Crazy Uyuni salt flat trip – day 3
After the amazing day 2 of our Uyuni Salt Flat trip, I was trying to sleep but even with the image of the flamingos at the Laguna Colorada on my mind it was not enough to fall asleep. The guys from the other group where really loud outside our room and I was just before the period so my belly so hurt!
And it was freezing, we all slept in the trousers, and with jackets and hats on. When I heard the alarm at 4.15 am, I thought it was a bad joke. I was exhausted more than before I went to sleep, with sore throat and shaking.
I ate my two bananas and some nuts, packed and we left just before 5 am. Everything was covered with the snow outside, now I finally understood why it was so cold the whole night! And we went from the altitude of 4,278 m above sea level where we slept to 4,800 m. I was sitting in the car with my sleeping bag around me until we got to the geysers SOL DE MAÑANA. First we just saw the biggest respiradora, then the geysers in the area of 1 square kilometre. My fingers were frozen when I was trying to capture photos of the geysers up to 80 to 100 m tall. We waited there until before the sunrise to see the geysers better.
Then we continued around the DESIERTO DALI which volcanic rocks remind surrealist Dali’s works. Desierto Dali is situated in the middle of the desert known as PAMPA JARA close to SALT FLAT CHALVIRI. There was snow all around the desert, so strange!
We saw the sunrise above the CHALVIRI LAGUNA and then got to LAGUNA SALADA which was the lagoon with the hot springs. I was so looking forward to bath in there that even feeling cold, I just jumped in. I was the only one from our group but there were people from other groups, too. The water was hot (around 30 to 35 Celsius degrees) and watching the sunrise there left me speechless!
And when Lucio prepared me pancakes with marmalade and a cup of tea and got me that to the hot springs, I was having a blast! It felt so good to be the only person having breakfast in the hot springs. Yes, if you are too nice to your tour guide, he can make you a V.I.P. :)
After half an hour of bathing, I dried up and didn’t feel cold at all but put the towel on my hair as the wind was cold. I followed the rest of the group inside the building to have the rest of the breakfast there – yogurt with cereals and more pancakes, delicious!
All with full stomachs, watching the smoking volcano Putana and amazing colourful mountains and rock formations, Lucio drove us to 17 square kilometres of LAGUNA VERDE which gets its green turquoise colour due to its minerals arsenic and copper. Then we drove around the big LAGUNA BLANCA of transparent colour.
Both lagoons are just behind the volcano Licancabur of around 5,900 m a.s.l. on top of which there is a crater with the water of green colour such as Laguna Verde. Volcano Licancabur forms the border with Chile. I remember seeing the volcano all the time from San Pedro de Atacama and during all the trips around Atacama and even from the bus on the way to Salta.
We went to the Bolivian – Chilean border to leave there the Austrian couple who were going to San Pedro de Atacama. There we took a group photo with our tour guide Lucio on the roof of the jeep and I spotted an old bus close by.
After, we drove back to Laguna Colorada from the other side and stopped once again close for the last glimpse of the cute flamingos. I was in seven heaven again, Laguna Colorada had its special place in my heart since day 2 of Uyuni trip.
Once we got out of Reserva Eduardo Avaroa, I was drying out my bikini in the car.
Then we stopped on top of LAGUNA CAPINA where Lucio explained us that even a year ago it was not of this turquoise colour like now but extracting borax and other minerals, the lagoon is slowly getting that colour that reminds LAGUNA VERDE. Just Laguna Capina is much bigger and partly dried as Chile is using the underground water and the Sun is drying up the lagoon as well as it is not that high above sea level like the others. It was the last lagoon we saw during the trip.
The last part of the trip I felt really bad, hot and cold at the same time, with a headache and sore throat, not good signs! I was happy when we got to MALKU VILLA MAR village to have lunch. Pasta with chicken and sweetcorn, followed by a mandarin made me feel better at least for a while.
Lucio washed the car and we continued back to Uyuni town. We crossed a lot of rivers and saw quinoa fields (we got quinoa for lunch on the day 1) before we got to San Cristobal, a mining village, where we could take photos of the church, go to toilet and get some refreshments at the local market. I managed to take a shot of children coming from school and a cute Bolivian girl.
Then an hour after, around 4 pm, we finally got back to Uyuni town, picked up our backpacks in the travel agency and said goodbye.
My trip to Uyuni Salt Flat was organized by the travel agency Oasis Tours. For more information about Uyuni Salt Flat trips, please visit Oasis Tours website.