We love mountains

My thoughts and experiences cycling, snowboarding and travelling around the world

Crossing into Bolivia

A rather unexpected twist to our snowboarding trip was ending up in the Altiplano of Bolivia. Our 3 day tour to enter the country was spectacular. We saw lagunas of various colours,  volcanoes, flamingo’s and much more. Driving through the flat plains it is easy to forget that  the altitude reached 5000m. The first night we slept at a quaint hostel in the middle of nowhere at 4600m. Drinking red wine was not the best idea. They had Diablo from Chile which is good wine though!  It got pretty cold, those without decent sleeping bags and just few blankets suffered a bit. It also was at the height where you have to keep reminding yourself why your short of breath. The next day we saw more of the same if not more spectacular scenery. Our guide pointing out Lagunas and mountains as we passed through.

We reached a salt hotel for night two, it was a new and hopefully more sustainable than the old hotels,  perched on an embankment near San Juan with stunning views over the salt flats of Uyuni. The walls sparkled with salt it took few seconds to work out why en suite bathrooms were not made of salt! Final day was spent crossing the vast salt flats.

We then headed via the island of cacti to Uyuni town. We stopped a a train cemetery with a history of aboned old steam trains. A very photographic spot and interesting to clamber about on the old steel trucks. Due to the dry air they were all in good ish shape still.

Uyuni is a dull place servicing the hordes of tourists. We had to wait about for about 5 hours, but there were enough tourists waiting we managed to charter our own bus out. It seemed that this was not entirely legal as the police boarded the bus and demanded to see some paperwork. It took a lot of chat to get us free to leave, but finally we did. It seemed the comprimise was to pick up everywhen on the way for free. So much for our chartered bus! Next stop Potosi.


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