Day 11,12,13,14,15 – Bolivia – Salar de Uyuni
So, after making my way from Tilcara to the Border town of La Quieca spending 1 hour crossing the border into Bolivia, and immediately catching a 25B ($4 CAD) taxi ride with the German couple I met on the bus. I was happy in Tupiza. I booked into the Valle Hermano Hostel and was convinced by an 11 year old boy who spoke like an adult to take the 4 day Salar de Uyuni Tour. It would leave on Sunday, 18th December 2011.
The next day, I met the other people on my jeep tour.
- Lucio & Maria – My Driver and his Wife, our Cook.
- Paula&Manu – Argentinian Couple late 20´s
- Allister – Man from England.
We set off the the tour was similar to experiencing all 4 seasons in 4 days. Our first day was Fall. The air was crisp and the skies where clear. We made our way through the mountains and saw Quebrada de Palala, San Antonio de Lipes, and Paso del Diablo. The Paso del Diablo (Devils Pass), is a super high sand covered section, where, like the name, it is the devil. Our jeep got stuck in the sand and as Lucio accelerator, we fish tailed around, but all I was thinking was, if we catch a grip and go speeding forward, there is nowhere but down. It was a heart attack waiting to happen. But we are happy and safe thanks to the skills of Lucio.
The second day was Winter. We woke to it snowing outside and it snowing for half the day. With all the grounds covered in a nice white blanket and the snow capped mountains, it was a spectacular sight – if not extremely cold. Especially considering that I packed for South American Heat….not Bolivian 4,500 Metres Above Sea Level Altitude Winter!! haha So I only had one sweater and one rain coat. luckily I borrowed a sleeping bag which I cuddled up in during the drive. Today we saw Pueblo Fantasma, El Torreon (Volcano Zone), Laguna Laguna Laguna, and stopped in Thermal Pools which were considerably warm!!
The third day was Summer! The sun was beating down as we made our way through some of the most beautiful lagunas I have seen in my Life. From Deep red lagunas to Green to Aqua Blues – It is breathtaking (And that isnt only the Altitude). We saw Vizcachas, Laguna Honda, Laguna Chiarkota, Laguna Hedionda N., Launga Canapa, Mirador Volcan Ollague and more.
The fourth day was Spring and was our journey through the Salar de Uyuni Salt Flat. Since it is December, it is rainy season, so the salar is covered in a 2 inch layer of water which makes PERFECT reflections driving through. Since we were coming from Tupiza, it meant that we slept over night in a Salt Hotel next to the Salt Flat and made it into everything without the crowds of people or the other jeeps. We spent our time at Isla del Pescado, Ojos de Agua, Montones de Sal, of Course, stopped for pictures in the Salar with its amazing ability for size defying pictures!
Lucio and Maria made this trip fantastic for the 4 of us. I really could not thank them enough for all the information they shared, the delicious food they provided, and of course, the endless patience they had for my intermediate Spanish skills.
The 4 day Salar de Uyuni tour was definitely and experience of a lifetime. With amazing company, and beautiful sights, I do believe that Bolivia is one of the most beautiful countries I´ve been to. I am happy here.