Hours went by and my window still had the same view. Desert. My headphones played José González on repeat as we trudged along, passing vicuña and dense puna grasslands. Every now and then I could make out the sound of Pia and Sabrina laughing at a joke Conni had said in her native tongue. Iver was driving nodding his head to the music, while weaving in and out of the grasslands, only leaving dirt blown dust in our trail. Occasionally, I would look up in my rear-view mirror only to see Denisse and Jacob falling asleep in the back seat, holding each other.
Outside was barren and desolate, but inside we were bursting with life and there was joy in our spirits.
I remember thinking, how I wished I could somehow pause time.
I remember thinking, that I didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world than that moment with strangers who became like family to me.
Editor’s Note: This is the second post in a three– part series from Kara’s trip to the Bolivian Salt Flats.
I woke up feeling just mediocre that morning, which is rare for me! We ate a quick breakfast that consisted of te con miel, cold pancakes, pan tostado, and ducle de leche! A full day of new adventures was ahead of us and I had to be 100%.
First stop: Arbol de Piedra en Desierto Siloli –
Approximately one hour after leaving the cement building where we rested our head the previous night we arrive to Siloli Desert. My first thought of this place was ‘OMG! OMG! It’s an adult playground.’ People were jumping, climbing, and leaping on massive rock formations (BTW on this particular tour to Uyuni, tour operators travel in small armies lol and caravan (semi) together, there is zero civilization out here, in which you can see in the photo below). My favorite was the Stone Tree… formed by harsh wind, rain, and sand over time.
A remarkable place you must venture off to in your lifetime.
Lagoons: Laguna Honda, Laguna Hedionda, and Laguna Canapa –
“Today we had the windows down, while blaring music, off roading in our family 4*4. We drove up higher and higher to a platform where you could get a 360 view. Today I felt on top of the world.”
Everything was so majestic and still. Again, I felt that familiar feeling that I was on a different planet. I sat alone by the Chearcota Lagoon for a while, took some sun, and wondered all along what the life of a flamingo would be like, as they bathed in the lagoon before me.
We visited the Cemetario de Uyuni this afternoon too. Everyone was super hyper, so we piled out and jumped around till we wore out. Quick history lesson: Founded in 1889, this railway hub was very busy connecting mines with the world beyond the Pacific. But the mines near here died up, and the trains stopped running. So basically it’s just adult playground NUMBA 2 of the day.
Oh and we saw a Viscacha on this day. Check this little dude out. They are similar to a chinchilla, but wear a much thicker coat for those low Bolivian Altiplano temps every night.
We got into Uyuni at dusk, and were told the Uyuni Salt Hotel was full so we stayed in another really weird hostal. This one was more like a three story warehouse but with rooms on the second and third. So odd. So odd.
Pia and I played with a little random puppy before dinner. We were first at the dinner table… again (horrible photo of me, but deal). At dinner I chatted with new house mates and carbed up. The women that worked the kitchen were really sweet, I tried to help them clean up but they didn’t like me in their kitchen. LOL. (Jeez was my Spanish still THAT BAD)?!!?
I am still amazed by the views I saw that next morning on the Uyuni SaltFlats but will try my best to explain how to reach, what I believe is Heaven on Earth. Till then, may something worth smiling about happen to you today.