Crazy Uyuni salt flat trip – day 2
After the first day in Uyuni, our second day of our Uyuni salt flat with Oasis tours started not very good. We didn’t sleep properly as the Austrian girl got sick and spent the whole night going to the toilet, walking around the room and trying to get better. Poor girl! I was a bit tired when we heard the alarm at 7.30 am.
The breakfast at 8 am – bread, butter, marmalade, tea and coffee woke us up a bit. We packed all the stuff again, jumped in the car and in good mood we drove to Valle de Rocas – Rock Valley.
First we enjoyed the rocks where also all the other tours pulled over. Some of the rock formations had such a funny shape! We walked a bit around and then continued to our secret part of Valle de Rocas where no one else was. The altitude was making it a bit difficult to walk around, we were all trying to catch up the breath while observing the unbelievable beauty of these rocks and a complete silence around.
And I found my own Arbol de Piedra :)
For the next couple of hours it was us getting to know some lagoons in the higher altitude. I felt surprisingly good and was enjoying to maximum every place where we stopped at. I was taking photos, videos and panorama photos as well.
The first lagoon we saw was CHULLUNCANI which in Quechua means cold/ice because this lagoon gets frozen in winter. Some parts of lagoon surface were white, it was the foam which is a mineral borax.
On the way, we saw an Andean fox :)
Then the second lagoon was CACHI, meaning salted in Quechua and around it we could really see white salt. There were some flamingos at the lake but we couldn’t get very close to them. There are some ruins of the houses of the miners (used to be a place of extracting sulphur before it got too cheap.)
The third lagoon where we stopped was KQARA which means desert/nothing in Quechua. We walked a bit around the lagoon, saw a dead animal and continued observing ducks, andean gulls, flamingos and little birds until our guide Lucio prepared our lunch in the car. There we sit at the huge stones on the hill and ate chicken milanesa with rice, avocado, tomatoes and banana for dessert. It was one of the best places to have lunch at, I so enjoyed it in the nature. And the food was delicious!
We also learned that the mountain behind us was the so called VOYNOVUELVO which in Spanish means I GO AND NEVER COME BACK.
The hill got this name because some legends say it is rich in minerals, silver and gold but each person that went there to try his luck, never returned back. Only his clothes or shoes were found later on, together with the footprints. We also saw some footprints going up the hill.
Then, eating jelly sweets we stopped at a viewpoint to see the whole KQARA lagoon. But just for a second as it was so windy and cold over there!
Afterwards, we drove through DESIERTO SILOLI – Siloli desert and it felt so strange to be in a desert while surrounded by high snow-capped mountains.
In Desierto Siloli we visited the famous ARBOL DE LA PIEDRA – a rock in the shape of a tree. Everyone takes photos from one side and I was curious how Arbol de la Piedra looked from the other side.
Other people were climbing the rocks around or went to toilet (I was shocked there were toilets in the middle of the desert!) Meantime, I was looking at the yellow signs and found out they were there to help the drivers in the snowy winter (June – August) to see the roads.
Then we made our way to the nicest place in the world! For me it was the highlight of the trip. I liked it more than Uyuni Salt Flat. It was LAGUNA COLORADA – RED LAGOON.
First we drove to its North side, to the viewpoint called Aguas Calientes with the information about the biodiversity of REA reserve. It was spectacular! I have never seen a lake of red colour so far! It is due to red algae which change colour during the day. The lagoon has white parts too which is mineral borax again. Red lagoon is a lagoon of 60 square kilometres and approx. 45 cm deep, it is full of pinky flamingos and surrounded by snowy and colourful mountains, it was a feeling I could not describe!
Afterwards, we had to pay the entrance to REA – Reserva EDUARDO AVAROA which is a protected area created in 1973 where the Laguna Colorada is located, together with the other places we visited during the day 3. The entrance fee was 150 Bolivianos at that time (cca 17 Euro).
Then we went closer to the lagoon to watch all the three flamingo species there, and the little flamingos not pinky coloured yet. I sat there at the edge of the lake and took hundreds of photos. I would stay there for hours observing those beautiful creatures, if only I could. There were even llamas around us. But after a while we had to leave to find some accommodation in the village HUAYLLAJARA close by.
We managed to find us a room in one of the alojamientos there before it started to rain and got dark. We unpacked and had a cup of tea/coffee with biscuits again. Hot drinks were exactly what we needed in that freezing weather.
We spent seated there the whole afternoon with hats and gloves on, sipping on our tea and then having a delicious dinner – vegetable soup and spaghetti a la bolognesa. Who would expect such a yummy food in the middle of nowhere? Our stomachs were really satisfied and I want to thank you the travel agency for giving us so delicious meals during the whole trip.
Cold temperatures couldn’t destroy our good mood, so we started playing cards and a game called ASSHOLE that the Australian guy Chris taught us. It was so much fun! Guys were drinking the wine we got for dinner and then bought some beers in the shop inside the same building of the accommodation. We played cards almost until 10 pm when the lights went off so we decided to go to sleep then as we had to wake up at 4.15 am the following morning. Good night everyone! And that was the end of our stunning day 2.
My trip to Uyuni Salt Flat was done by the great travel agency Oasis Tours. For more information about Uyuni Salt Flat trips, please visit Oasis Tours website.