The Great White...May 9 in Bolivia
After never having driven in the dark for 2 years we seem to be making a bit of a habit of it, and we got to Uyuni late. It was a dusty and deary place as we remembered from last time! We had friends camping at the train graveyard so we headed there, but in the pitch black and rough ground so it took some finding. It was a bloody cold night, but when I let Maya out for a midnight pee the view of the stars and silhouettes of the trains was amazing.
We stocked up and headed out onto the Salar (salt flats) with Don and Sam. We were expecting some water when we entered and weren't sure how deep it was, but after a little paddle we went for it and fortunately got out the other side. From there we were faced with a few hundred square miles of flat salt.
We didn't really have a plan so we found a bit of a track and just followed it. After a hour or two of identical views we figured there wasn't a lot of point driving all the way across, so we pulled over for the night.
Within a few minutes I'd put my foot through a soft spot, which was more than a little disconcerting, particularly after hearing about some fellow overlanders who managed to sink their rig and had to hike 20 miles for help! After a bit of investigation we found a bunch of these holes with a thin crust over them - they appeared to be small vertical holes through the thick salt (well over a metre) and everything else was pretty solid so and figured the vans would still be there in the morning!
I had the forethought to take some firewood (very hard to come by on the altiplano) and we had a lovely evening cooking stew on the expanse, accompanied by a few bottles of lovely wine. It was a slightly surreal but highly enjoyable experience.
We woke to a bright white landscape as far as the eye could see. There wasn't much point exploring as it was all the same so out came the golf clubs and an impromptu game of pitch and putt! We then spent a couple of hours experimenting with some fun photos as the lack of discernable features means your perspective is easily distorted. Obviously most of these activities were done with a beer in hand, and we had a wonderful day just messing about.
The next morning was more of the same, and after a couple of hours we figured we should probably venture back to civilisation, and ended up back at the train graveyard.Read more