San Pedro to Uyuni, Bolivia
18.05.2012 - 25.06.2012 -15 °C
After an early morning start in hundreds of layers of clothes, as it was so cold, we set off in a jeep to start our 3 day trip to Bolivia. And what better way to cross another border than travel up more than 4600m above sea level visiting lagoons, geysers, natural rock formations and of course the salt lakes.
We had to form 3 groups of 6, to fill the 4x4 jeeps. These were then our groups we were with for the 3 day tour. We were driven to the Bolivian Immigration office, this was at a pretty high altitude, so a few people were becoming quite sick as they acclimitised, which was horrible, as it effects people in different ways. One girl was very sick and became very weak, Maureens head started to feel very heavy, and as the day went on she thought her head was going to explode through the pressure.
We were given cocoa tea, leaves and candy to help with the nausea, im not sure if this really helped or whether it was mind over matter, but it relieved some of the pain for a few people.
The day temperature was very changeable with the different altitudes. Some points it was warm but very windy and at other points it was so hot. The first day we visited quite a few lagoons, as well as Flamingos and the geysers, which was quite incredible. While we were driving to and from the attractions, the landscape was unreal, and the higher and inland we were going the less it was looking like a desert.
The first night we were put up in a hostel which was a concrete shell, and homed 4 big bedrooms, a dining area and a kitchen. The beds were made of concrete and the building itself had no insulation, so all we had to keep us warm were our clothes, 2 thick blankets and a sleeping bag. It was one of the coldest nights of my life. I felt very lucky that i wasnt sick ith the altitude though, as it was awful for those poor guys that were sick as well as freezing.
Visiting the salt falts made everything so worth it though. We finally got to them on our last day of the trip, and i have never seen anything like it. 12km sq of salt that had risen to the top of a lake, which had evaporated. It was a huge space of just pure white surface, against a backdrop of piercing blue sky. It was amazing. There we had about an hour to take our photos. Alot of thought and creativity went into the photos taken by everyone. This is where perspective shots are the norm. Was such a great thing to do and i definitely reccomend doing this as a way to cross the border as well as doing something so fab like this.
Uyuni as a city is not anything special, it is mainly used as a stop off point after or before the trip, for people going or coming into Bolivia. We stayed on night before heading to Sucre....