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South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni
September 30th 2016
Published: October 2nd 2016
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San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni


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Salar de Uyuni
After a much needed sleep in we went to breakfast which was surprisingly good consisting of cereal, yoghurt, Strawberry milk, tea and coffee and a ham and cheese roll which was yummy once the ham had been removed.

We then wandered the streets of this charming little town taking care of various errands as we went and finally stopping at a nice little restaurant on the central plaza. Here we had seafood dishes in the middle of the world's driest desert in the shadow of ghe Andes at 2500 metres.

At 4pm we went on our first tour of the day I was not impressed, we climbed a hill in the afternoon heat to look at a dune, looked at a whole in the ground dug by salt miners, visited a rock formation called the Three Marias which looked like nothing and then stood on a hillside with hundreds of others to watch a disappointing sunset.

Clearly I was not expecting much from the Astronomical tour we had booked for later that evening but after being driven down a rough road into the desert we arrived at a rough looking compound, I commented to Ruth that I hoped we wouldn't be butchered and turned into minced meat empanada. They had a really big scope in a round enclosed space designed to shield out any light pollution, the desert sky was stunning I have never seen so many stars. Our host did a great job of explaining various astronomically theories in less than fluent English while locating some interesting celestial objects including planets and star clusters. Looking at the rings of Saturn through the telescope was especially cool.

We are both suffering from colds so have decided to cancel tomorrow's tour I am happy to do that as most of the stuff you see is not worth the inconvenience of being stuck on minibuses all day. Ruth asked the hostel staff to cancel which they didn't do so we were woken the next morning anyway. Today we need to get some more provisions for our three day trip across the Salar De Uyuni the worlds largest salt flat.

We departed our hostal at 730am stopping briefly to pick up four other travellers on the way to the Chilean border post which is located just outside San Pedro De Atacama, formalities went smoothly and we were soon on
Iglesia San PedroIglesia San PedroIglesia San Pedro

San Pedro de Atacama
our way to the Bolivian border post which lies in shadow huge volcanoes. On passing customs we had a quick breakfast before loading our bags onto the roof of the four wheel drive and heading to Park headquarters to pay the entrance fee. There are four Australian's, one Fin and a Brazilian in our vehicle, three guys and three girls and the driver Jugo. Our first wildlife encounter was with a Culpeo (fox) named Antonio he was quite inquisitive, then we spotted a number of herds of Vicuna through out the day.

On day one we visited a number of sites the best being the Sol de Manana geyser and the Colourful lake with its pinky red water and thousands of flamingos as well as our first llama here as well. We then headed to our desolate hotel for dinner and bed, I had a horrible night, getting no sleep, the 5000 metre altitude is causing me alot of problems.

The next day we visited a number of other lagoons filled with flamingos they just got better as the day went on. After checking out a few more volcanoes, visiting the old town of San Augustin and the Valley de Sora (where we spotted Andean geese) we headed to a hotel made of salt to spend the night, I had been napping on and off all day and got a good, if short nights sleep as the salt bed was very comfortable. Poor Ruthy has some weird bites on both arms that are causing her much distress.

On day three we rose at 430am much to Ruth'says chagrin to see the sun rise over the Salar De Uyuni, the sunrise was no big deal but the salt flats and their islands were intriguing. We stopped at the Incahuasi (Incahouse) Island for breakfast then did a short hike spotting some interesting cacti and a strange rabbit like rodent called a Bolivian vizcacha. We then visited the first salt hotel which is now a museum and took some amusing photographs on the salt flat before visiting a market and the train cemetery before ending the tour in Uyuni.

We went to the small local museum, arranged bus and airline tickets before enjoying some Italian food before bed.


Additional photos below
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A quiet street A quiet street
A quiet street

San Pedro de Atacama
The main streetThe main street
The main street

San Pedro de Atacama
No not MarsNo not Mars
No not Mars

Valle de la Luna
DunesDunes
Dunes

Valle de la Luna
The three mariasThe three marias
The three marias

One was broken by a tourist crawling all over it
Salt mineSalt mine
Salt mine

Valle de la Luna
Antonio Antonio
Antonio

Bolivia
VicunaVicuna
Vicuna

Bolivia
Boiling mudBoiling mud
Boiling mud

Solar de Manana geysers
FlamingosFlamingos
Flamingos

Colourful Lake
Condor rockCondor rock
Condor rock

Atacama desert
LlamasLlamas
Llamas

Valley de Sora


2nd October 2016
Flamingos take to the air

Beautiful
One of my favorite birds
3rd October 2016
Flamingos take to the air

Mine too
I couldn't believe how many were out there
2nd October 2016

Atacama & the Salar de Uyuni
You have visited some of the most breathtaking vistas on the planet. May your memories preserve the joy of being there.
3rd October 2016

Certainly a harsh place
We had a great time will be putting everything in a book when we get home it is the only way I can remember the small things

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