To cross over into Bolivia we decided to jump into a battered old landcruiser, head out on some of the most remote and wild terrain we had experienced with four complete strangers plus our guide. We were joined by three Dutch girls, another Australian and our wonderful Bolivian guide Oscar.
The trip got off to a bit of a shaky start when we were delayed for a day due to a combination of some bad weather making the mountain road impassable and the Chilean census. Needless to say, Jen was annoyed! Take 2 saw us take off an alternate route for two hours before receiving the call that the mountain pass had re-opened and having to turn-around and head back the way we had just come.
Despite the false-start once we got going we experienced some of the most amazing scenery; lakes filled with flamingoes, impressive geysers, beautiful hot springs, strange cactus gardens, weird rock playgrounds and of course the majestic and impressive salt flats.
To combat the effects of high altitude we tried the local method of chewing coca leaves. The leaves (from which cocaine is made) are meant to be chewed and the saliva soaked ball kept in the mouth. Unfortunately, Jen did not like the taste and had to try and spit the leaves out the window which just ended up going all over Oscar’s precious car.
At night we stayed in some small remote towns out in the wilderness and for one night in a hotel made out of salt. On our final day we got up early to see the sun-rise over the blindingly white salt flats and had fun attempting to make some different perspective shots. We visited Inca Huasi (Fish Island) which was home to some giant cacti and had great views of the salt flats all around.
Our final stop before entering the Bolivian town of Uyuni was a strange train cemetery where you could see old rusting trains from decades ago.