And all the Rest – Bolivian countryside
Anner: Aaron, where did Luke Skywalker grow up with his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru??
Anner: That’s where I think we are right now.
In addition to the amazing salt flats, rusty trains and pink flamingos we saw some simply amazing landscape. As promised by our guide, it really did change dramatically every hour. Here’s just a little snapshot.
After a really early start to day two, our guides took us on a very short drive to re-fuel (via siphon from fuel cans on the roof of the trucks) and wash the trucks. While we were waiting, one of our fellow tourists sat down with her mobile phone and showed two little girls how to play a game. They were totally enchanted!
Then we were off for cactus viewing and just crazy sand-filled scenery…
A couple more explorations and then we stopped for lunch at the side of the road. The guides encouraged us to take a walk up the hill and stretch our legs. Up we went, breathing hard due to the altitude and came back to a gourmet picnic! De-lish!
Moving on we saw volcanos – some with their tops and some without. Not actually sure which are still active, but some were. In fact, I am second guessing if these were volcanos at all. I leave it to the scientists out there to set us straight! No matter what – the scenery was wonderful.
Bring on Dali and his rock formations! Never mind that the wind was so strong that it nearly blew us off our feet and we were freezing. FREEZING! Still, inspiration!!!
Okay, enough rocks….I want geysers! Give me hot liquid boiling out of the ground. Now THAT would be cool! And, unlike in the U.S., let’s not stand back at a distance in a viewing area. No, let’s walk as close as we can to the edge, breathe the sulfur and take a long gander, shall we?
After nearly feeezing through much of day two, we had dinner at our new hostal – a rustic affair where we shared a bunk room with everyone from our truck. AGAIN, we are SO glad we got the funnest people in our truck. That night we took our cold, tired selves out to the hot springs and soaked. Yep, who would have guessed there’d be such fantastic hot springs way out in the Bolivian no-where?! It was as big as a pool, hot like a bathtub, and set under the stars and a full moon. Really. How much better does it get? I could go for a nice soak right now, actually…
Morning came quick and we made a few stops to view more lakes and flamingos before hitting the Bolivian/Chilean border (2/3 of the “ABC” border with A being Argentina). Our driver, Orlando, walked us through emigration and pointed us to the exact bus we had to take to cross over into Chile. While we checked out with the officials from Bolivia, our new friends from the truck lined up to wish us well. They were all headed back to Uyuni to continue their journeys. Gotta say, I’m not much of a cryer, but I did get a little misty when we walked out and everyone was waiting with hugs and kisses. Yes, we are the lucky ones!
Then we said ‘So Long’ to Bolivia and continued our trip south. Gotta say, Bolivia was something else!