Nothing is for sure… but everything is possible. WELCOME TO BOLIVIA.
CROSSING TO BOLIVIA
We bought a 3 days tour with the Cordillera Traveller for 180 dollars per person starting from San Pedro de Atacama and finish at Uyuni.
It is a “rough tour” they were trying to scared us at the very beggining.
30 people – big group. We reached the border in the middle of nowhere with a minibus – then we organized us into groups of 6 and got in a 4×4 jeeps to continue the journey.
The roads are pretty bad – i mean there are no roads literally so we do need a big 4×4 jeep if we wanna reach more than 20km/hour crossing thru mountains and lagoons.
We travel together with a couple from Brasil and their friend from the States. They are cool faces – we talking in english and spending some great time together.
We visited 3 lagoons: the white, the green and the red. Because of calcium, sulfur ad magnesium and finally for alga. They are beautiful surrounded by vulcans.
Millions of pink flamingos are living here in a high of 5500meters where the sun burns your skin and the wind blows your head off. But we still enjoying a lot, checking out some smoking chimneys and mud geysers again.
The first night we spent in a hostel – whats more like a shelter in the middle of nowhere (I MEAN IT) withour bath and three “notfromyourbathroom” toilet. If u are looking for a real adventure (i didnt but i got) just drink a can of beer before go to bed in a place where there is no electricity or lights…
Then around 3 in the morning in a total darkness trying to find a toilet on the other side of the block without any lights in a chilly night alone listening the singing wind from outside… ehehehehe. Lesson learnt.
But there are walls and beds hopefully without bedbugs. Night is perfect for checking the stars- there are no city lights if u are brave enough to go out into the freezing cold darkness.
We did – and it was beautiful, at first time in my life i could see the magical “milky way” – It did take my breath away.
So as i said before – we are in a pretty high altitude – which (they says) can cause ·altitude sickness·. I dont really know what is it – but it happens if your body doesnt get enough oxigen..
Anyway, Gigi and Gabor is having some kind of pills for this… i dont. I cant really say anything about it because we do feel alright (having beers and couple of cigarettes in the nights).
I did have a bit of headache before but our driver was so nice, Feliciano gave me some coca mate (green tea of coca leaves) saying that it helps a lot. I really didnt needed but i wanted to try coca. Smelled raw fish. I drank it. And im still good. :)
After all… your body does feel the hight and the lack of oxigen – get tired faster, breathing is a bit heavier. Runny nose and dry throat is normal. Our skin is got really dry – not just sunburnt (obviously the sun shining much more powerful without clouds at 5000meter).
But we are all ok.
It was a bit monoton… visiting lot more lagoons (with those f*ckin pink flamingos again) and a couple of dessert surrounded by funky shaped rocks thanks to the strong wind.
Our hostel is at San Jose – a tiny little village next to Uyuni – finally with some hot water to shower.
This accomodation is kindof special cause it built up of salt – the bricks of the walls covered with a layer of salt, the floor is fine salt, the tables and chairs are made of big blocks of salt. Im impressed even its in the middle of nowhere and we could still find a shop to buy and try a really local coca and quinoa beer.
Having fun with these guys – at least with our team. The rest… hm…. there are a lot of “monkeys” with us just to take selfies 24/7 it seems.. who has got bigger objective than dick and takes 80 shoots in each stops with every single rock in the field. We are different – luckily. The world is colorful like this. Not everyone can be cool like us. Thanks God! :)
After a pretty rough night with little sleep we had the alarm at 3:30am to get up and see the sunrise at the Uyuni Salted Lake.
It was a hard night because of a massive storm which was drumming on our plastic roof all night long (because of saving energy the rooms has no window but a plastic piece on the ceiling to let the light in during the day). So after i filled myself up again with quinoa beer during the dinner – obviously needed to get up for a pee around 2am… when the storm started. I could not go back to sleep.
UYUNI SALTED LAKE
Absolutely stunning. We did not have a proper sunrise though – was cloudy the morning… but all the surrounding was unbelievable. Climbed up to the little “island” in the middle with full of 1000 years old cactus. Did u know that the cactus grows 1 cm in a whole year? we saw lots of buildings made of cactus wood – it does look gorgeous and really stylish – but its prohibited now to touch them.
After being amazed by the formations and amount of salt increasing in layers in the lake every year we were finally headed to the city Uyuni.
Accidentally the Dakar Rally was just about to arrive here so the center was full of people in a massive chaos. We loved it! Real streetfood finally in the market!!!! Reminded me to Cambodia last year. And the people!!!! Well – they definitely not going to win any “beauty competition” having their tired genes… but i love the traditional folklore dress of the women and their long hair touching the ground…
There is still a mistery to find out…: where are the old men?¿?¿ Cause u see young girls and boys everywhere… but after that u find only old “granmas” selling stuff on the street chewing coca leaves… where are the MEN?
Next station is LA PAZ with a nightbus.