Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Timbo in Bolivia

We had a great time down at Uyuni. Met up with some good people on our tour (all squeezing into the same 4x4). We went down to Uyuni in a nice comfortable bus with food, tv, toilet etc. Then met the other people going on the trip, then headed off for 4 days (though everyone else just did 3 days as they crossed over into Chile).

We saw the biggest salt lake/flat in the world, amazing lakes of all different colours (red, green, blue), pink flamingos feeding, gysers letting off steam (and smells), huges swathes of weird rock in the middle of nowhere. All very good.

Had a bit of trouble getting back to La Paz as our tour operator had booked us onto the normal public bus instead of the nice luxury one. We had a bit of a ruck with them but by the time it was sorted out, there was no room on the good bus so we had no choice. So for the 12 hour bus journey back there was no food, no toilet, no tv, no heating (it gets very very cold) and very little space. When we stopped for our first toilet break, Eva was still outside (in the pitch black night) when the bus started heading off without her. I had to shout and protest for the bus to stop. Even after they understood me, they were still driving along asking how many people were missing. After that we kept our toilet breaks very short and close to the bus.

After having a word with our contact in La Paz, they compensated us with a free night in a partner hotel in Copacabana (the original one in Bolivia, next to Lake Titikaka). That`s where I`m writing this from.

Just saw one of the most fantastic sunsets from the lake shore. We`re off to the Island of the Sun tomorrow which is meant to be the birthplace of the Incas. Just there for the day and wandering about.

Oh here`s the extreme bit...

On our spare day in La Paz we mountain biked down the world`s most dangerous road (official). It was a tough day with about 75km of road, which sounds a lot but it 99% downhill. It started off with a nice bit of sweeping asphalt road, winding through the mountains above the clouds, looking down into the valleys. Didn`t feel dangerous at all.

Then we got to the end of the nice road and turned off onto the gravelly, rocky, muddy non-road which is the real dangerous bit. Biking it was a scary but going back up it in the minibus in the dark and through clouds was worse. Hopefully have some good pictures of it that I`ll post.

ARghhh.,..... out of time. Got to go. Maybe more later but this net stuff is expensive here.

Updated with photos (29-Nov-2005) - Click for pics

Train graveyard just outside of Uyuni

Nothing but salt, salt and more salt. Finer than the Salta salt though.

The layer of salt is quite thick but in some places air and water bubble up to the top.

An island of cactus plants in a dry sea of salt.

Weird caves

Weird graves

Follow that car!

Follow that train!

Flamingos in the pink

Desert fox

Can you spot the Viscacha?

Tree of stone

The dawn of the geysers

A rock garden

Donkey farmers


At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Nick said...

Good to see you're back with more Timbolivian ruminations.

At 12:02 AM, Blogger Timbo said...

I ruminated like no other in Bolivia. But I think it was the dodgy spag boll from the hostel cafe.


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