Salt Flats, Bolivia: An Epic, Extraordinary Adventure (Day 1)

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The time had come to go on one of the top highlights of my South America & Africa trip. I booked my salt flats tour upon arrival in Uyuni and waited for the 10:30AM departure time.

Stop 1: Train Cemetery
The first stop was the train cemetery. Unprofitable, the rail industry went bust and left this photo opp behind. Climb up the trains with care and take photos while avoiding the mass of tourists. 

Stop 2: Salt and Mountains
The next stop is the flats with mountains in the background. This is an opportunity to get acclimated to the environment. Take basic pictures here. Save your creativity for later.

Stop 3: Salt Hotel for Lunch
Bring 5 Bolivianos if you want to go to the bathroom. That was my first note for this post when I arrived at this hotel made out of salt. The second was about the flags outside from all over the world. Someone even brought a West Virginia Mountaineers flag. The lunch was very basic but edible. It consisted of potatoes, some grains, meat, and eggs.

Stop 4: Crazy Photos

Props Warning: Before heading for the salt flats, tourists are lured into small shops to buy props for their photos. Do not do it. Unless the prop is of a decent size, say at least 1 foot long, it will disappoint in the pictures. My Hot Wheels car and pink dinosaur were discarded as trash.

Too micro of a machine
A batman joke that didn’t work
No bite to the dino
Rising out of the shot glass?

I thought it would be easy to take cool photos in the flats. It was not. Here are the flops:

How not to jump: take 1
How not to jump: take 2

I’m glad I had a guide to capture these gems. The T-Rex photos came out beautifully and the wine one was decent. I’m not sure about this photo where I appeal to be sodomizing a dinosaur. At least I gave it my business card, if it wanted a second date.

How to jump

Stop 5: Lake Pleasant, Arizona
For those of you who have been to Lake Pleasant, Arizona, you can appreciate a cactus growing in a place that it shouldn’t. The same is true of  Incahuasi Island (Fish Island) which costs 30 boliviano to enter (though the toilet is included with admission). Hike to the top to see panoramic views of the flats. It looks like a snow covered lake.

Stop 6: Sunset Photos
Prop photos are funny but nothing compares to the sunset photos.

Again, the right guide can make or break your experience. Here is a flop slide show:

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Here are some more not top 10:

Now for the great ones: This Street Fighter photo of me and the sun may be a permanent profile pic.

Marshawn Lynch
Aladdin
This took awhile to coordinate
Street Fighter

Of course, use your own wit to come up with pics. I especially like these from the Mugatu Collection:

And let’s not forget about the funniest video of all time, just going for a jaunt in the salt flats.

Stop 7: Salt Hotel for Sleep
This truly was the longest day. It began at 6AM in La Paz and ended after sunset with our arrival at the Salt Hotel.

 

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