Day 2 of our Salar de Uyuni adventures
5 am the next morning, the alarm was going off. 5 am!! Getting up in the freezing cold after a breathless nights sleep was not very fun (we slept at above 13,000 ft-4,100 m)-and one side effect of high altitude is breathless nights. You often find yourself waking up constantly in the middle of the night short of breath, thirsty and dry.
- one of the altitude markers
We ate a simple breakfast of bread, jam & coffee and then stumbled in the dark back to the Jeep. I mentally tried to prepare myself for another 8 or so hours on the bumpy, dusty road in the back of a Jeep (it turned out to be more like 10 hours). But everything was easily forgotten when we saw the sunrise from the Jeep:
This day was truly bumpy. The ‘road’ (which in actuality is just a dusty, rocky wide path) was much worse than the previous day and at times we had to cross through very deep, icy rivers (at one point we had to hack away at the ice to try to cross).
- another very long river we had to cross-at times the water level was almost up to the door handle!
In addition to the rivers, sometims we had to cross over deep snow banks:
That’s the thing about this tour. The food is mediocre, you have to wake up at the crack of dawn most mornings & you spend a ridiculous amount of time in the Jeep bumping around all the while at high altitude where the potential to get really sick exists. But it’s okay because the pay off is big. The landscape in this region is some of the most incredible I have ever seen:
When we stopped for lunch we had a great opportunity to escape from the freezing, bitter cold by bathing in some hot springs. This was a real highlight and though it was chilly getting in your bathing suit and hopping in, the payoff was big!
After the hot springs it was off to some high-altitude geysers. The wind was ridiculously fierce here but it was amazing seeing the bubbling mud pools anyway.
After our visit to the geyser, we went to the highlight of the day, the Laguna Colorado, which gets its red color from algae and plankton that thrive in the mineral-rich water of sodium, magnesium, borax and gypsum.
The wind was fierce here, so we didn’t stay long at this natural wonder but the beauty and remoteness wa