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wehl’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 16 Dec 2006

Location: Salt Plains, Uyuni, Bolivia

MapCaught the overnight bus to Uyuni on Monday evening - arriving early morning and met by our tour guide Amrosie, who would be taking us around the salt plains for the next 3 days. Minor issue overseen by us - he did not speak ANY english. Picked up our cook, an English couple and a Bolivian couple and we hit the road in our Landcruiser - very cosy trip.

Day 1 - The first afternoon was spent at Salar de Uyuni - a tour through Uyuni's salt desert (salar), the biggest salt desert in the world. Amazing scenery - blue skies contrasted with white salt crust as far as the eye can see. Left the salt plains and stayed the night at a tiny town called San Juan - we visited the local cemetery/museum where there are a series of caves made from volcanic material that hold the remains of some Inca people - also very well preserved due to the salty, arid climate. Bit of a ghost town - but managed to find a great little bar serving mulled wine to keep us warm.

Day 2 - Very different scenery to yesterday - lots of red mountains and volcanoes reaching up to 5000m ASL. Stopped for lunch at Laguna Colorada - a blue lagoon, with the lake edges crusted in salt and home to a large pink flamingo population. Crossed into National Park Eduardo Avaroa, where we stayed the night with other tour groups - very basic accomodation - bunking in a room with stone base beds and thatched roof - it certainly got our pomy couple in full whinging mode!

Day 3 - Up at 4am, first morning stop was at Sol de Manana - which has numerous geysers and bubbling mud pools area. Next we stopped for breakfast at Laguna Verde - which had 35 degree hot springs to dip our feet into - or for some, strip down to their underwear and jump into! Next stop was a green lagoon situated beneath a red coloured volcano which was reflected in the turquoise color lagoon.

Dropped our Engligh couple off at the Chile border and started our way back to Uyuni - arriving back late afternoon in time to catch our terrible bus ride back to La Paz - the first 4 hrs was on an unsealed road that honestly felt like we were driving along a continuous cattle grid.

Great trip, but 2 bus rides and 3 days in a Landcruiser certainly took its toll.