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Bamboozled in Bolivia with SALAR DE UYUNI!!!

Salt deserts...spurting geysers....and coloured lagoons

all seasons in one day

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Well well ,tell ya what, after 2 days we’d had enough of stinky La Paz. Watery eyes, sneezing, sore throats, we’d turned into freaks! Plus Steve was coming down with some weird bug…..
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La Paz has a very large bus terminal near the city centre with many companies under the same roof to choose from. Its easy to leave and arrive via bus, although watch your bags in this terminal. We get the directo to Uyuni, 13 hrs SW of the capital, and what an overnight bus!!! Bumpy and very cold, Jess gets a chill off the frosted window, Steve at best is half delirious mumbling gibber as the bug takes hold, AND we get a crusty ol mullet Jan Claude Van Dam 80’s action movie dubbed in Spanish with VERY bad sound quality. Mum and Grenine loved the action scenes when van dam got his gear off!! Anyway after a night of action we arrive Uyuni 5am, its freezing, and we are bombarded by Boliviano men hard selling their tours to the famous salt flats….its 5am!! UN MOMENTO POR FAVOUR!!!!!!!!! We manage to shrug off the tour salesmen and head straight to the nearest cafe that offers breakfast with a fire. But then, Steve in his weird bug hangover misplaces the South America Lonely Planet, NO NOT THE TRAVEL BIBLE, sheeeesh there was some downtime when we realised it was gone……what a casualty.....

After a few hrs of cursing we had settled into a hostel, booked our 4WD tour across the Bolivian altiplano desert into the largest salt flats in the world, and were laser baking (the one and only way to say you are sunbaking!) on the main street trying to thaw out. Yep we just found the sunniest seat and went to sleep…...

Next day we piled into a ‘Leyland brothers’ style land cruiser and gassed it out into the Bolivian altiplano desert. The company Andes Sal Expeditions offer friendly English speaking tour guides and competitive prices. The next 3 days were ALL TIME! The next 2 nights MUY ‘-15’ FRIO! The scenery amazing. The worlds largest salt flat sits 3650m above sea level and covers 12,000 sq kms. Salar de Uyuni was part of a prehistoric salt lake, Lago Minchin. When it dried up it left salt flats as far as the eye can see.
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In the middle of this blindingly white desert sits Isla de los Pescadores, covered in giant cacti.
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We also visited the bright adobe red lake - Laguna Colorado, a geyser basin 4950m above sea level, and the splendid aquamarine lake - Laguna Verde, but unfortunately it was not green and just looked like a normal lake surrounded by gigantic volcanoes....
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At the end of the trip you have the option to go back to Uyuni, or be dropped off at the Chilean border - we did the latter and rolled down the hill into the northern Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama. But more on this in our next blog…….Our south American journey coming close to an end....

Posted by jessnsteve 18:59 Archived in Bolivia Tagged backpacking

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Comments

Just absolutely awesome!!!
Can't wait for the next installment!
:)
take great care of yourselves!

by JassyJay

Jess & Steve,
Excellent, Excellent pictures.. don't know unti now that South America is such a beautiful place.. Hope I too will visit that place some time soon..

Sreekar-(if you don't remember me, I used to live with Mathew from Newcastle. I'm currently in Perth)

by sreekar

I'm planning on doing the Intrepid Sacred trek as well, and am now considering going to the salt dessert after reading your blog!
A couple of questions for you:
-after the trek ends, I will be by myself. Do you think it is safe for me to take that overnight bus from La Paz to Uyuni, and then back La Paz?
-are the buses frequent from La Paz to Uyuni? Did you need to book in advance?
-since this is the end of my trip, I'm just a bit nervous about catching my flight home. I would overnight on June 15 - do the 2 day salt trek 16, 17, overnight on the 17th and fly home on the 18th

Any advice would be appreciated! Beautiful photos!

by Druxilla

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