Scallops and Shiitake Mushroom with Bonito flavored Cream
Scallops and Shiitake Mushroom with Bonito flavored Cream
Some breakfast at the Cathay First Class lounge in Hong Kong
Some breakfast at the Cathay First Class lounge in Hong Kong
Driving out on to the Salar at dawn.
Driving out on to the Salar at dawn.

We woke up at some crazy hour again on the fourth day of the tour so that we could see the sunrise over the Salar de Uyuni.  You can read all about the Salar over at Wikipedia but the basic idea is that it is huge plane of salt (4000 mi²) that is incredibly flat (less than 1m elevation difference across its entire area).  During the wet season the Salar is flooded with a few inches of water.  This was the case when we visited and I have to say that driving out on a mirror-like plane of water at dawn was pretty cool.

We first drove to a salt hotel out on the Salar where we could mill about and take in the sunrise.  It was cold, below freezing without a doubt.  While we were waiting for the cook to prepare breakfast, we enjoyed watching the sunrise and started to take some crazy photos the Salar is known for.  The lack of recognizable objects (trees, cars, etc) in the photos allows you to play all sorts of fun perspective tricks with the camera.

After breakfast, we drove further out on the Salar to get away from other tour groups.  Our guide then helped us take all sorts of fun photos.  Some of the more ambitious backpackers had brought props all the way from home for the occasion but we had to make do with what was on hand.  Fortunately, the guide had some good ideas!  Be sure to check out the gallery below for many more.

A bunch of gringos out making fools of themselves in the middle of the salt flats.
A bunch of gringos out making fools of themselves in the middle of the salt flats.

Two hours into our ”fotos locas” shoot, we packed up and headed for a couple of other sights around the flats.  We stopped in one area where salt miners were working away to harvest salt and in another area where some of the Salar’s trapped brine bubbles to the surface (the Ojos del Salar).  Finally the tour wrapped up with a quick visit to Uyuni’s train cemetery where dozens of turn-of-the-century steam trains have found their final resting place.

All in all, we really enjoyed our time on the four day tour of Bolivia’s southwest.  Our traveling companions were great, the guide was excellent, the driving was responsible, and the food was delicious.  At only $160 per person it was an absolute bargain and we would strongly recommend Tupiza Tours to others!  Next up on the blog, the cities of Potosí and Sucre.

Slowing sinking into the desert.
Slowing sinking into the desert.
Southwest Circuit Day 4
Driving out on to the Salar at dawn.
Driving out on to the Salar at dawn.
A salt condor!
A salt condor!
A duel
A duel
Amy having some mate
Amy having some mate
A Pez dispenser
A Pez dispenser
The vegetarian eats the omnivores
The vegetarian eats the omnivores
The evolution of man.
The evolution of man.
A bunch of gringos out making fools of themselves in the middle of the salt flats.
A bunch of gringos out making fools of themselves in the middle of the salt flats.
Our guide was quite skilled at creating fotos locas.
Our guide was quite skilled at creating fotos locas.
Ojos del Salar
Ojos del Salar
Salt mining (for human consumption)
Salt mining (for human consumption)
Some of the Salar is flooded at this time of year.
Some of the Salar is flooded at this time of year.
The last stop was the train graveyard near Uyuni
The last stop was the train graveyard near Uyuni
Slowing sinking into the desert.
Slowing sinking into the desert.
Our final meal on the tour.
Our final meal on the tour.


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