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Big Small Journey Off on the adventure of my lifetime: 5 glorious months of sun and snow in South America, then the UK for further fun and frolicking.

Lagoons, thermal pools, flamengos, lots of salt

BOLIVIA | Saturday, 26 April 2008 | Views [669]

It was 1 hour to the border with Uyuni (where everybody used an old bus for toilet), then hopped into a jeep with 5 other fun travellers. Off we went to see the lagoons and infamous Salt flat of Uyuni (biggest and highest in the world).

Day 1: First stop was Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) and Laguna Blanca (White Lagoon). Both VERY pretty. Laguna Verde is supposed to be green because of the copper oxidating in the water, but it wasn´t very green when we saw it because of lack of rain and wind. It is also supposed to be arsenic, so nothing lives in it. Thermal pool was next. Got to soak in lovely 38 degrees water with a truckload of other tourists. The temperature all around was maybe 20 degrees, but hotter in the sun, and colder when the wind blows. We also saw geysers (holes in the ground with bubbling mud, spraying up sulfurous steam), the Rocks of Dali (arty spread of rocks on a hill), and settled at Laguna Colarada for the night. It was a pretty walk to the Laguna, but my god was it difficult. We were at an altitude of 4200kms, walking was an effort, and climbing hills a strenous challenge. Saw lots of flamengos though, they were really pretty. By the end of the walk (normally 30 mins, took over an hour), I had to have a lie down. The night was COLD, apparently -15 outside, but I had my lovely sleeping bag, and actually got hot.

Day 2: First stop was Arbol de Piedra (Tree of Piedra), this weird rock formation that doesn´t actually look like a tree. Next was a series of lagunas and more flamengos, quick stop to see a steaming volcano, and arrived at the Hotel de Sal for the night. The (one of many) Hotel de Sal, mi amigos, is made of salt. The walls, tables, seats, and beds. We played soccer with some kids there, and while I was busy they stole my biscuits. Dinner was lovely, and 4 of us stayed up and played cards.

Day 3: Crappy start - the guide fell asleep in the jeep and didn´t wake us up till after 6am, so we missed the sunrise. Fred got sick and threw up in the room (wasn´t smelly though), and within 20 minutes from the Hotel the jeep got stuck in a mud hole and couldn´t get out. The guide when back to get help, we tried to dig the jeep out but it was too hard. We waited 5 hours, during which we slept, listened to music, smoked coca leaves, danced about in the salt desert, got hungry, found food, ate food, dug in mud, started the jeep using a screw driver, and sat about defeated. After that adventure, everything else was an anti-climax. Visited an island in the Salt desert, and saw lots of Cacti, took stupid photos in the desert, and saw a train cemetery, and am now waiting in Uyuni to go to La Paz. Dead tired.

It was a lovely trip though, took about 1000 photos, the landscape was amazing, probably the most beautiful place I´ve ever seen.


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