Uyuni, The Salt Flats

Nov. 22nd

In La Paz, I met up with some Peruvian friends I had met in Cuzco. Turns out they ended up in the same hostel as me and we all left for the salt flats the next day in the car they had come in. The road after a while got uglier, it was not paved. Then we drove right into a storm, and it started raining. Then the car went into the ditch. We got really lucky that a truck was also on that road and they stopped and one of the guys had to bribe them so that they would help us get out. The Bolivian people keep to themselves a lot, they are not the friendliest and they could not care less about tourists, especially those that can’t drive ahahhaa. So thanks to them, we were able to continue, but only for a little while, until the protestors would not let us continue. We had to wait until midnight, when they would open the road for about 20 minutes to let the cars go by. We waited for about 4-5hs in the car. It was cold, there was no actual food to buy so we were having crackers and luckily I managed to sleep for a bit. The stars were absolutely amazing, the sky was absolutely full of stars, shooting stars, constellations etc! But did I mention the cold? Ahahaha. And so, obviously, I get sick, yet again on this trip. Had I not gotten a ride with the guys, I would not have been able to take the bus. All transport companies were not even trying to go out to Uyuni from La Paz. We continued the road, and arrived at about 4am in Uyuni, found a hostel and all passed out.

The Salt flats

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We looked into the tours, and because we had a 4X4 car, we decided to do it on our own. We bought fruits, gas and headed off to the Salt Flats on our own. It is absolutely beautiful, just white everywhere! The Salt Flats are the biggest in the world, 12500 square kilometres of white salt! 40m of the thickness are alternate layers of clay and salt. So we drove around and the only point of direction we had was the volcano far ahead to follow, which was where we were going. We stopped along the way to take some pictures and in the late afternoon drove through some really small villages, that seemed inhabited because everyone was inside as the night’s cold was slowly approaching. We arrived in Tahua, and found a hotel made of salt. Yes, yes, all salt: the walls, the floor, tables, chairs etc! It was really nice, we had dinner, and that night I got a fever.

We left the next day with the intention to get to the lagunas, but unfortunately we never made it. Since it is a salt flat, and we had no guide, we got a little lost and had to stop and ask the salt workers for directions. We ended up in other villages and stuff which was alright, but then, we were told we were still some 6 hours away. We decided to cut that part of, as to not end up driving there at night and headed off to Tupiza. I think it might have been the longest drive ever! We had left at 9am and we only arrived in Tupiza at midnight, the road being so nice and all. Everyone was tired, hurting and it took a while to find a hostel, but we ended up staying in a really nice place. I spent the next day in bed, sleeping and recuperating, before leaving cold Bolivia for warm Argentina to see my friends.

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