Tuesday, November 22, 2011


That morning I woke up with that teenage feeling that something very good was about to happened. I overcame the extreme cold and jumped in the shower, I wouldn’t mind burning my skin at the moment I just wanted the hottest water available. In Uyuni (southern Bolivia) mornings tend to be icy cold.
After a poor breakfast in my cheap hostel and waiting some/ lots of minutes I was finally picked up in a 4WD from the Nineties, I had to seat on the back (my height 5.3 feet doesn’t help when I want to be demanding about extra space). We were a total group of 06, lovely Australian couple, one Kiwi and two frigid beauties from Switzerland.

 After 20 min on the road in the middle of a very deserted area we arrived to the famous Train Cemetery Uyuni, and the visual composition was extremely nostalgic. According to my guide; the grumpy José, these locomotives were robbed several times for the infamous Buch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, these American thieves were a pain in the neck for many Bolivian mining businessmen and for the Government itself, their lives ended up even further south closer to the Argentine Border in the little town of San Clemente, but apparently their deaths were less spectacular than in the 1969’s movie with Paul Newman and Robert Redford. I have to say that if you’re careful enough, climbing the roof of one of these rusty trains worth 100 per cent.

The 4WD now is moving and taking the road back to Uyuni, we stop for picking up our lunch and we continuous in the opposite direction, this time we are leading to the Uyuni salt flats.
It very interesting the first impression you can have when seeing the flats, in the horizon far away you can see some small mountains and right under them a blurred white line that gives the impression of looking floating hills. This optical illusion is just the begging of an extraordinary day in one real natural wonder of the world.

This salt desert has a total extension of 12 000 km2 and is located at 3650 m.a.s.l. but to be honest that doesn’t mean anything when you’re standing in this place you just feel like you are in the top of the world, you feel like your hands can reach the sky, like your heart is about to explode full of an unexpected joy, the joy that only comes when the power of nature touches you for an instant. It’s very hard to describe the emotions you can feel when you look at the horizon and there’s not end. I couldn’t control myself and I lay down in the ground and I breathed deeply while the intense sun burned once again my dark skin. God, I was happy.

But Uyuni Salt Flats is about fun as well, we drove to the old Salt Hotel and while Mrs. Aleja was setting our lunch (a very rich serving of boiled quinoa, salad, llama steak and lots of Coke) the entire group started with the “perspective pictures”. Since everything is pretty much flat and noon hides very well the shadows we can fool the cameras’ eye. Check out some silly examples.


  • Bring a sun’s block, had and sunglasses.
  • Wear shorts or shirts, it gets really sunny.
  • Walk up the INKAWASI Island (Fish Island).
  • Bring some cash to buy souvenir made out of salt, some of them are nice enough.
  • Bring different objects to play with the perspective e.g. plastic dinosaur, Pringles can, coke bottle, etc. Your imagination is the limit.

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