We’re finally back on board with the travel diary! This week has been a bit crazy, but that’s the way we like it.
26/4 Monday: It was our last day in La Paz, so we spent the morning at our couchsurfing home relaxing and trying some different Bolivian beers before saying goodbye to Mark. In the afternoon, Ange and I went on a mission to collect her passport and get an entry stamp and we had victory!
Unfortunately, on the way to the bus terminal to catch our bus to Uyuni, someone tried to scam Janine and Ange by squirting a smelly liquid them. Then, a well-dressed person tried to stop them by saying “oh, you have something on your bag.” We’d heard about this scam before – you take off your bag to clean yourself off, and someone takes off with it. So they just kept walking and we cleaned them up later.
27/4 Tuesday: It was incredibly cold when we arrived in Uyuni. We wandered around trying to find a hostel, and we were surprised that every place in town, regardless of quality, charged the same amount for a double room. We chose one almost at random and spent the rest of the day trying to decide which of the 64 tour companies to go with. After meeting Linda and John (friends of Janine’s parents) we decided to go on the tour that they had just arrived on – and I think it was a good choice.
28/4 Wednesday: Our tour started with a visit to the train cemetery just out of town, then we went on to the salt flat, which is enormous and very white. I enjoyed visiting Fish Island, which was covered in cacti, and taking hilarious photos which play with perspective.
29/4 Thursday: There was a lot of driving today, and we mostly spent time checking out the views of things like the tree of stone and the seven-coloured mountain. We also had lunch by a lake with lots of flamingos in it – I think this was a highlight for Janine.
30/4 Friday: The last day of the tour started incredibly early. First we went to see some geysers, and then had breakfast before a bathe in a hot pool IN THE SNOW. Yep, snow. It was crazy. Afterwards, saw some lagoons of different colours, then transfered to a minibus to re-enter Chile and go to San Pedro. We spent far too long looking for a hostel, then just relaxed for the rest of the day.
1/5 Saturday: After a slow start to the day, we headed out to meet a couple of Twitter contacts, Jonathan and Mahmoud. Then Sasha (a friend from NZ) and Oscar (from Antofagasta) joined us with three of their friends. We had an excellent evening full of wine and good food – I especially enjoyed catching up with Sasha again.
2/5 Sunday: The aim was to go to Argentina, but the snow we’d experienced on Friday foiled our plans. The pass was closed and the bus wasn’t running, but we had to wait around all day to find out if it would leave in the afternoon. It didn’t, which was great because it meant we could do the astronomy tour which hadn’t run the previous two nights because of cloud cover. It was a little expensive but excellent, we all learned a lot about stars and got to see some cool things in the telescopes. The jewel box and Saturn were my two favourites.