Blogs from Salar de Uyuni, Potosí Department, Bolivia, South America - page 10


South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Salar de Uyuni December 15th 2011

The tour through the Bolivian salt flats, the Salar de Uyuni was an experience like no other. In the three days it took us to go from Uyuni, Bolivia to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile we saw volcanoes, lagoons, deserts, salt flats, cacti and flamingos. We saw some of the most surreal landscapes and were at some of the most extreme points in South America. We started off by going to the Train Graveyard, the site of the first train lines in Bolivia, a place littered with the rusting remains of the British made steam engines. This odd sight in the middle of a desert landscape is where the train scenes from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were filmed. From there we moved on to a small town which is founded on the gathering and ... read more

We decide as a group the night before that we would leave by 5:15AM at the latest so that we could catch the sunrise on the salt flats. For various reasons (it looked like the local guide/drivers overslept) we didn’t get going until 5:45AM. Fortunately we got to the salt flats just as the sun was rising. Formation of Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni salt flat): Scienific: This part of the Altiplano has no outlet to the sea. The salt deposits are the result of the minerals leeched from the mountains and deposited at the lowest available point. Legends(from LP): A rounded promontory juts into the Salar de Uyuni along its NW corner and on it rises Volcan Tunupa (5432m). One legend states that Atahualpa slashed the breast of a woman called Tunupa on its slopes and ... read more
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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. ... read more

Today we crossed the border into Bolivia. A short drive just to the edge of town was the Chilean border post where a short line had already formed. It seemed like about 20 minutes when it was our turn but we were informed that we left our bus without his permission (something to do with not clearing customs first) so we had to go back to the back of the line. Sounded like a big ego and a small you-know-what. Anyway, to not cause any trouble, we did and it took us over an hour in line to get our permission to leave Chile. There were quite a few transports with cars crossing the border, many from Paraguay, one even had a person in one of the cars! We were told that many stolen cars make ... read more
Laguna Blanco
Laguna Verde

Arrived in Uyuni and made our way to our Hostel. Got put in a room with the world's most uncomfortable bed! The upside of the day for Stuart was that he managed to get himself a Poncho!!! The next day we boarded a land-cruiser to travel to Salar de Uyuni. The trip started with a stop at the train graveyard. We got to clamber on all the old trains which used to carry goods to Chile. The Salt flats seemed to go on forever and the heat haze made the distant mountains look as if they were floating above the horizon. The never ending landscape provided a brilliant backdrop to take loads of photos. Before retiring for a much needed rest (and application of after sun) to our hostel, constructed almost solely of blocks of salt, ... read more

The bus left to go to uyuni, thank god! The bus ride was the worst yet, the bus was actually 12 hours and 11.5 hours of that was on really bumpy untarmaced roads, someone should really speak to bolivia about getting some tarmac down. I got no sleep whatsoever because of the road and because some twat infront kept turning his very bright torch on! Anyway i arrived bit the worse for wear and in need of a shower but then found out i could get on a tour that morning so i went got booked and went for breakfast. 10.30 i got to the tour office an jumped in the 4x4, first stop was a train grraveyard then on to the salt flats which were just out of this world for as far as you ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Salar de Uyuni September 30th 2011

Tina Writes Day three was kicked off in a similar style to previous days, bump starting the Land Cruiser at 6am, and off we went. More weird rock formations, lagoons and flamingos filled the morning before the tail-gate buffet on a salty plain. We were back in the bad seats. The back of the Land Cruiser had no leg room so became rather uncomfortable after a while, even for me with my wee Meccy legs. Poor Rob. It also meant each time we stopped we had to clamber out over the seats in front which had been pulled down. It was ok though. While driving through one of the slat flats we noticed a train in the distance coming toward us. Then we could make out the track which was literally in the middle of nowhere, ... read more
Salt Flats Tour, Day 3, Lunch
Salt Flats Tour, Day 3 (31)
Salt Flats Tour, Day 3, Rob & Ida at Salt Hostel

Äpologies for the delay in updating the blog - too much fun and too little internet access. Day 25:- We started the day by picking up props for the Salar de Uyuni - a plastic dinosaur and a few beer bottles. Then we boarded our 4x4's and headed toward the salt plains, stopping at a little village en route that sold handicrafts. Our first stop on the plains was where the locals dry the salt in the sun by piling it into pyramids, once dry trucks come and take it for further drying and packaging. We continued oo to Isla del Pescado, an Island in the middle of the plains, the scenery is so surreal - nothing for miles and then an island comprising of cactus that are up to 1000 years old. We had lunch ... read more
Surviving the mines
Quad biking

Pour ce 50ème post, pas n’importe quel chapitre ! … En effet, la Bolivie possède une petite merveille du monde bien planquée au plus profond du sud du pays. Et évidemment, on ne pouvait pas passer par là sans y faire un petit tour… Mais reprenons chronologiquement, si vous le voulez bien… Nous quittons la ville de Potosì, un lundi matin frais, avec un bus qui va nous déposer à Uyuni, ville départ des excursions pour le sud. Le trajet se fait en 6h. La voie est presque entièrement goudronnée mais plusieurs fois tout de même, nous devons faire des détours par des pistes, heureusement sèches, car les travaux empêchent encore de circuler entièrement sur l’asphalte. Les paysages que nous traversons durant ces quelques heures sont déjà très beaux. Depuis Potosì, nous quittons vraiment la civilisation. ... read more
Trajet entre Potosì et Uyuni : lamas sur l'Altiplano
Uyuni, au milieu de rien
Sur la route d'Uyuni

Le lendemain, nous nous réveillons à 7h00 pour aller prendre le petit-déjeuner et écouter l’actualité de la nuit précédente puis nous partons un peu après 8h00, contents de ne pas partager la voiture avec les haleines fraîchement alcoolisées, pour la plus longue journée de l’excursion. Nous allons en effet avaler beaucoup de kilomètres aujourd’hui, on va pouvoir tester l’endurance d’Oscar, notre chauffeur. Nous quittons alors définitivement le Salar d’Uyuni, encore plein de splendides images devant les yeux. Tout en apercevant ici et là quelques vigognes (animal local, à mi-chemin entre la biche et le lama), nous nous dirigeons vers le sud. Nous allons traverser un autre Salar, bien plus petit, le Salar de Chiguana. Avec ce Salar, nous entrons dans la province la plus australe de la Bolivie : le Sud-Lipez. Cette province compte 5'000 habitants ... read more
Vigognes sur le chemin
Laguna Cañapa, quel reflet !
Laguna Hedionda, il y a foule !

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