The biggest salt flat in the wooorrrllldd!!

Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
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Trip End May 01, 2009


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Where I stayed
Uyuni Guest House

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Saturday, March 21, 2009

 The most terrifying bus journey in the world was how our trip to Uyuni started. Travelling in literally what was a tin can, the three of us were stuck in the bus with a lot of foul smelling locals and a few travellers too which later on in the journey made it a lot more bearable! I was in the middle seat of the back row. The journey involved a lot of very windy turns up a mountain. From my seat I could only see the HUGE drops on either side and no sign of the road. As we were sweeping up the mountain, the back seat seemed to be moving backwards and forwards. On inspection, the seat wasn't even bolted onto the bus and we were in fact lucky we werent being catapulted into the ceiling. All in all, it was a long, painful bus journey in which I was convinced I was going to die. The couple of Israelis we met distracted from the road and taught us Hebrew slang. 'Sababa' - 'cool'.....see I caught on pretty fast.

  Once in Uyuni, another lady directed us to a hostel. It was very basic but for just one night it would do. We had a lovely supper that night and went back early to bed ready for our tour the next morning.

  At 10.30am we met outside our tour office and nine of us squeezed into a jeep only meant for seven. Cosy. Our first stop was a small town full of tourist tat and a small museum with some pretty cool salt sculptures. We then descended onto the salt flat itself. I cannot put into words how incredible it was....the vastness of it was amazing - 13000km all the way round to be precise. We stopped off on the flat to take some cool pictures. Sunglasses were a necessity as the glare of the sun reflecting of the pure white of the salt was overwhelming. It was just bizarre and so cool. The following stop was what was the Salt Hotel. It had to stop functionning as a hotel due to the damage it was doing to the flat because of sewage etc. Now its kept as a momento of yesteryear with its rooms kept as they were and more salt sculptures to look at.
 The final stop of our tour was 'Isla Pescadora' - Fishermans Island. It was the most insane thing I have ever seen. In the middle of this VAST flat was this island absolutely covered in the biggest cacti I have ever seen. For a small fee we were given admission to walk the tour around the island. The altitude started to take its toll again once we were climbing the steps up to the pinnacle point at the top of the island. When we eventually made, the view was just stunning. I don't think pictures could do it justice. Once at the bottom of the hill we were fed a feast of steak, rice and tomatoes whilst sat at salt tables. It was perfect. After a late lunch we started the hour long drive back to Uyuni with Bolivian music playing in the background. Dotted along the way were random crosses marking graves....the mind wanders at why they were there and under what circumstances.

  We arrived back to Uyuni after a fascinating day and waited for our bus which would take us to La Paz.
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