We almost cancelled our trip to the salt flats. Last night John was up chucking up his guts. Maybe it was the pique macho (though I ate exactly the same as him) or maybe he was struck down with altitude sickness again? Though that wouldn’t make sense as we actually came down from Potosi, the highest city in the world. Anyway, he was up in the middle of the night throwing up. Poor John. In the morning he decided that he was well enough for the trip so off we went to meet our group. In total, there were 7 of us. A pair of english girls who were 18 (and they acted it) as well as an Israeli guy travelling with an Argentinian girl and a Brazilian guy. The Argentinian girl could barely speak english. One of the english girls however had spent 3 weeks in a homestay in Costa Rica so she was able to communicate with her. We met our guide….who could speak no english at all. We all squashed into a jeep and made our way to the first stop. An abandoned train graveyard. We were given around 20 minutes to explore the old trains and take photos.
Sporting my Bolivian pants and exploring the train graveyard
We then headed towards the salt flats. The scenery was incredible as the salt flats appeared in the horizon. I have no idea how the guides know where they are going as everything is just white. Even where the sun meets the ground was unclear in the horizon. Eventually we made it to the salt hotel – that’s right a hotel made only from salt. Just outside the hotel was a raised platform displaying flags from around the world. Here, we stopped for lunch and photos, at the same time as every other group who had started their tour today.
After lunch, we had a bit of a drive to our hotel. Our hotel was very basic with no showers and was partly made from salt. But me and John got our own room whilst the others in our group shared. Guess it was lucky that we were the only couple there. We had some free time before dinner so our guide drove us out on to the salt flats where we were free to roam around and take pictures. We had earlier bought a couple of toy dinosaurs from the market in Uyuni to use as props for our photos. Because everything was white in the salt flats, there was no perspective. Our camera did not understand this and it had some trouble focusing. So our pictures weren’t the best.
John running away from the dinosaur
After getting frustrated with the focusing element on our camera, we gave up and just took photos
The salt flats were filled with these rings where salt appeared to have evaporated creating a little bit of a raised platform.
Dinner was finally served to us and it was rather disappointing. Spaghetti and tomato sauce. But it looked like other groups had very similar meals. After dinner, most groups just retired to their rooms but we decided to stay up and play cards. The Israeli guy taught us an Israeli card game called Yaniv. It’s a really good game! We stayed up for a few hours and then went to bed as we had an early start tomorrow.