Salar de Uyuni was one of the reasons why we started this trip – it is very high on the list of things we wanted to experience. Due to political unrest, we were worried we might not be able to see it and some things on the trip were less than exciting, so we were worried it might disappoint (spoiler alert – it did not). The night before, we spend sleeping in the wild and are surprised by the most beautiful sky we’ve ever seen. It’s like we are on Mars and the sun decided to show off all the colors.
Next morning, we get a car wash and start our drive into Uyuni (you get a grease car wash before the salt flats to protect your car). At 10, 582 square meters, you drive into the salt flats and see nothing but white and the sky and it makes for beautiful scenery.
I honestly don’t have much to say except that you really have to see it in person to truly appreciate the magnitude of this landscape. And of course, it allows for some really fun photo opportunities.
However, it is one of those places that can be really dangerous. There is nothing but salt for miles and miles and not many cars drive near you. Lots of people sleep on the salt flats in the middle of nowhere and get trapped because the salt collapsed into mud when they drive off the main “path”. So, we go in overly prepared as usual and take our time driving only on established roads.
We visit the main island and then decide to turn around after driving for what felt like years due to the imminent dark rainstorm approaching. We really didn’t want to wake up to sinking Norma. We see giant cacti 3 times my height and an island that is flourishing with cacti everywhere in the middle of the salt lake despite the lack of fresh water.
So far, Bolivia has been a really pleasant surprise. The people are really nice, the country seems a bit behind some of its neighbours, but feels very authentic. We understand when people say it’s the last true South American country. We won’t be spending too much time here (due to time restrictions), but we are definitely looking forward to what’s ahead.