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Uyuni salt flats, Rainbow Coloured Lakes, a Little Wee Bit of Drama

BOLIVIA | Saturday, 14 October 2006 | Views [3016] | Comments [3]

Incahuasi Island, Salar de Uyuni

Incahuasi Island, Salar de Uyuni

Just got back from a 3 day tour to the Uyuni salt flats and beyond yesterday... Was a pretty amazing place, almost at times like being on Mars or in a Salvador Dali painting...

I arrived in Uyuni after a fairly unimpressive 10 hour night bus trip (the road was very very very bumpy and had come straight from my hike...) - at one stage I went to the toilet in the bus (obviously very well timed!), went over some bumps and nearly decapitated myself, hitting the roof! My first impression of the town of Uyuni was "what a shit hole"... Is a town that is more or less centered around tourism, is really dusty and miserable before the sun comes out as is really cold... I went straight onto my tour though with a group of five other people (On Aussie from Croydon, an Kiwi, a Brit and a Danish girl and boy) who were already friends, making it a tad awkward for me in the beginning but they were all really nice so it worked out quite well in the end... There was a little bit of drama involving a few people in the group which added for a little bit of extra on road entertainment (sex, deceipt and jealousy, what more could you ask for!)

The first day we set of around 10am, heading straight to a train graveyard (not particularly thrilling for me, but I know someone who would have loved it - if he is reading it he will know who he is Grincer, Grincer Grincer :p  ). After this we went to the town of Colchani where the salt from the Salar is processed and ready to shipped out... From here we got to go to the salar... It was pretty amazing - All you can see for km´s and km´s is white, with little land masses sticking out  here and there... Was one of the strangest sceneries I have ever seen... We stopped off for lunch at the Incahuasi island, which had cactus on it as old as 1200 years old and 12 metres in hight - pretty impressive (don´t forget to check out the photos when I put them up in the next few weeks!). From the salar we went to our first hostel where we all chilled out until the next morning...

On day two, we went to a number of smaller lagunas which were of varying colours and had bright pink flamingos in them... At the end of the day we made it the Laguna Colorada, which is a bi bright red lake with ice bergs coated in borax floating in it - again pretty spectacular. Also on the way passed a few other landmarks, like the active volcano Ollague which is half in Chile, half in Bolivia (I got see Chile but not step foot in it!) and the "stone tree"...

Third day was a killer... We had to get up at 4.30am for a 5am start... It was soooooo cold! It must have been at least -10 degress! We headed to the fumaroles (gas spouts), then onto the natural hot springs for a dip and breakie, then to the Laguna Verde (green) which was a green lake thanks to the copper deposits in the water... From here we pretty much had to head back as a few of the people in the group had a bus to catch that night...

Also saw a lot of wildlife, Andino foxes, viscatchas (andino bunnies), vicuñas and lots more...

We got back to the town at 5.30... Ready for my next adventure - On to Argentina the next morning!

Tags: Adventures



Have loved reading about your adventures, you certainly have made me keen to travel to South America. Your updates bring the places and people
(although some of the men are a bit dodge) to life, photos are great particularly the stonework. My work is as busy as ever managing migrant and refugee servicing in Centrelink particular given the current political climate and developments. Have met some fantastic people and programs through this work - will fill you in sometime. Madeline is loving primary teaching rounds and has integrated her music into classes ( she is still too safe for her own good). Seb is the adventurer and can't wait to finish Year 12 ( just starting exams) he loves giving up drama, broke his ankle last weekend slipped down an embankment at the end of our street after a night in Eltham listening to a band ( no doubt a littie inebriated). Anyway my news seems a bit mundane compared to yours. Continue to enjoy and beam through your travels and the people you meet along the way- it's your engaging smile, kind heart and curiosity that makes a difference. Take care & happy travel. Love Maria

  Maria Axarlis-Coulter Oct 15, 2006 1:04 PM


Great to hear more about your travels! have fun in India! Hope you get upto Laddakh! and also the jim corbett national park! enjoy! J

  Jon Nov 10, 2006 1:59 PM


Hi Claire Bear,

Missing you heaps! I wish you could come home 2day. I hope that you are feeling great and that your next destination with Gwen is a ripper! I wish I could be there next to you on your journey!

Love you loads!

Taylor (by the way it's your neice LOL!)


  Taylor Nov 10, 2006 3:59 PM

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