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 )

Lot’s of stickers on the receptions window…

So I’m not the first one of the province of Northrhine-Westphalia (West Germany)


Yesterday and today I visited the village of Colchani. More to come soon!
Looks as if sunny days will disappear soon. In the foreground, pure salt.

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§ One Response to Arriving in Uyuni

  • Kerstin Pietsch says:

    Hallo Daniel ! Großartig zum Lesen, weiterhin viel Glück, Spass und Zeit. Verlässlichkeiten in Infrastruktur kann man sich ja in Bolivien und auch sonst in Lateinamerika echt stecken.. obwohl ich sollte mich nicht soweit aus dem Fenster hängen. Berlin ist derzeit ja ein schlechtes Beispiel. Wie sich Dein Bericht anhört ist jetzt rainy season und auch das Fahren in der Salar selbst ist anders. An der Oberfläche steht Wasser und man muss es mit den Jeeps durchqueren. So habe ich zumindest Berichte anderer Reisender gehört und auch entsprechende Bilder gesehen. Ich war damals in der Trockenzeit und glaube, das die Eindrücke dann etwas nachhaltiger sind. Im Hinblick auf den Tourismus finde ich Deinen Vorortbericht spannend… was da jetzt los ist und sich entwickelt. Wie es aussieht, habe ich alles noch etwas im Dornröschschlaf erleben dürfen. (1996) Die Salar hat sich m.E. schon zu einem hot spot entwickelt, was man auch daran ablesen kann, wie oft sie auch hier in populären Medien als Reiseziel erscheint.Inwieweit der Lithiumabbau da insgesamt Effekte (+ oder – )haben wird,bleibt wohl nur abzuwarten.
    Hoffe im übrigen sehr, dass ganz am Ende auch eine Ausstellung in Berlin herauskommt. I’ll be there! Anhand der Reisedaten wird der Karneval in Oruro wohl nicht drin sein, der ist im Februar.. schade. Salu2 Kerstin

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