High up in the Bolivian Andes is the small town of Uyuni,
it has a train graveyard, boasts a bank once robbed by Butch Cassidy
and the Sundance Kid, its got a war monument to its soldiers in
several territorial wars with Chile (it lost them all).
train of thought.
town is on the shoreline of the Salar De Uyuni which is by a large
margin the biggest salt lake in the world. Seeing this white salt
bed surrounded by high mountain peaks on satellite photography is
quite stunning; it is strange to look down on this ancient sea
bed now risen to almost 12,000 feet into the air.
You can look at these photographs and imagine that day, long
ago when tremendous forces pushed up the Andes and took a massive
sea floor up there too. Then at some point most of
the sea drained away, leaving a dried out flat salt lake high
in the sky. (Probably Lake Titicaca was also part of this Sky
the centre of the salt lake is a coral island called Pescado, (the
Fish) which is the home to giant cacti, the landscape is surreal,
with an extinct coral island reef supporting cacti, surrounded with
a white salt ocean and a volcano in the distance.
Tunupa volcano is amazing it has a gigantic jagged outline with
startling red ochre colouration and on its sides are Inca Tombs
inside caves with long dead mummies sitting in a row along the cave
temperature falls from 40 degrees to minus 20 at night, so its best
to sleep with all your clothes on, even in the hotel. Its impossible
to see without good sun glasses as the sun reflects straight back of
the salt floor which is immaculately white and with hexagonal salt
structures interlocking all over the surface. Driving at high speed
over it is weird as soon there is no sense of motion.
is a freezing cold river flowing under parts of the salt lake and
where holes appear you can reach inside, at the risk of freezing
your fingers, and feel large solid square salt crystals. There is a
hotel built from salt blocks.
it rains the entire surface becomes a mirror and reflects the sky.
coloured lights are reported in the sky at night.