Uyuni is a small town pretty much only is existence because of tourists starting their Salar de Uyuni tours. And that’s what we were there to do. There are a million companies running the 3 day jeep tour which ends up in San Pedro in and there are lots of stories of bad companies with their jeeps breaking down but we found a good one leaving that morning. There was myself, Loraina from England and Colin from the U.S. so the tour was us, 2 very giggly German girls and a Brazilian who was a professional photographer and quickly got the name National Geographic…not actually sure what his real name was. Having a bit of time before we left we had a huge breakfast at the infamous minuteman pizza restaurant- a little taste of America in the middle of Bolivia
We got some supplies together and loaded our Toyota jeep up and piled in. We arrived at the salt flats within an hour following a bit convey of other jeeps. Basically this tour is why lots of people come to Bolivia so there are of course, a lot of people. But worth it. The salt flats were totally crazy just white forever and some crazy huge size. Kind of looks like snow but its salt…weird. We arrived at this big kind of island covered in cactus’s (cacti…?) and had lunch there and drove to our accommodation for the night. Very basic but nice. Had a big dinner and spent the night sitting under the stars and watched the moon rise. National Geographic had his super camera and took lots of cool photos of the stars and of us. Very cold but very cool evening.
Early start the next day and a long day of driving. We were out of the salt plains now and into this kind of desert thing. Stop at this amazing lake which was full of pink flamencos, and drove through big desert areas with crazy rocks. Saw this big lake which is actually red because of the minerals in it. The landscape is just weird. But very interesting. Took a lot of photos! The second night we stayed in this kind of compound, and it was freezing! It gets down to -20 in the winter, wasn’t that cold but still pretty freezing. Another big dinner and evening of playing cards, we were getting up early to watch the sunrise so all in bed by 9pm. The next day started at 4.30 with a drive to see geysers, and watch the sunrise. It was soooo cold I stayed in the jeep! Had breakfast bedside thermal hot springs but I was to freezing to get changes and go in, I’m soft but it was just so cold. Myself; Loraina and Colin were crossing the border into Chile and the other 3 were driving back to Uyuni.
We got dropped of to wait for the bus by the best border ever. This little shack in the middle of nowhere, very funny. I love it in Bolivia how know one tells you what’s going on. There were about 25 of us just waiting till something happened. Eventually a bus turned up and we drove the hour to San Pedro. After crossing out of Bolivia there was actually a paved road! Everyone cheered and made jokes about taking photos! It was good to drive on a real road after Bolivia. Ended up in San Pedro which is another very touristy town in the driest desert in the world. Soooooooo expensive esp after Bolivia, what I spent on lunch would have lasted me a few whole days of food and accommodation in Bolivia. Guess I’m being prepared for Europe. Although it’s touristy it’s very cool, full of funky cafes and bars. Colin headed off straight away and me and Loraina checked into a funky hostel and meet up with some people she knew from Brazil.
So am currently here spending too much money. Only a few days left in South America! Flying to Spain on Tuesday evening from Santiago then to Morocco to meet mum and my sister Sarita which will be very exciting. If anyone wants to send me presents feel free to drop them off to mum (just joking….although some chocolate would be nice!) Well that was a lot of writing at one time! Will do an update on my time here in San Pedro later on. Am leaving on a bus in a few hours….