Arriving in Uyuni
January 9, 2011 § 1 Comment
After organizing some stuff in La Paz I took the night bus to Uyuni. Half of the “highway” to Uyuni is paved, the other half is not. Even worse, the street to Uyuni seems to be one of the worst in the country. For several hours I felt like in a permanent earthquake, in was not possible to continue the sweet sleep of the first half of the trip. Most of all I was worried about my equipment, because of course all this shaking cannot be really good for laptop and cameras.
I arrived in Uyuni and on of the first things I noted: it was so much warmer then the last time I was here. Even early in the mornings temperatures where almost towards 20 Celsius, and the sun had arleady a lot of power. Raining saison? Not here, not now. Here and there you even find some green plants and trees now, the city looks way more welcoming . And there are more tourists here, or to be more precisely: there are hundreds of tourists here waiting for the trip to the Salar. They mostly seem to come from Argentina, must be their winter holidays. Or is there a new hype about visiting the salt flats of Uyuni? Bolivians told me tourism in this area here grows a lot. Would be an interesting questions if, in the long run, lithium extraction and the whole infrastructure and plants it needs, will affect tourism in the Salar? One must not forget that the salt lake is very large, 100 kms long in some parts, so I can´t imagine the lithium industry will affect tourism directly. But of course environmental pollution is an issue bolivian authorities will have to deal with carefully.
I will visit the lithium pilot plant probably (!) Monday and Tuesday, but it’s not clear how I will get there. Hopefully an technician or a truck that delivers fuel to the plant will take me with him the 70 kms from Uyuni to the plant. It’s hard to imagine but if you want to see some remote places here in the bolivian altiplano (highland at appr. 3600 mtrs), and you ask for bus connections, an answer can be: oh yes,there is a bus to XX . Goes there every Friday, comes back Saturday. There are also some trains, e.g. one train goes once per weeks to Chile – Mondays at 3 .30 AM. What I want to say: if you want to see Bolivia, you either have a lot of money and rent a car with driver, or you bring a lot of time.
I brought time.
Here some snapshots.
Another great bus design.
Room 14. My home for the next 1-2 weeks. I like Hotel Avenida! (and its 4 Dollar per night only )