Uyuni June 9th, 2013

Wonders & Disappointments


A whole part of Bolivia sits on the Andean Altiplano, which gives the country some of the most harsh and dramatic landscapes I have seen in South America so far. Around Uyuni, in the Southwest district of Potosi, close to the Chilean border, lay some of the continent most astonishing natural sites, making Uyuni an obligatory stopover for most of the travelers in Bolivia.

I've just returned from an "all you can see in 3 days" tour and I am still processing (if possible) everything I have experienced. I have to admit that the tour was everything but easy... Due to the large covered area, the group (7 tourists with me) spent most of the time inside a 4WD, driving from one highlight to the next one, making short stops of 15 minutes to take photographs.

The two overnights were spent above 4000 meters, in rudimentar "hostels", with no heating, no electricity and no water. The fact that I did the tour now (we are in June), the peak of winter in the Southern hemisphere, didn't help either, especially at night when temperatures steeply drop bellow zero.

Although I did have the chance of seeing some stunning sites - the Salar of Uyuni (the world's largest salt flats) transports you to another planet; the several Lagoons, especially the Lagoa Colorada, makes you rub your eyes until you realize that what you're seeing is actually real - the overall experience was quite stressful. You didn't really had the time to enjoy any of what you were seeing... and the many photos you've taken, at the end of the day, don't really make justice to the glimpses of beauty you believe to have perceived.


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