Sunday, May 29, 2011

Entrance to heaven - lagunas

In Bolivia I did not have lot of time, so I decided to see one recommended by many people - Bolivian heaven - Salar de Uyuni (Salt Desert). The beauty of this place is incredible. So incredible, that it almost become my grave.... but about this at the end of the story....

CSC_3459I went to Uyuni from where are organized three days Jeep trips to the colourful lagunas on the South of Uyuni and to Salt Desert. The standard trip includes few hours visit on the Salt Desert followed by a visit to the lagunas. But everyone said that the visit to the salt desert was the most impressive part. I did not wanted to stay only few hours on the salt desert. I wanted to stay there longer and to see either the sun set or the sun rise in this unique place. I talked with one of the tour agent and he told me that if there will be a group of six people interested, they could organise even the trip in the reverse order, when the first two days we would have gone to lagunas, South from Uyuni, and the last day we would have gone to the salt desert for the whole day to experience sun rise AND sun set. In the moment two Danish girls came to the agency: Laura and Mai. It did not take me long time to convince them to join me. Two next people I found through couchsurfing website. Marta and Kuba is a çpolish couple - first Polish long terms travelers that I met personally. The last person that joined was a Dutch girl, Dion.

Flamingos in laguna.
The first day involved mostly driving South but we entertained ourselves a lot in the car. It was possible to plug in the mp3 player to the car sound system and through car windows we could appreciate amazing landscapes.Our brave jeep went smoothly by rough road, crossed few rivers. Our driver, like most of the locals, were chewing coca leaves all the time, and I decided to try a bit. There are not the most tasty thing that I ever tried but there are also not so bad. And there are seriously giving a certain kick, a bit stronger than the cup of coffee.

We reached our simple camp in the evening. We went to bad early since we were supposed to wake up around 4 o'clock in the morning. But I had one problem.... I was completely not sleepy, and finally I did not fall asleep at all!!! And what was more surprisingly, I was not sleepy also the next day. Coca leaves have much stronger effect on me than strong coffee.

Salty rode like this for several kilometers!
In the night it was snowing quite heavily and when we woke up I built my first snow man in months. His name was Salty. Everyone liked Salty but I was not allowed by co-passengers to take him with me inside the car. Salty wanted to get a ride with us and wanted to drive at least for a while. So I decided to put him on the front window, where he enjoyed the ride much longer than anyone could have expected. Finally, Salty got detached from the mask and started to look around for a proper place to get out (for few minutes he was slipping on the mask of the car) and finally he noticed a place that he wanted to melted, he waved to us and jump out.
In this place, this time of the year, the snow is a very temporary thing, Salty was like a butterfly of the winter.

CSC_3481This day we started the trip from the visit to gazers, followed by the first to laguna..... And a bath in hot spring. After the breakfast we started our road back North, stopping next to lagunas and colourful lakes. The colour of every laguna was different!!! Some of them also attracts flamingos!!! This day was seriously one of the most diverse landscapes I have ever seen!!! Every half an hour, every fifteen minutes the landscape changed. Despite the fact that we were driving rather slow, and stopping quite often, it was still too fast for me. I hope that I will manage to come back to this magic place and to try to get saturated with the surrounded beauty and travel there on my own speed. I think biking would be a good mean of transport in this magic place.

This was only the second day, there was still the Salar de Uyuni in front of us.... about which you can read here.

No comments:

Post a Comment