general travel

lake titicaca

In Puno, Peru – altitude of 3826 metres. It’s definitely up high (we didn’t see the Bolivian Navy though).



general travel

uyuni, bolivia

When we arrived in Uyuni after the trip through the Altiplano, we discovered that a lot of the buses to La Paz weren’t running that night, due to blockades. So we booked a ticket for a bus the following night, and hoped it wouldn’t be cancelled as well. And spent a day and a half hanging out in Uyuni, a little town with a population of 10,000 or so, some really good street markets, and lots of tourist shops selling tours out onto the Salar. The night markets sold huge slices of tasty cake for 15 cents. Actually, there were lots of places you could buy slices of cake throughout Bolivia, and in Peru as well (maybe in Chile too, but I didn’t notice it so much there). A girl could grow very large with such ready access to enormous slices of delicious cake for such a low price.



Bolivian women with one child in hand, the other in load carrying stripy device on her back. It was a common sight to see women carrying young kids like this (and if it wasn’t young kids, it was some load or another). Also with trademark Bolivian bowler hat perched atop her head, and two long plaits with tassels tied on the end.



Political graffiti in town – there was a lot of this throughout Bolivia and Peru.



Lovely communist style statue on the street by the train line.

(In the end the bus we got tickets for was not cancelled, and the vibrations of the rough Bolivian roads even became calming after a while – it was a bit like sitting on a massage chair)

general travel

salar de uyuni

Salar de Uyuni – at 10,582 km² , the largest salt flat on Earth. Around 40,000 years ago it was part of Lake Minchin (an enormous lake that encompassed the Salar as well as another neighbouring Salar, and two existing lakes). It sits at an altitude of 3650m on the Bolivian Altiplano being salty and flat.



It’s also very handy for taking lots of silly photos – here we see Alex executing a perfect star-jump style ‘jump’ photo.



Up-close with the salt – it’s very hard, and forms strange patterns on the surface.



And is also good for napping (but then again, where isn’t?)



And more silly photos, as I attempt to fly.



As we draw closer to Uyuni, we reach the salt harvesting operations. I was under the illusion that these pyramids would be something like an enormous pile of table salt – not so, they’re really pretty solid.

general travel

through the altiplano



Flamingos in lagoons, where they look a lot more at home than they did in cold and icy Patagonia.



Laguna con flamencos



Another Laguna – they all started blurring together towards the end, and I forget which was which.



Chile one way, Bolivia the other – the trainline crossing Salar de Chiguana.

general travel

hot-tubbing bolivian style

It was around lunchtime when we reached Aguas Termales – a beautiful hot spring that’s just the right temperature to sit in at the cool temperatures of the Bolivian Altiplano (the altiplano is where the Andes are at their widest, and is the most extensive area of high plateau on earth outside of Tibet).



The surrounds weren’t so bad to look at either



Most of the white in the above photo is borax rather than salt, but as everything was being explained in Spanish, I was initially very confused as to what Borat would be doing up in the Bolivian desert.