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Dear Diary:

6th October 2005  -  Chile to Bolivia via the Salta de Uyuni

From Santiago I used up the last flight I had in South America to avoid a 24hr bus ride to Antofagsta in the An Atacama SunsetMid night sand boarding!North of Chile. From Antofagsta I headed to San Pedro de Atacama, one of the world driest places by bus. I was greeted by a lovely sun set/moon ride about 10min out from San Perdo and that was a FAB precursor to my first night in town. It was one of those evening when all of the gang at the The walk backhostel headed out midnight sand board under the full moon! AWESOME!

Oh, the sand boarding included all the Pisco you could drink, Nothing like a 4am night cap!so the night went on nice, long and fun! It was even longer when our transport got bogged in the sand and we all had to walk back into town at 3am. Fortunately my hip flask kept us warm on the walk back. It was also Chile's National day, so the party in town was still going and we just had to have a 4am beer. Check out how the locals dance here!

Nice views on the bike rideWhile in San Perdo we all chilled and checked out what we could, as it had snowed a few days before and much of what there was to see was not accessible. All I can say is Cheers Guys!riding a bike is tuff for this old fella! Still we checked out some kool stuff. I ended up spending 3 more days than planned in town due to the snow, but that's was kool as it was a fantastic bunch of guys and gals to hag out with! Hope its all going well for ya where ever you are now guys

Welcome to BoliviaAny way, my main reason for being in San Perdo was to organise a 4WD trip into Bolivia via the Salar de Uyuni A Long wait for some!(Salt Flats). It was a FAB group that headed out on the tour, 12 in all. We had a delayed start as the final bit of the "road" into Bolivia was still being dug out. Still we were doign better than these buses full of people. I spoke to a German chap on one of them and they had been waiting in San Pedro, living of the buses for 5 or 6 days! Ouch!

In the end we lost about four hours of our first day due to Swimmers are optional here!the road being cleared, so not that bad I guess. There was lots of time to load up and check out a number of lake, geysers and hot springs. Of course you don't need to bring a swimming costume to the Hot Springs some of the time as we discovered!

Dali Landscape!The Bolivian land scape is fantastic! I was very glad to be in a 4WD watching it go by as you are at about 4500m at a number of points and I cant say my body is a fan of altitude! I must be getting old. Check out this land scapes they call Salvador Dali!

A PhotoWe reached base camp for day one just after a lovely sun set and had a big feed. One of the gang had a watch that also measured temp, and I don't know if it was comforting to know that the Laguna Coloradadoorms one night one got down to 2 degrees Celsius! Any way, we hit the road and its warms quickly once the sun hits you.

Day two i when you can say the tour started proper. First stop of Laguna Colorada that just full of flamingos and lots of Lamas abound. Its some where I have never head of till I got there, but now I know it, IŽll not easily forget. Its just lovely! A very nice spot to see flamingos for the first time in my life. Check out the video of Laguna Coloarada here.

More landscapesThe reset of the day offer many many and varied Bolivian landscapes. If ever you get the option to hit this part of the world, you must! Hills, rocks, grass, small animals, its got it all!
Smile - You never know who's watching!

The second and final night for me was spend on the edge of the massive Salar de Uyuni, the worlds largest Salt flat at about 12,000 square km and its at 3600m elevation!!

The Salt fals from Fish Island The final day offered us salt, salt and yes, salt! WE got up and headed to Fish Island if memory serves. The salt flats are the remains of a prehistoric lake that's dried up and fish Island is one of the old islands of the lake. You get some FAB Getting close to the Salt Hotel views from the islands for sure. Check out the video from the top of Fish Island here.

Any way, all good things must come to and end. We all got some kool perspective photos in the middle of the Salt flats and then one final stop at the Salt Hotel. I believe you can stay here if you so desired. I did not ask how much, but hey its a Salt Hotel! KOOL!

All of the gang on the tour... Any way, I had a fantastic time on the trip and as usual it would not be a good trip without a FAB group of people. Hope your all doing well guys! Let me know if you want any full copies of the photos.

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