroom and shower! So yes, I truly don't see why we should pay 5 times the price!
We seems to arrive better equipped than our fellow travelers...so be wise with communication with any agency. We had Bolivianos, as they don't take us dollars! We had sorted out our sleeping bags for three nights ahead...others on our groups had to rent them when available. We had decent Chilean wine with us...but you know, that's just me!
Tomorrow, it's amazing Salar
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