From La Paz, we took a bus and train to Tupiza where we began our 4 day Salar excursion. We ended the trip in Uyuni and took a bus to Potosi and Sucre afterwards.
The dramatic light on the hexagonal honeycomb of salt with our shadows at sunrise on the salt flats.
The salar is composed of a salt surface crust several meters thick overlying brine saturated sediments (visible as small pools - the Ojos).
Salt collected from piles on the Salar are dried futher in furnaces and then processed and bagged for sale
Modesta, our cholita cook, poses while we "walk" on her braids. She's probably done this a million times - on every trip for her clients. Think she enjoys it?
We went to the cemetery on the Day of the Dead, Nov. 1, to see how Bolivian families honor their ancestors
Roberto O., the owner of La Torre Tours, showing us his family shrine to his grandparents in the kitchen.
Chuck boarding the train - the better transportation alternative since the bus travels on unpaved roads.
Tupiza sits in the badlands where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid met their fate, having chosen the wrong Bolivian to rob
Llamas are decorated with colorful bits of string to mark ownership, much like branding for cattle. Photo by Chuck on our ipad
The Altiplano is home to three species of flamingos. Forget about those images of these beautiful pink birds under a palm tree in the tropics!
Licancabur volcano (5916 m.a.s.l.) in the background. The color is due to arsenic and other minerals; the hue shifts from turquoise to emerald green as wind shifts sediments
Sol de Mañana - a 4850m-high geyser basin with bubbling mud pots, fumaroles and the smell of sulfur fumes.
This was the view from our remote hotel in the desert - the highest place we slept at an altitude of 4200 meters. The "roads" are just deep sandy tracks in the desert.
The center of the Salar contains a few "islands", the remains of the tops of ancient volcanoes submerged during the era of prehistoric Lake Minchin.
After sunrise on the Salt Flats and a hike on the cactus-covered "island", Modesta surprised us by with a heart cake for our last breakfast.
96 degree water at 13,000 foot altitude with chilling winds is a nice relief from the cold. We were there early before it got very crowded.
Ruinas de San Antonio where prospectors used slave labor. Legend says the town was abandoned because there was either a slave rebellion, an epidemic, or men started to go blind / missing.