Saturday, 9 February 2008

Potosi - Tupiza - Uyuni

There was not much to report on Potosi, it was cold, it was high up (it felt like we were almost eye level to the clouds, which was cool), Mandi got ill and we kept getting drenched with carnival waterbombs which pissed us both right off. BUT, we were there on a beautiful bright blue skied day, so we got great views of the city, and I managed to get some quality sketching time in. The point of going to Potosi for most people is to visit the silver mines, but neither of us liked the idea of crawling into cold, dark caves and tiny holes, so we only stayed one day, then caught an early bus to Tupiza the next day. After the beauty of Sucre, Potosi felt a bit ´vanilla´.

Our first Bus ride in Bolivia was entertaining enough, flat tyres in the middle of nowhere on a 8 hour journey was a bit nerveracking, but we met some entertaining Argentinians who had to endure the whole ride sitting on the floor. One of them was a violinist, and got us through the hot journey with some live music. Nice.

The reason for enduring the bus ride was so that we could see this, one of the natural wonders of the world, one of the most famous natural attractions of Bolivia, the Salar de Uyuni, the Great Salt lake. It´s meant to look like this:

A huge expanse of crystalised salt, a massive expanse of white stretching for miles and miles.
However, we are here in the rainy season, so what we saw was more like this:

A shallow layer of water on top of the salt expanse creates an incredible effect, the lake turns into a huge mirror, the sky and land surface blend into one and you cant distinguish between the two. It is unbelievably breathtaking. (We still have not uploaded our own pics, still got crap internet connections, so I found these pics on the web, but they give you a pretty good idea!)After 3 days of journeying around the Bolivian countryside, seeing great lakes and amazing mountains, this was the climax. It was freezing cold, it was 5am and we climbed to the roof of the 4 wheel drive to watch the sunrise in the middle of the great salt lake. Totally enchanting. To get an impression of its size, check this:

The Nasa satellite image of th egreat lake...ITS MASSIVE!!!!

Our tour companions have been brilliant, a Polish girl from Camden who is learning Spanish and is excellent, and a couple from Barcelona who have been giving us both brilliant coaching in Spanish, so we spent a solid four days trying to keep english to a minimum, so now my vocabulary is expanding and Mandi´s Spanish is excellent.

Tonight, the 5 of us leave Uyuni and take a 14 bus journey to La Paz, and in the morning, we wake up to a very special day. We will be having our first Indian meal in what seems like forever, in honour of Mandi´s 30th birthday!!!!! WOOOO HOOO!!!!!


1 comment:

Lulu said...

happy birthday mandi!!