Just arrived in Uyuni after my amazing 3 night trip from Tupiza to get here. Today was the most wonderful day of the trip by far and that is definitely saying something. I left Tupiza on Valentine´s day in a big Jeep with a Driver, our guide, and a couple from Amsterdam rounding out the group. The first day we went from desert, to plains, back to desert, and then into the mountains finally resting in a village at just over 4000 meters elevation. There we played a little basketball, had a nice dinner, and then went to bed at 7.30 in preperation for the 4.45 wake up call the next morning… yikes.
Fortunately we all made it out of bed in time and took off to our first destination of the mountainside town of San Pedro (just made this name up but I think it was named after a saint anyway) snuggled against an absolutely gorgeous mountain it is a breathetaking (literally… we were at almost 5000 meters) abandoned town, nearly rivaling the beauty even if not the wonder of Machu Picchu. After a brief time there we drove the rest of the day through amazing mountains and lagoons until we reached the National Park where we eventually came to rest in a small tourist town comprised of two hostels and one house.
The third day started off with a bang but by then we were all a little tired of the endless driving and so the rest of the day, though unquestionably gorgeous, was a little less fun. We woke up early again and went to the red lagoon famous for being home to thousands of flamingos! With mountains on all sides of the massive lagoon and flamingos every couple of feet the views were awesome and we spent over an hour taking a picture of every individual flamingo (slight exageration). After that we drove for a while to the famous rock formations and those were what we saw for most of the rest of the day. Rocks, mountains, and lagoons. In honesty this probably would have been the best of the first 3 days if it wasn´t for the general tiredness of the group along with the knowledge that the next day was to be by far the most memorable and aweing.
Today was another early wake up call but incredibly worth it. We got to the Salar de Uyuni in time to watch the vivid red sun rise over the mountains and reflect all across both sky and ground. For those that don´t know it is currently rainy season in Bolivia, and although we were lucky on our trip to not see much rain the salt flats are currently covered with 2 to 4 inches of water which acts as a mirror and reflects everything the eye can see. The salt flats are massive so in most cases what the eye can see is clouds, jeeps, and an occasional faraway mountain.
We spent hours taking serious pictures, goofy pictures, and beautiful landscape pictures before finally getting so wet and covered in salt that we decided to climb onto the roof of the jeep as to not get the inside too dirty, and head back to the hostel. It was a day full of laughter and tons of fun and I believe over 1000 pictures between the two cameras. The internet here is far to slow to upload any pictures but know that some are coming at the next possible oppurtunity. Overall it was an absolutely spectacular 4 day trip and I recommend it to anyone who can make it down to Bolivia. Trully amazing sights.
Tonight at 8 I take an unfortunately timed bus that arrives in Oruro at 3 am. But hopefully it will be worth it as tomorrow marks the biggest day of Carnaval in Bolivia with Oruro being the Carnaval capitol. Carnaval in Bolivia is not much more than the biggest water and shaving cream fight known to man… so it should be quite the event. After tomorrow I hope to head to the coast of Chile just to squeeze one more country into my trip but we shall see.
Hope you all had a great V-Day and told that special someone that you cared.
Personally I love you all,
Keep doing your thing,