The most hotly anticipated experience of the whole trip for me was the Uyuni Salt Flats. This was the only sight I was absolutely not going to miss. I’ve known about them for a little while, probably first hearing about them in my mate Dan Walsh’s articles written for Bike magazine, later turned into a book which has served as part inspiration for my own trip. They also appear in one of my favourite films of all time, the very under-rated Gerry.
I had a choice to make, take to the flats on Bumble myself, take a one day trip or a three day trip. I went for the latter and am absolutely delighted I did. It was an experience I will never forget.
Slightly nervous, I rocked up at the tour office on time to have Bumble stored. Curious to find out who my travelling (and sleeping!) companions would be for the next three days. I couldn’t have stumbled across a better bunch. Thirtysomethings Simon (Switzerland) and Jenny (Netherlands) have been together years and have traveled very extensively before they met and since. They are taking 6 months around South America in an old camper van they’ve brought over. Julio and Grecia (Peru) are fitting in the Salt Flats amongst wider South America travel before beginning their Masters’. Shacar (Israel) the early-twenties youngster of the bunch is bumming it around on the coaches after working for Greenpeace. We were all ably led by (better call) Saul the (mostly) amiable Bolivian with the heavy responsibility of keeping us safe.
I knew there was more to the tour than the Salt Flats themselves but I hadn’t realised these other places were miles apart over very inhospitable terrain so I saw a good chunk of the Southwest of Bolivia reaching the Chile border and almost as far south as the Argentine border. Of course everyone went crazy with photos so rather than describe in detail the trip itself, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.