The day after climbing Huayna Potosi we took a gentle stroll around Valle de la Luna. The Valley got its name after a visit from Neil Armstrong who said it looks like the moon. Can’t help but want to call BS on this, yes I know he has been there and I haven’t, but I suspect he drops the” looks like the moon” line on a regular basis so as to get invited to cool stuff around the world, maybe I am judging the poor guy by my own standards. Whether or not it looks like the moon, wandering the wind hewn rock formations made for a very pleasant way to stretch our tired legs.
The next day we set off towards the Salar de Uyuni and after a day and a half a drive we arrived at an ocean of salt as far as the eye can see. I am finding the experience of driving on the salt flats hard to put into words, but to continue the nautical theme I’ll say it felt like sailing as you could drive in whatever direction took your fancy and the nights were spent at islands. Other observations about the salt flats include, they are indeed very flat, the stars gazing is amazing, it is impossible not to have a grin plastered on your face as you drive across them, the islands are made of coral and are covered in Cacti, there are swarms of tours in land cruisers around the main island but with in minutes you can leave them behind and find isolation, and finally they are salty. Hopefully these pictures do a better job of encapsulating the experience than I have.
After an overnight stop in the town of Uyuni we headed off on the Laguna route, but not before paying a visit to the train graveyard in town. I spent a very happy hour or so clambering over old steam engines and snapping hundreds of pics of these rusting hulks. Eventually I managed to drag my self away and we set off towards Chile.
The stunning Laguna route, took us past geyser fields, snow-capped volcanos, and lakes of several hews including the spectacular red Laguna Colorado and its plentiful flamingo population. Between this and the salt flats it was undoubtably my favourite few days of driving on the trip.