grandmother in bolivian style bowler hat


general travel trip reports

the south america round-up

kitten fishing in santiago de chile
mendoza, argentina
the southest i’ve ever been
arriving in patagonia
parque nacional torres del paine
around the park
into bolivia
hot-tubbing bolivian style
my very first geyser (a.k.a. i can see why safety fences are sometimes a good idea)
through the altiplano
hotel de sal (yes i licked the walls)
salar de uyuni
uyuni, bolivia
lake titicaca
cusco, peru
inka trail – day one
inka trail – day two
inka trail – day three
inka trail to machu picchu
lima, peru
screaming slugs – the highlights

general travel

screaming slugs – the highlights

The Screaming Slugs came to South America too, and were alarmed by most things they saw there.

A cactus on an island in the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia


In the middle of the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia


At Machu Picchu, Peru


In a Richard Serra installation at Toronto Airport, Canada

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.