To a Hotel made completely of salt

Trip Start Jun 11, 2008
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Trip End May 14, 2009


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Where I stayed
Hotel de Sal

Flag of Bolivia  ,
Saturday, February 21, 2009

Up at 6am this morning, to Lorna's delight. Breakfast consisted of bread, dulce de leche, tea and coffee. Then at 7.15am we were off.

After about 45mins we arrived at Arbol de Piedra. This was some sort of weird shaped, strangely balanced piece of rock. I did all my Rocky Balboa impersonations - including Adriiiiieeeennnee! of course. After being mocked repeatedly, it was decided just to take a few photos and move on. I felt my Rocky impressions were somewhat wasted on Chileans & Brazilian's!

We passed through more sandy desert and alongside numerous steaming volcanoes. At one stage an ostrich randomly ran across the front of us! An ostrich! We continued by some more rocks that actually had green moss on the side. How could moss grow without any moisture? I suggested this was a regular stopping place for a urination break and over the years this new sort of life form had been created!
I was ignored and we moved on.

We stopped off at three more Laguna's after this - Laguna Onga, Laguna Hedienda & Laguna Capaņa. We go to see some great views and loads of flamingos as well.

Approaching lunchtime we were all asked to get out the car and walk down a small, rocky hill whilst the car went another way. We assumed that this would be the last we saw of the vehicle and waved goodbye to our bags.
As it happens, the 4wd had to trundle over some very large rocks and it was safer for us to walk. The car met us at the bottom of the hill - along with our bags.

After the freak moment of exercise, it was time to stop off for lunch. We actually stopped off in the middle of a former lava path. We sat eating lunch on mounds of solidified lava - it was quite surreal. We sat there having roast chicken & rice, whilst in the background, the volcano just continued to steam away! This didn't stop Lorna stuffing her face, even though she was keeping an eye on Steaming Stuart on the horizon.

We then set off again on the longest part of the journey so far, around 2 hours. This took us to a place called San Juan. It was a small, sleepy old town, but it gave us chance to stretch our legs and have a walk round.
It was at this point that we were informed that we would be getting up at 4.45am tomorrow morning in order to see the sunrise over the salt flats. The driver did this without even wearing body armour to protect himself from Lorna's mental reaction - brave man. Lorna just sat there in a comatosed state for the rest of the day!

Just after 4pm we arrived at Hotel de Sal. This hotel is made almost completely of salt. The building, the tables, the chairs and even the beds. Wonder what happens if you wet the bed?!
The major beauty of this place is that it had hot showers!! It was ecstasy being able to wash off all the sand and salt.

One problem did arise though. Before we could get into the showers, Octavio, the driver, had decided to go and relieve himself of everything in his bowels! By the smell of things, the stuff had been festering there for weeks! It was humming! And I mean humming - I'm sure I head a rendition of Hotel California at one stage! This man even puts my releases to shame!

After showering, I popped round to a little local store and grabbed myself a few cans of the local brew and headed back for dinner.
We had soup followed by Llama and rice. It was pretty good as well.
We spent the rest of the evening chatting with the others and trying to teach Lorna Spanish - I believe it would help if she actually mastered English first, but who knows!

Another fabulous day was at an end.
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