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South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni
July 4th 2009
Published: July 12th 2009
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After Potosi we took another 6 hour Andean bus journey to Uyuni which is a dull, cold, boring town. From there we took a 3 day tour of the Salar de Uyuni - the biggest salt flats in the world, the altiplano laguna, and the high desert. All at around 4000m above sea level !!!
The salt flats were first on the list. They´re vast and absolutely amazing. It´s hard to describe what it´s like to drive across what looks like a white sea dotted with islands and with volcanoes on each "shore". At this time of year the skies are blue, the sun shines and the whole thing is dazzling and surreal. After driving for a couple of hours we came to the 1st island which really feels like it´s in the middle of the sea. It´s covered in cactii which adds to the strange sensation. After lunch there we drove a few more hours to the place we would stop for the night. Remote doesn´t describe how isolated the place is, yet there was a village there, inhabited by 5 families - it must be an incredibly tough life. Nights are cold and there is nothing to burn to
Salar de UyuniSalar de UyuniSalar de Uyuni

View from Incahuasi. The small black dot near the centre is a 4 x 4 coming from Uyuni.
keep warm, we were in bed early in sleeping bags and under many blankets. On day 2 we left the salt flats and headed to the altiplano laguna. It´s amazing that there are lakes at this altitude but even more amazing that they´re coloured - the most striking was Laguna Colorado which is red !!! and support flocks of pink flamingoes !!! The mountains are mineral rich and an amazing array of colours. Add in bizarre rock formations and lava flows. It was another awesome day. The only downside was that it was even colder that night, probably -15c to -20c with the wind chill factor. Impossible to keep warm. Day 3 started at 4 am to drive to catch the geisers at dawn. After a few km the jeep overheated because the radiator had frozen the night before, after waiting a while we flagged down the next jeep and our driver lit a fire under the engine to thaw the radiator, it was a bit nervous for us - but it worked. The geisers are nothing really, the highlight of day 3 is Laguna Verde, a bright green lake, but at this time of year it´s frozen in the
Salar de UyuniSalar de UyuniSalar de Uyuni

View from Incahuasi.
mornings so was "Laguna Blanca". After breakfast we transferred to a bus to transfer to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile.
The 3 days were a truly memorable experience and absolutely unmissable even though the cold was extreme and made things hard going at times.


Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


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IncahuasiIncahuasi
Incahuasi

View from the salar.
VillageVillage
Village

This village was close to the place we spent our first night. Only five families still live in this remote place.
Toyota LandcruiserToyota Landcruiser
Toyota Landcruiser

Ready for the road ahead.
The Stone TreeThe Stone Tree
The Stone Tree

Atsuko underneath el arbol de piedra.


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