Thursday, September 24, 2009

Condors! - The Salt Flats, Bolivia

We took a couple days to recover back in Oruro before giving the train another shot. This time we made it all the way down to Uyuni where we booked a three day-two night tour of the Bolivian Salt Flats. Bolivia has 12,000 sq km´s of salt flats. We had my ipod on play in the one working speaker and set off on our 1,000km tour.

First stop was the old train graveyard were we climbed on and admired some old abandoned rusty trains once used to transport the salt.

We then drove out into the middle of the salt flats and took some funny perspective pictures near the Isla del Pescado.

The Isla de los Pescadores is an island in the middle of the flats covered in cacti. We hiked around it for a while and admired the neverending horizon.

Our Jeep headed towards the accomodation and stopped for us to watch the sunset. I´d never seen my shadow so long before.

The next day we drove out of the salt flats and further into southern Bolivia. We were surrounded by stunningly colorful mountains due to the minerals inside them. Reds, whites, greens and yellows flowed throughout them.

We arrived at the first of five beautiful and colorful lagoons. This one and several others were filled with flamingos. I certainly wasn´t expecting that in Bolivia. It was "bloody freezing" according to Gemma and I wondered if all the Florida Flamingos make fun of all the Bolivian Flamingos?
We drove on towards Laguna Colorada which is a deep rich red color and 25kms east of the Chilean border. Also filled with hundreds of Flamingos.

We stayed the night there with sleeping bags, sleep sacs, all our clothes and four blankets. We survived.
The next morning we woke up at 4:30am to go see a geyser go off. We held our hands over the steam to keep warm and took turns running through it while holding our breath to avoid the stench of rotting eggs. A few hundred yards away was a field of boiling mud pots that looked like the surface of another planet

We then headed to the nearby hotsprings, relaxed and warmed up for good in the 30/86 degree water at 6:30am. It was the first time in three days that we weren´t freezing.

Our last stop before driving back to Uyuni was the Laguna Verde which had the most amazing greenish-blueish water and was located at the base of a volcano.
One of the funniest moments of the trip came when the older Israeli guy who was more into photography than I shouted at the driver to stop the jeep immediately. He´d been doing this every now and then for the past three days but this time he was serious. He started shouting that there were two condors near the road! I got excited since we hadn´t gotten to see them at Cruz del Condor in Peru. I look out the window at what this man is feverishly taking pictures of and am like "Where?" He points at two ducks.
I swear to god I almost lost it. We all were like "uhh I think those are ducks." He was now on his 50th shot and said no no these were condors. "Why aren´t these condors?, he asked. I said because they are ducks. The driver confirmed this. It was a good laugh.

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious!!!!!!!!!! hahahaha duck\condor...hehhehe