Day 3 was what we were really looking forward to – driving across the salar. The salt flat itself is the largest in the world at, 7m deep and is truly amazing to see. Halfway across the salar is an ‘island’ called Incahuwasi or ‘Fish Island’ (because it is shaped like a fish), and it is filled with beautiful cactus and cardones. This must be one of the world’s weirdest landscapes – surrounded by salt with thousands of cactus growing in the middle of it.
The other cool thing about the salar is that you lose sense of perspective because of the blinding whiteness and flatness. So you get to take all kinds of cheesy photos like these ones:
While we stopped to take the photos, we figured out the other jeep had unfortunately run out of petrol. Cool. So we carried on to the other side of the salar while our driver stopped other 4WDs to ask if they wanted to sell them any gas. Yep what a professional outfit (we saw them later on, so they did make it ok!).
We passed these guys who were cycling across the Salar. That is hard core.
Mid-afternoon we made it to the town of Uyuni, which was the end point of the tour. We were planning on staying a night but there was not alot there – apart from an awesome pizza restaurant – so we decided to get the first bus out of there (which happened to be 8pm that evening). We had planned on getting the ‘tourist bus’ – a bus that is twice the price of the normal local bus, but which has heating, food and other such luxuries, but it was sold out for the next 2 nights. We really didn’t want to stay in Uyuni for 2 nights, so we decided to brave the local bus.
Only a small percentage of roads in Bolivia are tar sealed, the rest are potholed tracks through the middle of nowhere. Of the 10 hour bus ride to La Paz, the first 8 hours were of the track variety, so we didn’t get a lot of sleep whilst bumping along and feeling every bone in our body vibrate.
We also got a puncture at one point, so stopped for an hour while they fixed it. Finally at 7am we rolled into La Paz, the highest city in the world.