South America Plus travel blog

Waiting For Sunrise, Last Day of Tour...Does It Look Cold, Ha?!

Salt on Flats...During Rainy Season - Nov, Dec - Covered With Water...

Shadows From Rising Sun...2 People on Far Lt, Our Vehicle Center

Rising Sunscape on Salt

View At Salt Level...Sunrise

View of Fish Island (Incahuasi) as We Approach

Sign At Entrance to Island...Note Elevation, 3660m / 10,000+ Feet

Fish Island...Bon Taking Pic Lower Rt

Spectacular Cactus...Huge...Note Bon Waving From Crotch of Cactus Arm!!!

Silouette Sun Rising...Salt Flats Go Seemingly Forever

View From Top of Fish Island (What Natives Call It)

Looking Back At Where We Came From (See Pic of Approach to...

Bon Reaching the Top...Yes, Cold & Windy

Soime Perspective...See 4WD Vehicle Driving on Salt At Tip of Island?!

Another Perspective Shot of 4WD

Road Off Into Distance...To Uyuni

Major Big Entry Sign to Park

Bon Expostulating About the Wonder of the Island

One of the Tallest Cacti...They Grow 1 cm/yr...This One 1,000 Yrs Old

Sign At Base of Oldest...Died 2007, Age 1203 Years

Okay, Bon Push That Sucker Over!

No Large Trucks or Heavy Equipment Allowed on Salt Flats to Pollute...

Shovelled Into Piles By Hand...Piles Allow Salt to Dry

RR Graveyard...Trains Brought Here in 1915 to Haul Minerals, Mainly Silver

US Interests Brought RR First...Only Lasted 10 Years, Then Brits Who Lasted...

Desert Trash Collecting...Every Plant Grabs Something From the Wind

Tracks to Distant Mines...Now Haul Only Salt (Mostly to Chile) & Borax

What we are to see today:

Salar de Uyuni, Isla Pescado, Museo de Sal, Cementerio de Trenes, Uyuni

See the pics. We greatly enjoyed the tour, our driver (Pedro), and accomodations/food provided by Pamela Tours. Would highly recommend them to others contemplating this journey into the desert!

Once we arrived in Uyuni, a dusty but quite nice desert because of mining and salt, the RR comes here for this purpose having been built by US and later English investors to suck out the silver and other minerals in mines within 100 km of here. The train cemetery is quite impressive for the poor quality of machines shipped in from US and England. The US train lasted 10 yrs. the English one which burned coal which had to be imported from Chile, lasted 15 yrs.

When we began researching transport out of here we found that many other travelers had intended to go to Potosi but due to a blockade in Potosi, no buses were going there. The only alternatives were to go directly to La Paz which most if not all were doing or head S. to Tupiza (Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid territory...they died in San Vicente just a few km from Tupiza). We got tickets for Tupiza heading out w/ the only bus leaving at a reasonable time in the a.m.

This town also is full of tourists heading to/from San Pedro via the same 4WD track we took to get here! I think the local economy is changing rapidly to support the tourist trade and mining/salt income will/is fast becoming a secondary source of income.

Our Hotel/Hostel was right next to the immigration office where we forked over our $135 US due to Bush and reciprocity (no others pay for visas and prior to Bush raising US visa fees, we did not have to either!).

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