I was so paranoid about waking up freezing cold in the middle of the night, I pretty much put on everything I had with me including my down jacket. So that was 2 pairs of socks, thermal bottoms and top, PJs, a t-shirt and two jumpers, hat and gloves. I was inside a silk liner, in a sleeping bag under 3 blankets with a hot water bottle (which Wilda kindly produced for each group member). Guess what, I woke up totally dehydrated and boiling hot!
We were up at 5 am and out the door at 5:30 to go see the sunrise at 5000ft and some geysers. I've no idea how Wilda knew where to drive as now it was off road in pitch black conditions, but our jeep was flying over the ground and climbing rapidly upwards as we all sat shivering praying for the sun to come up soon. At the summit the geysers were amazing, spread out over a football field in size they were pushing out steam and spewing out mud. I was surprised that we could walk right up to them, they were not fenced off at all and as there was a lot of steam it was tricky to see where you were walking, I kept safely to the outskirts not really wanting to wander into a mine field of geysers, I wondered how many tourists had actually fallen in one, pretty sure you would not come out of that alive! The sun came up around 7am and we made our way back down the mountain to Aguas Caliente (hot waters). Here we could bathe in a small pool of natural hot water alongside a hundred or so other tourists, to be honest it was a little too ram packed as it seems the jeeps all make the same routes at exactly the same times, kind of annoying that they don't spread themselves out a little better. Regardless I went in the deliciously warm waters which was very pleasant considering I'd also not showered for 48 hours! We had managed to negotiate a little more time in these waters than most groups, so by the time we left the place was pretty empty which was nice.
Today we were making the long journey back to Uyuni as it was the last day of the tour. We spent a lot of time driving and I was very pleased I had the front seat as it was extremely bumpy. We had lunch in a small village and made one final stop at Laguna Negro which was spectacular in it's peacefulness, the pictures I took really did not do it justice.
We arrived back in Uyuni at 4 pm and my overnight bus was due to leave at 8 pm. I was tired, hungry and wanting to get back to a hot shower and the comfort of my hotel in La Paz. Quite frankly I'd had enough of cold shack like accommodation. So when I was told that the local community were striking for a bus station and blocking all the roads till midnight meaning my bus could not leave till 1 am, I almost burst into tears. What the hell was I going to do for 8 hours in this small town? Once I'd calmed myself down and realized this was just one of the downsides of being a traveller and in reality the situation was not really that bad in the grand scheme of things, I made my way to the main square. The sun was still shining and so I people watched for a couple of hours. Clearly there were other backpackers in the same predicament as there were a lot of lost looking soles milling around killing time. I bumped into a Belgium couple i'd met on the tour and we had a long dinner before they had to leave, then I nursed some cups of mate de coca until I could drink no more of the stuff. I decided to make my way over to the bus office just in case the bus left early, it was now 11:30pm. Lucky I did so, as finally the bus left at 12:15am!