Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
224Trip End Ongoing
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Initially we were to share a car with a French couple, but as they wanted to head down into Chile we got re-allocated into another car with two Polish couples. Initially a bit apprehensive at joining a group that all knew each other, we were pleasantly surprised and glad to meet Daniel and Magdalena from Warsaw and Macrin and Gosia, also from Warsaw, but now living in Moscow. They made us welcome into their traveling group and for our benefit, spoke mainly English
This was a pretty touristy display of what the locals turn the salt into (dice, pots, sculptures and even salt and pepper shakers) and after a quick look and some photos we drove onwards out onto the salt flats. The salt flats are amazing. You definitely need your sun glasses on as it's so white and bright. The conditions are amazing for taking photos as the white of the salt contrasts the blue of the sky and white and grey of the clouds. After taking heaps of photos in the ideal conditions we drove onwards to one of the remaining hotels in the middle of the salt flats, Hotel de Sal. You can no longer stay at these hotels due to environmental concerns, but we heard they are being moved elsewhere, closer to the edge of the flats. Heading down the black road we followed the other 20 odd four-wheel drives to the cactus covered Isla de los pescadores or Fish Island. Lunch was a yummy steak (not sure if it was alpaca or not) prepared by Clementine and after we'd had our fill we drove onwards to a small village called Coqueza were we would spend our first night.