Thursday, 26 April 2012

Salt Flats Tour - Day 3

When our alarms went off at 4am, our first words to each other were about how freezing cold it was! All 7 of us were sharing a room like a giant sleepover and were tucked up under at least 2 blankets with all of our clothes on. As I said we were at around 4500m altitude so you can only imagine, we were going to be cold until at least the sun came up.

The basic hostel meant that electricity was only available in the evenings from 6-9pm, so when we were getting ready we had no lights at all. Luckily a few of us had torches so that we could at least change and clean our teeth.

By 4.15am we were in the truck with the heating on full blast, en route to our highest (and coldest) destination so far at over 5000m.

Again I can't remember the name of what we were looking at (probably because this was now over 6 weeks ago!), but basically there were high pressure, natural jets of air coming out of the ground. In some places the air was so hot that it was making the ground bubble - I suppose it was similar to a live volcano. It was really amazing to see and like nothing I have ever seen before, BUT I could not get over how cold it was, my body was numb and all I could think about was getting back to the semi warm truck!

We then headed for breakfast - yogurt and pancakes with this delicious caramel spread (thank goodness they don't sell that at home). Stuffed to the brim, we headed outside to watch the sunrise over a lagoon with a natural hot spring at the shore. We were all desperate to go in as the temperature was hotter than a warm bath, but we had to mentally prepare to take our clothes off in the freezing cold weather beforehand! We walked as close as possible before changing then literally ran at full speed into the water to try and avoid too much of a cold shock. The spring was gorgeous, with a view to die for and the water was so hot and relaxing that it was hard to force ourselves to get out over 45 minutes later.

Once we had dried off, we set back off in the truck for our last stop at the desert which is named the Salavdor Dahli desert as it looks alot like the painting - although apparently this wasn't his inspiration.

We then had a solid 6 hour drive back to the little town where we had stayed on the first night for a quick lunch stop before heading back to Uyuni.

We arrived around 5pm and had a fair-well supper with the boys, who were leaving on the bus that night.

An amazing few days, with LOTS of landscape photo shots.