Salar de Uyuni
25 Aug, 2011 | Tim Deeks
Having gone ahead to the bus station to bribe the bus driver to delay the bus to Uyuni to give the girls time to arrive back from Rurrenabaque, I made a new friend on the 12 hour journey. Lucio seemed very keen to tell us all about Salar, and when we arrived at 6.30am in the freezing cold, we were very grateful that he led us to a warm café for breakfast and insisted he would sort everything out for us! If there’s one thing Bolivia has taught me, it’s to trust random strangers*, so we were quite happy to sit in the warmth with our eggs and bacon.
Funnily enough, it turned out Lucio worked for a tour company called Red Planet, so we decided to go with them around the flats. Our guide was called Oscar, as was our driver. First, we went to the train graveyard – full of abandoned and rusted steam engines, which made for some appropriately artistic, albeit quite gap-yarish photos.
We then drove into the Salt Flats. We’d all seen photos and had heard it was special, but this was incredible. We took the usual perspective pictures with props including a toy plane, a snake, a wrestling mask from last week’s trip to the Cholita wrestling, and a Paceña bottle. We then went to the Isla del Pescado, where there are cacti (I’m sorry) over 10m high and 1000 years old! Again, the views were stunning.
We drove back along the salt flats to see the most amazing sunset I have ever seen, before rushing back to catch the return bus to Oscar’s Blink 182 playlist! It was an unforgettable experience – we would certainly recommend Red Planet guides. I just wish we could have stayed for longer!
*Disclaimer – do not trust random strangers in Bolivia