Monday, December 3, 2012

Salir De Uyuni 11-28 to 12-1-2012

Some down time in La Paz:
Shawn and I had the next day to spend touring la paz before we were set to head off to Salir De Uyuni in a 12 hour night bus. We walked around, went to the local park, browsed the witch market checking out the llama fetuses, had a custom made beanie knitted by a local woman and loaded up on food. We caught our bus around 8pm.

Off to a good start:
Turns out Shawn and I have a lot in common. Loosing cell phones is one of them. Shawn had accidentally left her iphone phone plugged in at the bus station. We spent the next two hours trying to find somewhere where Shawn could email or call her sister to cancel her service. Turns out that there is no Wifi in Uyuni, the locotorio phones don't dial the US and the Internet cafes were completely booked. We timed it down to the wire having Shawn send the email two minutes before we were about to depart on our tour.

Southern Bolivia Tour Day 1:
We started the Toyota 4X4 tour with a turn of the century train graveyard. We then set off for Salar De Uyuni, which is one of the most impressive sites I have ever seen. Miles upon miles of salt flats with pristine views. We talked about the formation of the salt flat with our guide Oscar, took some time to shoot some really cool perspective photos, visited a cactus island and drove off to a hotel made of salt to spend the night.

Southern Bolivia Tour Day 2:
We woke up early for breakfast and stopped by several places on our way down south. The more memorable places were a location of giant coral rocks where a green moss grows that smells like pine, a stinky lagoon with a lot of flamingos (which our guide was telling us don't taste very good), a cool looking rock and a red lagoon. There was a lot of driving on this day and Shawn and I passed the time chatting in the backseat and playing some chess on my ipad.

Southern Bolivia Tour Day 3:
I started getting a funny feeling in my stomach on the second night. I then started sweating, ran a fever, got mild chills and felt like there was battery acid in my stomach slowly making its way up to my throat. They gave me hot water for my stomach and some cocoa leaf tea with poposi but it was getting worse quickly. After a fun session of dry heaving in the bathroom, I had a good idea what I had. I had contrasted a stomach bug. I immediately popped a Cipro. Shawn was amazing. I felt so taken care of in a vulnerable state. She took care of me all night and organized an early exit the next morning so that I could get back to town at a proper time. We loaded up into the Toyota. Checked out some cool geothermal geysers and some not springs we then B lined directly for town to take some much deserved hot showers and to have my first full meal in 24 hours.

The fun never stops:
We boarded our bus back to La Paz. Just as I was finishing my last diarrhea, I felt a jolt and heard glass shatter. What the hell? The bus attendants rushed out to the road. There was a large commotion as we stayed on the bus wondering what happened. None of them had very strong flashlights so I brought out my headlamp. Turns out there was an abandoned truck in the middle of the road that the bus at the last second swerved to avoid. Really? An abandoned truck in the middle of the road? The bus ended up completely sideswiping the truck. My dad being an insurance agent had instilled in me since I was young to always document an accident. So my immediate response was to take photos. It turned out that the bus company and the police did not have a camera and ended up asking me for the photos for their police report. Only in Boliva...UnBoliviable...

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