Sparky Travels

March 25, 2011

Salt Flats II

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We were allowed a leisurely 7am start on the 23rd of March, the third day of our Salt Flats tour which began with us driving past  Laguna Colorada on the way to the Arbioles de Teirra (Tree of Rock). This is a famous rock which resembles a tree and we waited our turn for the obligatory group photos.

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Our route then led us past the 5 Lakes which varied in colour, reflectivity and overall beauty.

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We stopped for lunch at another field of strange geological formations, many of which were perfect for clambering about on, and then continued on to the town of Uyuni. On the outskirts of the town there is a train cemetery which also produced good photographic and exploring opportunities.

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In Uyuni we checked into our night’s accommodation and took advantage of the intermittent water supply to get a hot-ish shower. After Modesta’s usual high quality cooking we headed to the “Extreme Fun Pub” for beer and card games.

On the last day of the Salt Flats tour we had a 5am start to try and get onto the salt flats by sunrise. Our 4×4 wasn’t the happiest of vehicles as we were all tired and the girls had Bolivian Belly. We could tell we were on the salt flats themselves when the rough and bumpy track became smooth and flat until we were driving through an inch of water on a perfectly flat plateau. We stopped just in time to witness probably the most spectacular sunrise I’ll ever see!

In the direction of the rising sun, the thin layer of water on the surface was perfectly reflective while the rest of the skyline has an unearthly glow

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We spent a fair whack of time having the mandatory photo fun. Jumping photos, reflection photos and ones where you play with the sense of scale were popular. Breakfast was had at the salt flats restaurant, where almost everything – including the building itself – is made from salt. The homemade pancakes helped the girls’ recovery and gave us enough energy for more photo fun.

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We stopped of at a village on the edge of thee salt flats to peruse the stalls where I managed to limit myself to buying a hacky-sack, then we returned to Uyuni. Shower-nap-dinner and me and Rick said goodbye to the girls before another evening of card games (Baraka and Casino) accompanied by rum & coke.

The next day, the 25th, Rick and I caught a 10am bus to Potosi. Uyuni was a decent wee town, busier than, but lacking the character of Tupiza. The salt flats and surrounding area were unforgettable though.

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