Tour De La South America
A surprisingly comfortable nights sleeps means we get up with plenty of time to get to the agency office for 10.30. We decide to find the office before we grab breakfast. As we walk past the hostel breakfast we see scrambled egg and toast. It's about 9 now so we head out looking forward to our breakfast when we got back. Obviously nothing goes easy for us. It's 9.45 and we're back at the hostel asking for directions to the office, they tell us where to go, it's not there, we go to the Internet cafe and it too slow to load google maps. By about 10.15 Dyson is getting EXTREMELY stressed and moody so we just jump in a taxi which doesn't help Dyson's mood when he turns out to be the most stupid Bolivian we've met. Considering Uyuni is tiny, about 8 blocks square the guy can't find it. He takes us to the middle of no where, turns around an stops at a random house and points to it. I go an knock pretty sure it isnt the office and obviously it's not. It is just a house. The guy does speak English thou so he tells me its three blocks forward then take a right down the road called sucre. He tells the taxi driver in Spanish too. One block forward the taxi driver tries to take a right. By no he's even testing my patience. I shout at him to follow my directions which finally gets us there. We get out thinking how this taxi driver survives in society and starving from the lack of breakfast. Anyways, least we're here, we grab some crisps, biscuits and a snickers and wait for the car to pick us up. There's 11 of us in total so we're split into two cars, in ours is Ryan and Phil and a French couple. About 20 minutes into the journey and we reach the train graveyard, which as it sounds is the resting place for the Bolivian trains. We had a climb about and quickly headed off for the salt refinery to learn the process of the Bolivian salt industry. Next we went for lunch which was held in an amazing salt hotel next to the salt flats. Everything structurally was made from salt along with some amazing sculptures. We had lunch in a circular room on the second story so the view was amazing and the food wasn't bad either. After lunch we headed to the salt flats which was breath taking. The surroundings were beautiful and the feeling of being surrounded by pure white was quite surreal. We spent about an hour there before the long 3 hour drive to our hostel. When we arrived we had some tea and coffee, followed by a really nice chicken dinner. The group had a few drinks and a chat afterwards and went to bed about 12. Next morning we woke for breakfast at 8 before faffing around and leaving about 10. The first point of call was rock valley where we clambered on weird shaped rocks and just got some wicked photos of scenery. Next was the green rock which is fairly self explanatory with once again some wicked photos of scenery. (Note: this day was spent in the Andies so assume wicked photos of scenery were taken at every point) We then went to a couple of lagoons and learnt about the eco system etc. We stopped for lunch on some rocks whilst taken in the huge range in front us. After lunch we headed to the rock tree where the weather started to get pretty windy. We soon moved on to the red lagoon where there was also a huge flock of flamengo's. The red lagoon was literally right next to our next hostel were we settled in for a couple hours before having dinner which again was really nice. Oscar, our tour guide (who at this point I must say has been amazing, so safe and helpful and just generally a really cool guy) sat on our table for dinner which was cool, telling us Bolivian stories etc. I had a glass of wine and some spirits but went to bed at about 9ish as we had to get up at 4.30 the next morning. We end up getting woke up at 4am which isn't a problem as it means we're ahead of the crowd now. First stop is the top of a semi active volcano. We look at some guises and some bubbling 200 degrees mud pools. With no sun light it's brutally cold so we don't stay long. We then jump in the truck and head to the hot spring to watch the sunrise. We get there with plenty of time and have a coffee and pancakes for breakfast. As the sun starts to come up and it starts to warm up everybody starts to strip into their swimming gear and get in the spring. I have no idea what the temperature is but it's hot! At first even too hot but after about 2 minutes my body climateises and its like being in the nicest bath ever. Cold outside, perfectly warm in the water, lush! We stay there for about another hour before we have to get to the border for our bus at 10. An hours drive and we arrive at the border and have to get our passport stamped by immigration, the last time we might get screwed from the hostel in sucre. Turns out immigration doesn't even have a computer, we pay our 15 bolivianos, get the stamp and board the bus. The bus doesn't leave for about half hour which gives us time to reflect on how good the last three days have been... Amazing!