Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Some Refections On Uyuni Tour

Four days, five tourists, a cook and a driver in a 4x4. At risk of sounding lazy or dumb I saw natural wonders that often went beyond my vocabulary. For now at least some odd reflections, a list of the locations and a link to the (dubious authenticity of) photographs.



Laguna Amorilla y Casetes

Volcana Uturnunku

Elizo y Grands

Laguna Hedionda


Laguna Thermas

Salvador Dali’s inspiration (I can't remember the name)

Laguna Verde

Volcana Licancaur(?)

Geisers (5000 m above sea level)

Laguna Colorada

Train Graveyard



Uyuni Salt Flats

Isla Pescado

Leaving Tupiza in a fake Slazenger cap and Addidas semi-rainproof jacket. Everytime I catch my reflection – which mercifully isn’t often out here – I feel like I’m about to be introduced to a dodgy boxing instructor.

Walking out from the crop of houses in Kollpani village at sunset. Llamas. Peace. The most idyllic village.

Watching a young girl in red round up three donkeys. (Inevitable flashbacks to Heidi, the television series, not the ex-girlfriend).

A goat skull in the grass, some sports shoes.

Eating Daisy’s soup with Jordi, Manuel, Joaquim and Fernando in a hut. Evening light. 

The way Emilio (our driver) introduces every single new location in exactly the same casual humble way. With his body twisted in our direction and his elbow as a prop on the back of the seat.

Dawn. I don’t see it enough (or at least not from the right end of the telescope, as it were).

You know you are in trouble, addictively speaking, when you are smoking a cigarette at 5000 meters above sea level. A few years ago I may have taken some machoistic rock and roll pleasure in this fact - but now it just seems a bit sad.

There is no evidence of life at five thousand feet apart from geisers in the desert spewing water of 200 degrees plus.

Seven in a 4x4 chewing coca to keep the altitude shock at bay…a lot of lagoons, each one more spectacular than the last until Laguna Verde – set below a volcano that borders Chilli. The kind of place you are surprised to find looking as Photoshopped in real life as it does in postcards.

Busting my knee (again) jumping off a mud kerb in this crazy terracotta rock landscape. The horror of thinking I might have just ended my trip. (Thankful that it turned out to be more of a cautionary relapse).

Singing songs in a rank cold hostel somewhere in the national park, a little drunk on Whiskey. Thinking for once, some of these songs aren’t bad.

Finding a pair of sunglasses that suit me in Uyuni. 

Being able to extract more than £60 from a cash point.

Salt Hotel in Colchani. A table made of salt upon which is placed a pot of table salt. I thought it was a joke.

Constantly weighing the issues of aesthetics and poverty with a camera.

Speechless on the flats. Sunrise. Alien beauty.

Wind, Sand, chapped lips, bad hair, camararderie.

Buying an item of tourist Llama wear, despite myself.

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