We left San Pedro and Chile on the three day salt flats tour into Uyuni, Bolivia. An incredible few days over the Andes in our six person 4x4.
The People! We met Nick and Rita, an English couple from London, and Nick and Courtney (who we had met in El Calafate briefly), an Aussie couple who made up our tour group. We had an incredible time with all of them and travelled with the Aussies for a while after the tour had ended!
Our Guide! Guido, was incredible and always allowed us 'uno mas hora' when we asked for it at any of our stops… not always happily, but he let us do it nonetheless. He also enjoyed our music in the jeep although e wasn't such a fan of the Harry Potter audio books.
The views. We stopped at: Laguna Colorado (flamingo central, a pink lake, volcanoes in the background and a snow storm as we left. Just incredible); Laguna Blanco - a white lake due to minerals-; Laguna Verde (a green lake, you get the picture); the geisers, which absolutely stank so we didn't stay long!; At some rocks, one of which features in Salvador Dali's picture which was covered in snow to make it more amazing due to the snow storm the night before; rock valley; a train cemetery; and of course the UNBELIEVABLE salt flats. This was just beynd words and without doubt one of the most awesome things I've ever seen. Endless miles of the slat flats, which were half flooded the day we were there which makes the ground a perfect mirror so theres no horizon, and the other half dry for amazing no perspective photos. Truly amazing and most definitely everything we expected and more.
Altitude Sickness. Everyone is bound to feel ill after climbing three and a half thousand meters in one hour, and unfortunately both the Nicks in our group suffered pretty badly. Luckily, I felt fine but was hard for the boys to enjoy the first two days feeling so rubbish. It made the horrendous eggy smell at the geisers pretty unbearable for them already feeling queasy, but luckily we slowly descended over the second day and everyone felt a bit better again before hitting the salt flats.
The moment when our guide told us there was 'muchos problem' with the jeep after about two hours of the tour and having to wait while Guido seemingly took the front left side of the car apart and smeared grease everywhere. I have no idea what he did but it must have worked as we didn't have any problems after that apart from stopping every now and again for him to shake the wheel for a bit.
The Other Jeep! On our tour there was another jeep travelling with us, who, for a variety of reasons, kept us entertained for the trip. Firstly, there was a Spanish woman who got into all of our nice scenery photos. We don't know how she did it, she was everywhere! Also, they had a Japanese guy, who spread his love for taking photos of everything to the whole group. At one point, there jeep had stopped to take pictures of a road sign signalling llamas. They had been stopped for so long they couldn't stop a few hundred meters down the road to take pictures of actual llamas. Strange priorities but it amused us greatly!
The handstand fail. Gareth and I had decided to take some pictures of eachother doing handstands in front of nice scenery to mix things up a bit. I did one on the flooded part of the salt flats and may have pushed it a bit too far and fallen flat on my back. I was drenched, and definitely entertained some near by tourists.
We arrived in Uyuni at the end of the tour and said goodbye to Nick and Rita over a llama supper, as they were flying to Cusco the next day. All in all an incredible three days!