Surely nothing could go wrong! Well it did. After our breakfast of pancakes tea we all gathered outside ready to go with our bags. Only problem was that one of the jeeps was refusing to start. Our two guides worked tirelessly on the engine to get it to work. We had been told to expect problems as the terrain we were travelling through wasn’t exactly like a road of any type. Out here also there is no garages or mechanics. The guides are fully qualified in maintaining their own vehicles. It was 8am when we were meant to leave and it didn’t look like we were moving any time soon. The guides were apologetic about the delay and told us we would be underway as soon as possible. As you might see from our photo’s there wasn’t really that much to do other than sit and wait. I went for a walk and found a dog to play with. She was a young dog and very playful. She would come running at me and try and grab my gloves or jacket. The dog would bite but never enough to cut. She was just been playful. In the end the dog was
getting more fun out of me than I was out of her. Eventually she tired out and just lay beside me and every time I moved she would move too.
It was quite clear that the jeep was never going to start with out the proper attention of a garage. This gave me time to sit back and relax and enjoy where we were and what we were doing. As we were in a flat dry landscape (it hadn’t rained for 2 years!) I took myself and my mp3 player for a walk. I walked for about 500m away from our hostel. I stood there for ages listening to my favourite music and just enjoying my time. It’s a strange feeling to be in the middle of nowhere, with no shops, communication, entertainment etc etc. It was an amazing feeling to be so cut from the world. I couldn’t of cared less if the jeep was ever fixed (well for that day anyway!). The scenery was amazing but it was an amazing nothingness. It wasn’t exactly the most picturesque place I’ve ever been but just standing there away from everyone with only my music was as close to been
free as you’ll ever get. For that short while it seemed like there wasn’t a single problem in the world. I climbed a short hill that over looked the whole flat terrain and put on Lynrd Skynrd’s Free Bird. I don’t want to go on, all philosophical and sound like some mad man, but that was the most I was ever cut off from civilisation and it felt good (for that moment anyway!). A whistle came through the air and I could see some one waving. Lunch was ready and my moment was over.
Again they served up a feast for us and everyone got plenty of food. Abraham had gone and got another jeep and driver as the other van was refusing to start. We hit the road at twelve, four hours late and with a lot of sightseeing to do. We passed by four different lakes and also saw some amazing rocks in the middle of the desert. We also went to see an active volcano, all be it from a rather safe distance. For the final part we crossed a small salt flats that took and hour or so to cross. This salt flat was only
tiny in comparison to the one we would see the next day. We finally made it to the small town where we would be staying for the night. Our accommodation was again very basic but they did have one hot shower. Our room was literally a concrete room similar to a prison cell with four iron beds. The food served up to us again was perfect and filling. The next day we would finally reach the amazing Salar de Uyuni. An area half the size of Belgium, completely full of salt and completely flat.
In a bit. DH
Song of the blog: AC/DC - Shoot to Thrill
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