Day 41 – Up at 6am only to miss the sunrise at the salt flats

It’s day two of our tour of the salt flats. We got up at 6am to be greeted with a dull breakfast before setting off to see the sunrise. But the Argentinian girl in our group had other plans. She refused to get up at our agreed time to be then super slow at getting ready. Our guide was getting impatient and kept on beeping its horn when we were all huddled in the car. To be fair, it was pretty selfish of her as it meant that we as a group may miss the sunrise.

We arrived at a volcano to then find out that we had to climb this it to see the sunrise – this was not a welcome surprise! Especially after getting up at 6am! We started climbing and the guide was then trying to get us to follow him. But hang on, he wanted us to go down. With the sun slowly inching its way upwards, we decided to follow him. Eventually we came upon a small opening. He told us to go in. It was a cave with about 3 mummies inside.

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Mummies inside the cave inside the volcano

After, we began to ascend up the volcano. By now, because of our delayed start, we had missed the sunrise. I don’t understand why we couldn’t have visited the cave on our way down from the summit? About 20 minutes in, the two 18 year old girls decided to pull out as she said the altitude was affecting her. Bollocks! They just wanted to sleep in the jeep. Who comes to the salt flats and pays for a tour only to pull out because they’re tired?

The walk wasn’t so tough but it got really windy and cold towards the top. When we almost got to the top, we decided that was enough as the route to the very top was very unclear and probably a little dangerous as the guide had pointed out as it was a bit too icy.

We then headed down and met some other groups and had a brief chat. After the climb, we headed towards cactus island. Yes, it was literally an island in the middle of the salt flats which had cactus’s on. Here, we walked around and stopped for lunch.

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Cactus island

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Lunch out the back of the jeep

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Where did the llamas come from?

After lunch we headed to the eyes of the salt flats. Here, we could see mini holes in the ground filled with bubbling water. After some photo opportunities we started making our way back to Uyuni. It was a relatively quiet journey back as we were all shattered from our early start.

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On arrival in Uyuni, we picked up our bags from the office and walked around to find a different hostel. We managed to come across one which was run by a very cute old woman. We checked in and had a shower. The old granny was trying to explain to us how to use the shower with the hot water. When I got in, the door has a frosted glass pane, and next thing I knew, the granny was knocking on the door and asking how my shower was. I forgave her as she was cute and friendly. We popped out once we were clean for a bite to eat and to book our bus ticket for tomorrow or tonight depending on how you see it. The bus is due to leave around 3.30am.

Another freezing night, we went to bed in our Icebreaker thermals, gloves and hat, and five layers of blankets.

About Julia Chan

I’m Julia and I've just returned from the adventure of my life. I went travelling around South America, the South Pacific and South East Asia for 12 months, and I'd do it all over again if I could! Julia on Google+
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