Headed on a southern detour to the one-llama town of Uyuni. I can picture Mr. Eastwood cooly saying "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?". Truly an excellent setting for any spaghetti, or otherwise, western. Other than desolation, the town contains numerous salt flats-tour operators all beckoning you into their dingy pamphlet filled offices, as well as some small street vendors selling edibles for only the brave-hearted. We stayed a night, and headed out on the salty trail the next day. Included in our group were three Australians (two plumbers, and a carpenter), two Brazillians (an architect and a lawyer), and our brilliant guide Wally (a knowlegable local man who, despite only being able to ´hablo Espanol´, competently delivered his plethora of knowledge about the geography and its people to us magnificently). We loaded everything onto, and into, the Lexus ´super 4x4´ (dashboard tassels included), and headed out of the OK Corral.
The pictures say it all. From blinding glacier-like salty landscapes, to shallow reflective lakes, to cactus filled rolling hills, to strange rock formations, to erupting geysers, to smoking volcanoes, to flamingo- filled green and red lagoons, and even to the multicoloured canvas of Dali´s desert. Truly spectacular sights everywhere you looked. The accommodation was basic, but we can finally say that we´ve slept a night in a house literally made of salt (not that we have ever thought of saying something like that before). It was in the salt huts that our one and only warm shower was to be had, so for the rest of the trip, we had to sit cocooned in the Lexus with a range of smells as wide as the vistas before us. On the last day however, we had the luxury of swimming in a naturally heated pool powered by the nearby geysers. Almost too hot, but it scalded the layers of dirt off pretty quickly, and we soon settled into Scandinavian bath atmosphere for nearly two hours. Seriously pruned, we dried off in the icy surrounds, and headed back to Uyuni.
As always, food demands a few noteworthy lines. Our guide, Wally 'Gordon Ramsay´ Rodriguez did a magnificent job! He prepared our dishes Copperfield style out of the back of the Lexus. Before we knew it, (and while us gringos were off photographing this and that), he´d manage to prepare a buffet feast effortlessly. The cuisine included deliciouis quinoa, llama steaks (surprisingly sweet), pastas, chicken milanesas (schnitzel), crunchy salads and veg, as well as fruit for dessert. To add to the myriad of flavours on our tongues, our eyes got to feast on the surrounds each day, not one´s everyday lunch venues! I know hunger may make one´s food taste better than it probably is, but we loved it nonetheless.
That´s all for now, hasta la vista amigos!
PS. no wifi to load pics of actual salt flats, will put some more up in a few days.