Friday, November 27, 2015

THE Bolivia I Didn't Know Existed! :)



While known for the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats and mirror in the world..

Bolivia has more on its palette than just white!

Laguna Colorada or Red Lagoon, Uyuni, Bolivia
Laguna Colorada or Red Lagoon

A splash of red and green lagoons..
Specks of wild pink flamingos..
Strokes of seven colors on a mountain..

Oh.. I just loved discovering them! :)

Red Planet Expedition, Uyuni Salt Flats Tour, Bolivia

3 days in the wilderness in this ride..

Train Cemetery, Uyuni, Bolivia

On to our first stop at the train cemetery..

Train Cemetery, Uyuni, Bolivia

Nothing spectacular.. just a graveyard for trains abandoned by mining companies..

Llama, Uyuni, Bolivia

But this.. why did I walk too slow?!

A mama Llama just gave birth seconds before I arrived..

Salt Moundts, Uyuni, Bolivia

And this.. what you always see on postcards..

Harvested salt.. mounds.. hard as rocks..

We stepped on them but I promise they will be cleaned ;)

Dakar Rally, Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

Dakar Rally.. husband had to explain to me what this was! :P

The off-road endurance race apparently went (or still goes?) through these salt flats..

Abandoned Original Salt Hotel, Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

No.. I could not find the Philippine flag here, and wish we brought one..

So guys, when it's your turn to visit this original and abandoned salt hotel..

Don't forget to bring your country's flag! ;)

Abandoned Original Salt Hotel, Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

If you're wondering.. this beautiful salt hotel was closed down due to waste disposal and sewage problems.. 

It was the only salt hotel ever built in the middle of the salt flats.. and sadly, there was no proper infrastructure to support it..

Uyuni, Bolivia

Just a kid playing on a truck.. and life.. of the Bolivianos in the area..

Lunch at Uyuni, Bolivia

Behind the scenes: Lunch break with tour mates.. 

Roasted chickens were huge and good!

Walls, dining chairs, and tables.. made of salt blocks..

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

The only part of Bolivia I knew existed! ;)

The Salt Flats.. Our playground for the afternoon!


Incahuasi or Fish Island, Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

So they kept saying we were going to Incahuasi or Fish Island..

Incahuasi or Fish Island, Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

And I thought there would be water and fishes..

But no.. only giant Cacti!

Incahuasi or Fish Island, Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

Amazing how an island full of giant Cacti sprouted in the middle of the salt flats!

So why Fish Island? 

Because the island is shaped like a fish!! haha! :))

Salt Blocks, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Remember those salt blocks made into walls and chairs?

Yes, this is where they came from..

Salt Blocks, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

They are really hard.. unlike the salt in our kitchen! ;)

Salt Hotel, Red Planet Expedition Accommodation, Uyuni, Bolivia

Behind the scenes: Salt hotel accommodation for the night..

Salt Hotel, Red Planet Expedition Accommodation, Uyuni, Bolivia

And room assignment..

Bed frame, and side table also made of salt blocks..

Had to be careful with our things because the salt blocks were rough!

Red Planet Expedition, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Good morning!

From somewhere close to the border of Chile..

Ollague Volcano, Uyuni, Bolivia

On to see the Ollague Volcano..

Red Planet Expedition, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Behind the scenes: Our car broke down, lunch ended up being served by the roadside, and I was glad..

It took them more than an hour to fix the problem.. but it was at that moment I saw how the Bolivianos really cared for each other.. with all the approaching vehicles stopping and helping.. until we could go..

Pink Flamingos, Laguna Canapa, Uyuni Salt Flats Tour, Bolivia

Finally met the wild pink Flamingos at the Laguna Canapa..

Hotel at Laguna Hedionda, Uyuni, Bolivia

And by the Laguna Hedionda.. or should I say, in the middle of nowhere.. this fascinating Hotel!

Vicuna and Flamingos, Laguna Hedionda, Uyuni, Bolivia

Just when I thought I was the only one mesmerised.. 

This wild Vicuña also loved the Flamingos ;)

Arbol de Piedra or Stone Tree, Uyuni, Bolivia

Already freezing..

But had to take this shot with their most photographed rock.. the Arbol de Piedra or Stone Tree.. 

Laguna Colorada or Red Lagoon, Eduardo Avaroa Reserve, Bolivia

Now as the French in our group exclaimed as we arrived.. "Magnifique!"

The gorgeous Laguna Colorada or Red Lagoon.. turns red every time the wind blows.. caused by the movement of the microorganisms in the water..

And like the other lakes we've just seen.. the white patches are Borax mineral deposits..

And the pink dots? Flamingos!

Sol de Mañana, Bolivia

Last stop for the day.. 

Had to be careful not to fall into the boiling mud pools..

At the crater of a volcano.. Sol de Mañana..

Red Planet Expedition Accommodation, Uyuni, Bolivia

Our home last night.. Where I learned what the Bolivianos meant by Economical Toilet..

No shower.. No electricity after 10 pm.. No water.. No flush.. and No breathing for me!

Hot Springs, Uyuni Salt Flats Tour, Bolivia

Just this hot spring..

..and I survived!

Seven Colors Mountain, Uyuni Salt Flats Tour, Bolivia

To see the Seven Colors Mountain..

Laguna Verde or Green Lagoon, Salar de Uyuni Tour, Bolivia

Bid farewell to our fellows..

At the Laguna Verde or Green Lagoon.. which shares the same story as the Red Lagoon.. 

But just Green!

Valley of Rocks or Valle de las Rocas, Uyuni Salt Flats Tour, Bolivia

Climb a few rocks at the Valley of Rocks..

Uyuni Salt Flats Tour, Red Planet Expedition, Bolivia

And savour the beauty of the Bolivian wilderness one last time..

Uyuni Salt Flats Tour, Red Planet Expedition, Bolivia

I hope you enjoyed this adventure as much as I did! :)



---------------------------
References:

Cost Per Person as of November 2014

10-Hour Overnight Bus from La Paz to Uyuni - Round Trip - Todo Turismo Bus - USD 80
3-Day Salt Flats Tour Inclusive of Food, Lodging, and English Speaking Guide - Red Planet Expedition - USD 180

Bring your own water and tissue paper! :)

1 comment:

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