Blogs from Uyuni, Potosí Department, Bolivia, South America

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South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni May 22nd 2015

It was another early start, for a three-day trip overland through the Salt Flats to Uyuni in Bolivia. This time it was us who weren't ready - I had misunderstood the instructions at the tour company and thought that we were being picked up at 7.30 in order for us to have breakfast first. So we were in the dining room just about to start breakfast when the van turned up. We grabbed as much food as was practicable and made a frantic and harried dash for the door. Then at 7.30, once we'd picked up all the other passengers, we pulled into a breakfast spot. Oops, I'm clearly missing some of the finer points of the Spanish language! So we had a more leisurely second breakfast with our new fellow travellers. There were 12 of ... read more
Llama, with owner!
Stunning scenery in the National Park
At the bubbling mud geysers

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni April 12th 2015

Sarah (Friday 10th April): Right now we're in the middle of absolutely nowhere, drinking hot coffee and munching on sweet biscuits and I am wearing a llama cardigan which is keeping me really warm and very happy! Going back to Wednesday killing time in La Paz before our nightbus, we went back to the Dutch restaurant for lunch and had a good feed followed by a good hour or so of people watching from our upstairs window seat and reading, escaping the crazy streets. We may have also had to order some hot chocolates to keep us going... (Nick's was actually a delicious hot milk with a chocolate bar melted in and we may have picked up some Dutch sweet waffles on our way out... to keep us going on our 3 day salt flat tour, ... read more
Pleased as punch with her new llama top!
Scrapped trains, rotting away near Uyuni.
RRRIIIIIPPP!!! The moment of inception of the Trousergate Crisis!

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni April 9th 2015

After throughoutly enjoying our activities in San Pedro it was time to move on and with some sadness say good-bye to Chile. What a country! We really enjoyed the diverse landscape, from the mountains and hikes to the cities and wine areas then into the northern desert it certainly provided a great experience for us. Much of our travels from place to place to date has been by bus, this time though we decided to take an opportunity to be a little more adventurous. We arranged a tour via an offroad truck and crossed into Bolivia at the remote crossing of Laguna Verde at the sourthern edge of the Reserva Eduardo Avaroa. This 7,147 square kilometre nature reserve is home to a surprising array of wildlife, brightly coloured lakes and lagoons and lunar landscapes with snowcapped ... read more
Solitary truck
Enjoying a hot spring
Red Lagoon

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni April 7th 2015

The most obvious way to Bolivia from San Pedro de Atacama is via the salt flats of Uyuni. In San Pedro plenty of operators compete to take travelers through the southern Bolivian highland desert and across the salt flats to Uyuni. We quickly found out that this intense competition has lead to low prices, some times even too low as safety was comprised for the sake of lower prices. In 2008 this led to some accidents with fatalities. According to rumors there are also operators that use this tour to smuggle drugs across the border, and as a result don't care about the income from the actual tour but in turn the drivers aren't always sober and careful. Regardless of whether this was necessary or not, these things made us a bit concerned and led us ... read more
Many flamingos in the lake
And of course fooling around a bit :)
Altiplano lakes

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni November 28th 2014

Monday was the last day in Peru. We were picked up at the hotel by the guy who was going to drive us to the border. For some reason his wife was there too. The drive to the border only took a couple of hours, but of course we had to stop along the way and look at another church or two. I think I have been to more churches on this trip than I have in the total of my life up to this point. You’ll be surprised to know that there was nothing special. At one of the churches there were absolutely no other tourists around so the security guards said we could take photos – normally you can’t. By late morning we reached the border with Bolivia. I was expecting a tightly controlled ... read more
The Green Lagoon
Inside a Church on the way to Bolivia
Inside a Church on the way to Bolivia

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni June 4th 2014

unter mildem sternschnuppen-beschuss brechen wir in schwarzer luft auf in die salar de uyuni. rechts von uns glimmt schon der morgen, die bergspitzen heben sich wie papierschnitt vom beginnenden gelb ab, während links von uns noch die sterne glitzern. innerhalb von nur wenigen momenten reicht jedoch das licht aus um die strahlend weiße salzwüste in angenehm helles licht zu tauchen. die morgendliche kälte treibt uns rasch, in handschuhe und daunen gewickelt, die isla incahuasi inmitten der wüste hinan. gerade rechtzeitig erreichen wir den höchsten punkt um die sonne aufgehen zu sehen - die helle einöde um uns und die zahlreichen kakteen werden in spektakulär warmes licht getaucht, der schatten der insel erstreckt sich noch über hunderte meter. die imposanten kakteen um uns wachsen nur 5mm pro jahr, einige von ihnen messen gut 4 meter - man ... read more
wüsten-sunrise
we love kaktussy
markus eats the group

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni April 26th 2014

Days 65-67 Today was a 5 hour 200+ km trip to Uyuni for a first night base & a 3 day stay within the region before crossing into Chile. Uyuni is the main stepping off point for excursions into the beautiful & remote landscape of far South-West Bolivia especially the Salar de Uyuni (salt flats). Arriving in Uyuni feels a bit like reaching the end of the road, which in many ways is true. This remote small town sits at high altitude on the edge of the high altiplano (plateau), a wilderness that extends for hundreds of kilometres towards the border with Argentina and Chile. As such the town has a bit of a wild west feel about it but also has more Land Cruisers than Toorak. Uyuni is the starting point of a 3-day 4WD ... read more
Perspective illusion
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South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni April 23rd 2014

From the day I left El Chalten back in March I'd been looking forward to the trip across the Altplano from San Pedro in Chile to Uyuni in Bolivia. I'd booked the trip before I left the UK because I'd heard that entering Argentina without proof of exit could present problems. Booking in advance had also helped to focus my planning by fixing some dates at around the halfway stage of my trip. The Altiplano would therefore be something of a watershed moment - not just in relation as to where it fits in to my itinerary but also in crossing this great natural barrier: I would be leaving behind the southern part of South America and moving on to a new country and culture. It's possible to cover the 530 kilometres between San Pedro ... read more
Laguna Verde (I think)
Another Day Another Thermal Pool
Lago Colorado

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni April 23rd 2014

After having met so many people on our travels who spoke highly of Bolivia and the Salt Flats we decided to do a mini detour and go north from Argentina to south west bolivia then work our way down chile to our final destination Santiago. We were somewhat stressed at the journey, Bolivia being as it is there is very little information online and no such thing as bus timetables. We knew that we had to take the bus to the argentinian border town then physically walk across to the neighbouring bolivian border town called Villazon where we would get either a bus or a train to the town we had to get to - Uyuni. We had differing information about how to best get there and even at one point were close to not taking ... read more
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South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Uyuni February 16th 2014

With an 8:30am pick up and only a 15 minute drive from San Pedro to the border, it wasn't long until we had said goodbye to Chile for the final time and hello to Bolivia. With the Bolivian border being little more than a garden shed with a flag, it was a pleasant five minute border crossing (unlike the 4 hrs Chile/Argentina crossing). Once we passed the border, it was then time to change from minibus to 4x4, which we would be travelling across the arid Bolivian desert in over the next three days. With images in our head of being stuck on a three day tour with a bunch of Argentinians or even worse...Germans, it came as a pleasant surprise when we discovered our 4x4 buddies were two Aussies and an English girl. However, with ... read more
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