The mind boggling salt flats

Trip Start Nov 14, 2008
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11
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Trip End Apr 07, 2009


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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Monday, January 12, 2009

James (We are behind on our blog, these events happened on 8th Jan)

As soon as we arrived in Uyuni you could instantly recognise that the country was a lot poorer than the European Esq Argentina. The infrastructure is poor, the toilets generally don't have toilet paper (always keep a few sheets in your pocket... you´ll only make that mistake once, believe me!), hot water is a big premium for a hostel too! Its fair to say sanitation in general is not Bolivia's strong point. 

After 5 weeks in Argentina it felt refreshing to be in a new country, ridding ourselves of the usual mod cons and surrounding ourselves with real indigenous people. The woman walk around in "Odd Job style" bowler hats and  traditional dress. Very few speak English but they are friendly and far less cynical of tourist compared to Argentina and Brazil so it is a nice place to practice a bit more Spanish and have a bit of banter at the market stalls - Dan even managed to barter a good deal on some sunglasses (Maybe he should be a buyer?)

We arrived in Uyrani with the soul intention of visiting the Salt Flats, one of the main tourist attractions in Bolivia. The Salt Flats are absolutely huge and there were tours ranging from 1 to 3 days, mindful that we had to be in Cuzco for the Inca trail we opted for the 1 day tour.

We shared a jeep with some Argentinean girls and set of on our one day tour. Before we went to the Salt flats we made a quick pit stop to visit the "Graveyard of trains". In the middle of the desert were approx 10 abandoned trains. They use to be used to move minerals from Bolivia to Chile but now they are not used. Many of them were British built trains and due to there being little, or none, health and safety in Bolivia we were able to climb on them and get some nice photos.

The Salt Flats, once upon a time (don't ask me for dates, goggle it if you are that interested.....) were a humongous lake but they have since dried out leaving literally the largest bed of pure white salt you can imagine, as far as the eye can see in all directions.

We drove onto the beginning of the Salt Flats and took a few photos next to some big piles of salt. The salt was slight mushy as it was the rainy season so we had to wear flip-flops (Is it childish of me to chuckle when i write that word?)

After we all sat on the roof of the jeep and drove deeper onto the Salt Flats. So far that we could no longer see the town or anything but pure white salt and sky in every directions. It´s an absolutely mind boggling when you no longer have any sense of perspective. You can get some amazing photos (like pretending to stand on a little house of cards or pulling a person out of a hat). We were propels so we just larked about and got some nice snaps!

Our tour guide and his wife prepared us some lovely food which may or may not of been rice and Llama steak, it was definitely chewey and meat!

We then explored a hotel made out of Salt and then headed back to Uyuni.

It was a great day out and another South American natural wonder crossed off our list.
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Comments

juliejim
juliejim on

salt
Woah!
A city made of salt?
(Salt lake ..city limits)..
whoa! how exciting
keep on treking u have still not reached the misty mountains xx

thecoldzone
thecoldzone on

salted
Well those Bolivians seem to have got it salted - fancy salt being a major tourist attraction - and i thought it was just for putting on chips!!

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