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Published: November 10th 2005
Well we left Maryke & Pascal behind and headed down to Uyuni and the salt plains. The trip down was by bus and train. The train wasn´t too bad as the scenery was quite cool, with huge salt lakes and barren desert with mountians in the distance.
We did get into Uyuni quite late, so needed to find a bed then get up early in the morning and hoped to find a tour leaving then. Well within 15 minutes of getting into uyuni at 10.30pm we had found both so were very happy! We even had a choice of groups, a mix of europeans or a bunch of irish and a token english girl. We went with the irish.
The next day we soon realise we picked well. The irish were a bunch of 4 boys on their way to work in Oz for a year and all very nice as was the English girl. Our first stop was a train cemetery, full of old style rusted trains. Not only could you have a lot of fun playing on them, again they looked amazing in the middle of nowhere.
Next was the salt plains, these are amazing just
Our Irish friends
flat white plains as far as you can see extremely dazzling if you didn´t have sunglasses. We stopped and checked out an island in the middle with huge (one is 12m) cacti. Mind what was so fun there was seeing a local music video being made - it was for a traditional music song with the men dressed up in warrior outfits and the girls wearing smaller tighter outfits...
After driving trough the plains and the desert for a while we came to the ´town´where we to stay the night, now all we needed to do was find a room. Our poor guide had had to change our tyre and was the last to arrive so we got one of the last rooms - we think it might have even been one for the guides as we were in a separate building to other groups (all groups share one room - it doesn´t matter as it is quite cold so lots of people help the room keep warm!)
The following day was not to good. we drove about and saw more desert, rock formations in the middle of no-where and several lakes (one was red - something
to do with the bacteria in the water)with loads of flamingoes but Matthew was not a well boy. Some nasty food poisoning kept him up most of the night and a day in the back of a 4WD was not good. We did manage to make it to camp very early though as the guides wanted to ensure a room for the night.
We had an early 5am start the next morning which was freezing in the Desert at 4200m. Everybody rugged up and we headed off to see a geyser. It wasn´t just one geyser but a whole field of bubbling mud and jets of steam which you could walk through. It all looked very alien and was really amazing. it was like a huge field of just steam/fog and as you wander people disappeared in and out of it and you could hear the gurgling mud around you.
After the geysers was more desert and random scattered boulders (pushed into the desert by volcanos) and a couple of lakes (this time coloured green or at least it is when it is windy) before we were rid of the 4WD and got a bus to San Pedro
De Atamaca in Chile. As soon as you hit Chile you could tell it was much more ´western´ (it had paved roads!). We thought about staying in San Pedro as it is supposed to be nice, but thought we´d just head down to La Serena - a coastal town where it would be better for Matt to recover!
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