Blogs from Salar de Uyuni, Potosí Department, Bolivia, South America - page 11


"The salt flats was amazing! We took so many pictures that were crazy. We took pictures of me in a can, me eating my dad and me pointing at my small daddy. My dad kissed my barbi. It was shivering cold. I put salt down my dad's pants. I slept in a salt hotel. I got a salt crytal that I took back to our house. And it was fun. The old trains were verycool. I kept saying ' all aboard to Africa' "- Sofia ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ After 1 night in La Paz, we took a private ride to Orouro to catch a train. The drive took almost 4 hours and I had fun with Daddy and Jen in the car and did a lot of math. We stopped for lunch "in the middle of nowhwere" and ... read more
My best hiding place ever!

I had acually tried to make a reservation for a trip here in Potosi. On A recommendation of a tour company - eviently the only one that spoke english - I had wanted to ring from Potosi just to let them know I was wanting to do it if they had placed. Whilst the operator indeed did speak perfect English, the connection was so bad that it almost foiled my efforts. "Can I take your name please?" "Thomas" "Robin?" "Thomas!" "Ok Robin, see you tomorrow" "No, Thomas, Tom, T- O- M" "Ooooh sorry! Ok then Jon, sorry about the phone, it´s a bad connection" No kidding. Anyway we got there in the end, and after a half night bus, half hostel nights sleep I was rearing to go, especially after caramel and pankakes for breakfast. It ... read more

The overnight bus to Uyuni was supposed to arrive at 7....but somehow it managed to arrive at 5:30, which meant that I had to walk around for ahwile searching for a hostel:( However, me and some others managed to find one that let us put our things down and rest, before booking our tour of the salt flats. I had originally planned to do a four day tour, but due to the cold weather and snow, some parts of the usual tour were unreachable. Therefore, I shortened it to 1 day. The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt. Our tour took us to the train cemetary, salt hotel and incahuasi island.....and as the pictures will attest to it was beautiful, especially ... read more

The day dawned bright with a few clouds and we waited till 11am for our pickup (late and an indication of what was to follow - we are now on Bolivian time where 15mins actually means 50 or even longer). There were 3 others on the tour with us, a Bolivian from La Paz and a very nice young German couple who translated for us, we had a lot of fun with them. First stop is the train graveyard just out of town and now that the snow has gone we see the countryside in all it's rubbish. Wind blown litter surrounds most towns on the Bolivian altiplano. These trains once took minerals from the mines until the 1940's when it all ended. Back along the road to La Paz we come to the salt producing ... read more
the train graveyard
a few kms out of Uyuni is the train graveyard
train graveyard

Day One Crossing the Salar de Uyuni was one of the things I was most looking forward to in South America and it is one of the renowned trips of the backpacking world. Much like Machu Picchu and Foz do Iguaçu, if you are South America and anywhere near to them, it is compulsory to go. We arrived early on the morning of 28th June, at the office of La Torre Tours and were quickly introduced and left in the care of our guide and driver for the trip, Franco, and his wife, Ancelma, who was our chef. Lots of tour groups leave every day from Tupiza and as such, we there was a long line of 4x4’s being prepared and we noticed that ours was several years older than any of the vehicles present. It ... read more
First Day Lunch Stop

Our first day in Tupiza - set at 2950 meters above sea level and surrounded by an amazing landscape of rainbow coloured rocks, hills and canyons - was spent recovering from our night of no sleep. It was near this town that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed after robbing a payroll from a small settlement 40 klms away from Tupiza. The colours in the hills really were vibrant and it was easy to appreciate them as we explored the town in the late afternoon as they were very close - Tupiza is only tiny. Jerry climbed to a hill above the town and had a great view of the surrounding countryside but that seemed too hard for me - I stayed in the hotel with my book! Next day we visited three of ... read more
Scenery around Tupiza
Sylvia unpacking our picnic lunch
Lunch, salad and dried llama meat

Salar de Uyuni was an absolutely amazing experience. On Wednesday night we hopped on an unheated..... super cold bus for an 11 hour overnight to Uyuni. When we arrived our guide met us, dropped us off in the town square to pick up breakfast and then we left for our day. The first place we stopped was the train cemetary which was a bunch of old school abandoned trains. Then we went out to the salt flats. It was amazing. Nothing but stark white salt for miles and miles with beautiful snow-capped mountains in the background. We took some geeky photos and headed off to the Ojos de Sal or the "water eyes" where the salt meets holes of bubbling water. Then off to the Tunupa Volcano. There was a really small town there where we ... read more
Photo 13
Photo 14
Photo 15

Day 139 – 142 The group is ushered onto the dirtiest bus we have ever seen and Em puts her coat down before sitting, and we are off to Uyuni. After a stop in Oruro we catch the 7hour train to Uyuni, and everyone is pleased to be off the bus that smells of wee, and onto a clean and comfortable train with films playing. This good cheer ends when the train halts in a place called Poopo (yes you read it right) and we are told that another train has derailed and that we will be waiting at least 7 hours. As darkness falls, Em asks if we are safe here (we feel slightly like rich sitting ducks), but eventually the train starts moving and as the desert chill sets in we all wrap up ... read more
Jumping Pixie
Salt lick

Thursday 5th May - Tuesday 10th May We departed Salta early in the morning and it didn't take long before the bus started climbing the Andes once more, zig-zagging its way up the mountain pass. The views were spectacular but the sheer drops outside the window and the lack of safety barriers were a cause for concern, as were the two overturned lorries we passed! However, of more concern was how we would cope with the effects of altitude (there had already been too much of this chat with other nervous travellers...), having heard many horror stories of people passing out, vomiting, migraines, you name it. Without altitude pills there was only one option available to us....manning up! We waved goodbye to Argentina at 4,200m, a little light-headed and breathless (it could have been the remants ... read more
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Salt Flats Tour, Bolivia

The last day saw us drive out onto the salt flats. We had stayed in the town of Uyuni the night before where we had done our washing. Not only was the water freezing cold, our clothes were frozen solid the next morning – stiff as boards. We headed out in the freezing cold. So cold that, standing on the salt pan, my socks were starting to freeze through the soles of my shoes. But it was worth it. Being on the salt that early in the morning was surreal. We had managed to beat all the other groups, and there was no one at all there. Just us, the breaking dawn, and mile upon mile of dead flat salt pan. Until you go there you really can't appreciate how vast it is, the biggest salt ... read more
Cold on the Salar at dawn
Dawn on the Salar
Salt, lots of salt

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