Thursday, 11 November 2010

Bolivia - Salar de Uyuni

The first thing we were taken to on our Salar de Uyuni tour was a 'train cemetery' just outside the town of Uyuni.  Bit of a strange tourist attraction, the whole place was covered in rubbish. The lack of health and safety was a bit of a novelty though.
Japanese group with matching hats and glasses.
Next was the salt processing factory.

And then to the salt flats which are the largest in the world, at over 10,000 square kilometres; the layer of salt is a few metres deep.  It's about 3700 metres above sea level.
The salt hotel in the middle of the salar de uyuni, it's no longer functioning.
Salt walls...
Our driver and guide Juan.  We were also with two French men and two French Canadian girls for the three days, nice group.
The center of the Salar contains a few 'islands', which are the remains of the tops of ancient volcanoes which were submerged before the lake dried up. The reflection from the white salt created these weird illusions from the distance.

The islands were covered in coral and cacti. The cacti grow only about 1cm a year.
Signs made out of cactus.
Offerings to Pachamama...
Taking photos playing with perspective...
We had to try one...
On to our accommodation in a little village nearby.
The little chalets had just been newly built from local materials and were really great (the second night's accommodation was not so good though).
Salt table, chairs, bed bases, walls and floor.
Since we had a while to wait until dinner we had a walk through the village and scrambled up to the viewpoint behind it, more giant cacti.

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