off the grid in bolivia

I’m starting to confuse my days now, they are all running together. We took taxi’s to Uyuni after a half day in Sucre on the 6th. I am unable to communicate well in heights and numbers. I can’t conceptualize the metric system. This has been a little inconvenient.

Before leaving Potos we did visit the mint. It was a long tour and the gift shop was closed so we couldn’t mint our own coins which would have been awesome. The machinery used to mint the coins was impressive and the coin collection was pretty cool. They also stuck things in there that didn’t belong. Colonial furniture, rock collection, Inca pottery, mummified babies…? The mummies reminded me that the guy in the mine told us that when the government cleaned out the mine they found human fetuses (in addition to llama fetuses) buried at the feet of the Tio.

When we woke up that morning to head to Uyuni my throat was burning from being in the mine.When we arrived in Uyuni we had dinner and went to bed, still not fully recovered. We woke at 4am and hopped in an SUV to start the “scarce shower” portion of the trip. Started in the train graveyard.

Train Graveyard

We drove long, bumpy distances. The first day we visited the salt flats to take weird photos.

Salar de Uyuni

We then visited “Fish Island” and climbed it. It looked like a desert island in the middle of a beach, if the beach was made out of salt.

Fish Island

We also saw the “stone tree”.

Stone Tree

We ended up in a hostel made almost entirely of salt. Chairs, tables, everything. We were given a short briefing about how they process salt. Funny, there was no salt on the dinner table. But the table, the chair and the floor were all made out of salt so I guess that made it okay? The hostel offered cold showers (10 Bolivianos!) and one toilet for all 70 visitors. They shut the electricity off after 2 hours so we just went to sleep.

Salar de Uyuni

The next day we saw flamingos, a volcano, geysers, hot springs and the border of Chil.

Flamingos!!!

Again the second night we only got a couple of hours worth of electricity. And we totally wasted it having dinner. PFFT! My throat had been bothering me since Potos, but there were smokers in the hostels and there was a lot of salt dust as well. On the 3rd morning I woke up feeling sick. I was haphazardly diagnosed with altitude sickness. I had it all the way back to Uyuni (a trip that took all day due to frequent stops to take more photos of the desert.

Middle of Nowhere

Tonight we are back in Uyuni and have electricity and a private toilet! Most of us have gone broke paying for toilet use and showers on the three day tour. No one told us we would need so much cash. I am feeling better, though. We are getting up early tomorrow to head for Argentina. I am sorry we are leaving Bolivia so soon, I don’t feel like i have seen enough.

Best Picture Ever

Bye Bolivia 🙁