Crossing into Bolivia

South America
January 5th 2007
Published: January 8th 2007
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In Bolivia now. There was a fork in the road: one way, paved and painted and pointing towards Argentina-- the other, a wide expanse of desert with numerous tire tracks going in one somewhat general direction...Bolivia! Here, the mountains are tall, the people are short and the gap between modern and antiquated is wide. The past three days we´ve been bouncing over jagged rocks, careening across deserts and gliding over the world´s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni. All in a Toyota Land Cruiser circa 1986, whose mechanical woes added an extra flavor to the trip. The rear axel started popping and was fixed with a coat hanger. We found that the engine was stuffed with brush to keep the salt water from getting inside. None of the gauges worked, hence us running out of gas slash some other unknown problem in the middle of the salar.
To put into words the vast range of creation we´ve absorbed over the past week is a daunting task. Just think active volcanos, flamingos and more flamingos, lakes with currents the color of rust next to currents the color of key lime pies, the ¨starry host¨really made real, geysers gurgling sulphuric mud and blasting
Bolivia Border CrossingBolivia Border CrossingBolivia Border Crossing

We HAVE arrived in Bolivia...what a warm and welcoming scene!
steam like a jet engine, hot springs (which we considered to be our only form of bathing in six days) and last but certainly not least the salt flat.
There was a two inch layer of water blanketing a 12,000 sq kilometer desert of salt. Getting up at 4:45 was well worth it as a mirror image of the rising sun filled the horizon. There was no distinction between the heavens and the Earth. We stood on the glass top of the world, seemingly walking on water, floating. In other words, see pictures.
Also to note, stayed in a hotel made entirely out of salt and ate our last lunch in a rusted out train graveyard with flies for company.
We leave for La Paz tomorrow night via train whose reputation is I think I can I think I can...
Spades: boys have 457, girls have 883

Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


Graham walks on waterGraham walks on water
Graham walks on water

salt flats in the early morning...wet shoes and wet socks included
stuck in the middle of the skystuck in the middle of the sky
stuck in the middle of the sky

Our driver trying his best to get us going again
Laguna VerdeLaguna Verde
Laguna Verde

The colors!!!!! and volcano jonesy smiddgen in the background!

Salt flats...the wildest thing....the picture just doesn´t do it justice

9th January 2007

Great Picts.
Don´t know who took them, but the picts from the salt flats are awesome...!!
9th January 2007

With all the salt, I was sure to see a Margarita. We are interested in some pictures of the salt hotel and furnishings if available? Very glad everyone survived the Landcruiser trip and altitude sickness. Love to all.
11th January 2007

I'm impressed!
Unit and Little Unit, I'm so impressed with your photos! They're amazing! I had no idea there was so much natural beauty down in that part of the world. The Coleman and I are praying for you because I know how crazy you are! I must confess that I find great relief everytime I see a new post on your blog! Everyday I must talk myself out of hopping on a plane and trying to join you. Keep the stories and photos coming. I too am curious about this salt hotel. Did you lick the walls?
12th January 2007

Wishing you well
Glad you made it to Bolivia safely. Keep the wonderful pictures coming. Hope you are all doing well! Love, Anna
12th January 2007

Epic Journey!!!
Glad I finally got the blog link from Elise...Jealous of you all! Pictures are outstanding! God Bless places on earth like Patagonia!!! Glad the journey has treated you so well! Enjoy the transitition from the high desert to headwaters of the amazon and the jungle beyond!!! Hope you get to visit the reed boats and villages on Lago Titicaca...La Isla del sol...Safe Travels...Enjoy the Pisco!!! Que tengan buen viaje!! Steve

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