Salar de Uyuni
After spending the night in a salt hotel, freezing after a luke warm shower and hearing rain pounding down, we weren’t sure if we would be able to get to Salar de Uyuni the next day. Roads flood when it rains and it makes it impossible.
Eventually the rain subsided and it looked like we’d be getting up at 3:30am to catch the sunrise on the salt flats. Leaving at 4am, our driver proceeded to get lost. Poor guy wasn’t sure about the new route he was meant to take and ended up knocking on random doors in a town to wake someone up for directions.
Good news is we got to the salt flats just as the sun began to rise. Rather than climbing up cactus island we stopped on the salt flats to see the sun properly rise. It was absolutely stunning, with water on the salt and the sun reflecting across.
Warming up, we headed to what I’ll refer to as ‘Cactus Island.’ Various islands have popped up amongst the 10m thick salt and this particular one consists of hundreds of cactus and a great view over the salt flats.
Salar de Uyuni spans 12,000 sq km (4633 sq mi) and is absolutely mind blowing. No photo will do it justice of how vast this area is. Looking out towards the horizon, you just see white salt meeting the clouds in the sky. It was incredible. Made for some cool photographs too!
Saying goodbye to Salar de Uyuni, we proceeded to the town of Uyuni and visited a train graveyard. This graveyard was something completely different and unexpected. It contained a bunch of old steam locomotives rusting away in the sand. I reckon my dad would have enjoyed seeing it just as much as I did!
Ending the tour, I proceeded to take a horrible night bus (broken seats and rough roads) to La Paz, the highest capital city in the world. A bit of exhaustion and breathlessness, but at least no more serious altitude sickness! It sits between 3000m and 4000m above sea level, so I hoping I’ll be fine from now onwards.
Next stop is the Amazon!
Very cool Ngaire!
Did you start your trip in Chile? I like your tour better than mine because we couldn’t see sunrise nor sunset on the Salar during our 4 day tour!
Yes I started the tour in San Pedro de Atacama – in Chile. Pity you didn’t see the sunrise!