One of the most spectacular trips we have embarked upon in our year away was a three day jeep tour across the high altitude Bolivian deserts and Salt Flats. We endured freezing nights (-18 degrees C) with no heating or electricity and altitudes of 5,000m but the incredible scenery and company of our fellow travellers made it all worthwhile!
Having heard horror stories of tour guides getting so drunk the travellers had to navigate the jeep through the wilderness with the intoxicated driver sleeping it off in the back, terrible food and overnight stays in illegal structures we were careful to chose a reputable company – Cordillera Travel – who did not disappoint. Our lovely guide, helpfully called Guido (although James still could not remember his name!) obligingly filled my hot water bottle at night and helped us with photos on the Salt Flats (see below).
The bitterly cold evenings at hostels were spent huddled with our new friends learning to play Scopa, an Italian card game, photographing the stars and feeding rehydration salts to the poor Germans who were sick as dogs with the altitude. James even found a shop selling beer which must be the highest place in the world you can buy it!
Please enjoy the photos!
Laguna Verde 4300m
Wild vicunas racing across the desert
Sol de Manana Geysers
Dining room at 4278m
Alpacas we met on the way to the shop
Laguna Colorada 4278m. The lake is 60km sq Native James flamingoes
with an average depth of 35 cm.
James touching the milky way!
Our jeep crew!
Dali’s desert – the artist’s inspiration
Living dangerously on the Bolivia to Chile railway line
Our hostel – made from salt. Hanging on the washing line to the left is a combination of meat and baby clothes…
Another James flamingo
Sunrise on the Salar de Uyuni. 3656 m altitude and 1o,582 km sq – the largest salt flat in the world
A study of salt crystals
Yummy salt crystals
Isla Incahuasi – the only island surrounded by salt rather than water
First he shrank her…
Then he ate her…
But they all lived happily ever after!
Muscle man at the Train Graveyard, Uyuni. The trains were used by the mining industry in the 1940s until the industry collapsed and the trains were left to rust.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, we certainly enjoyed putting it together!
James and Juliette