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Published: October 28th 2005
This is the transport used for the 4 day trip around the southern part of Bolivia.
In the south of Bolivia there is a well known tour called the
The Solar Tour
. It consists of 4 days in a very old Toyota Land Cruiser touring around the south west corner of Bolivia.
Consist of a 7 hour drive across the worlds highest and biggest salt lake. It is huge and very weird old inland sea. You get to stop of at a small island in the middle, which was previously a coral reef. And you can see a full 360 panoramic, at about 50 meters height, of most of the northern end of the lake, but it is so big you cannot see the southern end. As you drive along the edge of the lake you begin to notice that the edge is very much like many seascapes you get when diving and you begin to realise you really could be underwater, very strange to see complete underwater seascapes in the open air, just without the fish! That night you get to stay in a hotel made of salt blocks. The salt blocks are as hard as stone and are used just like bricks.
This day starts at 5 am and
For those with a dirty mind...
is spent traversing into the southern deserts of Bolivia. The drive continues through some of the most arid, bleak and beautiful views we have ever had the fortune to see. There are dozens of volcanoes, lakes, mountains, huge lava flows, weird wind eroded rock/lava formations and even a little wildlife. Especially prevalent are the different species of flamingos, each lake seemed to consist of a different coloured species. We believe that this is due to the different minerals content and acidity of these remote lakes, there were thousands on one of the lakes. After another long day we started to understand why all the transport was using 4x4 jeeps. Although even in the depths of the desert you still see the odd Coach or Bus bouncing its way through the terrible roads. That night is spent at one of the highest and coldest spots in the whole trip. It was -6 that night, but it has been known to be -40 in July and August. Our guide told us that a Japanese tourist had lost his toes to frostbite earlier this year. You can imagine the girls had at least 8 layers each!
Is another 5
The long white road
This route just keeps on going across the Salt Flats for about 8 hours. And that is just the top corner.
am start, of course with a little hangover. This day is spent heading to the border of Chilly and back up towards the start point again. First thing in the morning you come across a volcanically active area with boiling mud, gushing geysers and that terrible sulphur smell. It was really still very cold from the night before but the steam kept you warm. This area was very dangerous, as you could fall through the crust into a boiling cauldron of nasty stuff. One tourist had been badly burned the year before. You then finally head to the southern most part of the tour known as Lake Verde, were some people head off into Chile while the others turn around and head for home. The rest of the day is spent getting back towards the start point. We did get one more interesting stop in a place known as Valley of the Rocks, weird eroded lava flows which are great to climb around. One of the lava flows was so huge that we were driving along its perimeter for 5 hours, I would not liked to have seen that eruption! That night we stay at a small village and manage
This is dried out salt. After each rainy season these patterns change and move location across the vast expanse.
to teach our guide/driver/cook the fine rules of Shit Head!
Is at last a lie in, this day is a simple 2 hour return trip to Uyuni. We do get to stop at another site know as the train cemetery. This site consists of about 200 old British steam trains that were used in Bolivia for years and then simply dumped here. We had a lot of fun scrambling around and some great pictures to be had.
That is it for the 4 day Solar tour and to be truthful probably the best $70 USD each we have ever spent.
Tot: 2.784s; Tpl: 0.051s; cc: 7; qc: 51; dbt: 0.1639s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb