Salar de Uyuni

The group is excited about our destination for today. It is the Salar de Uyuni, or the salt flats of Uyuni. The salt flats are Bolivia’s biggest tourist destination. It is a great expanse of flat salt terrain.

There are llamas and vicuna along the way. Llama have shorter necks, stubbier noses and more wool. Farmers own herds of llamas but they let them roam free, and intermingle. When it is time to gather them up, the farmers have to decide whose llama is whose, which is aided by ear tags similar to the brand marks on cattle. The llamas could have wandered quite far away so I can see this chore taking a bit of time.

Bolivian Llama

Llama

Vicuna have longer necks and are not as shaggy. Their wool is the finest of the 4 camelids of South America. Vicuna are protected, they were almost hunted to extinction so now no one is allowed to hunt them. They are wild and roam the great expanses.

Bolivian Vicuna

Vicuna

We notice the variety of colours in the landscape as we travel south west. From deep reds to lush greens to pale sandy colours. The colours of the rocks are also stunning, there is the standard black and brown, then there is red, green, blue, purple and yellowish tone.

 

Bolivia

We see flat plains, rolling hills and tall craggy mountains. White is added to the palette when we note snow on the top of one far off peak.

Bolivia

We stop in Uyuni to lunch and change to 4 wheel drives and go to the Train Cemetery. Trains were brought to Bolivia from the United States. This area is where the derelict engines and cars have come to rest after a life of toil.

Bolivia

We end our day at the Palacio de Sal, one of the salt hotels on the edge of the flats. It is indeed palatial and is made (wholly or partially, we are not sure) of salt. The sun sets on another great day.

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